Decorating your living room

How to decorate a rented property; without losing your bond!

Decorating your living room

We’ve all been there: you’ve just signed a lease on a rented property, its move in week and you’re having trouble putting your stamp on the place (without forfeiting your bond). If your landlord resembles the pedantic Basil Faulty, then painting the walls is out of the question, as is hammering in nails and hanging pictures. Pulling up the carpet and restoring old wooden floorboards is probably not the best option either (it’s also hard work – so let’s all take a collective sigh of relief!). But there are some temporary solutions that will help you transform it into your home, and best thing is; you can take them with you when you leave!

Wall stickers or murals are an excellent way to breathe some life into the dull, 70’s themed décor (brown carpet and beige walls don’t exactly scream creativity!). Personalise a feature wall with your own photograph or design, or sift through our inspiration gallery for some ideas. It’s a great way of showcasing your own individual style! If covering a whole wall seems like a bit too much for the space; you can always create a removable picture wall to house all your memories, or a simple decal to create a point of interest in the room.

Wall mural for an apartment wall

Wall mural for an apartment wall

Flooring is the next dominant feature in any space. Cover up an aged carpet or disguise the last tenant’s red wine stains with some colourful rugs! Rugs can add some vitality to any bland floor covering. Have a large, open plan living room come dining room? Section it with rugs – it will give the room some much needed structure.

Often rental homes have significant lighting deficiencies. Give up on the arduous task of convincing the landlord to put a skylight in and work around the lack of natural light. A combination of table and floor lamps will help – they’ll also inject some atmosphere into the room. If you feel like hosting an arts and crafts class, you can always jazz up your lampshades – cover them with wool in a colour of your choice, or stick magazine cut outs or photographs on it for a more interesting piece.

If storage is an issue – turn it into decorative statements. Put some legs on an old suitcase and use it as a coffee table; great for storing the clutter that accumulates in the living room. Use an old step ladder for stand alone shelving options – keeps the mess contained in an attractive way!

Repurposed Ladder


Natural elements have a calming effect on interiors – plants can bring a sense of life and vitality to a dull rental. Plant a herb garden in the kitchen – put them in old vintage inspired coffee tins for extra effect! Tall plants are also a great way to cover up stained walls or annoying wires.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed; remember that decorating is a timely process and give yourself the time to choose the extras (you’ll be grateful in the long run). Once you’ve transformed it into the perfect home, you’ll be proud to invite friends and family over for a house warming. Just keep an extra rug at the ready for any additional red wine stains!

 Have any tips yourself? Leave a comment below.