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Victoria Harrison, editor of home renovation and design platform Houzz, shares her top decorating tips to make your rented house feel more like a home. 

Large Living Room Tan Sofa Layered Multi Coloured Stripe Rugs Habitat Good Homes Magazine

Image: Habitat

One of the biggest bugbears for tennants are the rules and regulations around decorating rented properties. Since putting up wallpaper, hanging printed frames or laying down a new stretch of carpet is completely off limits, injecting an ounce of personality into a rental property seems impossible.

If you're renting, it's easy to feel trapped by the lifeless magnolia wall and biege flooring colour combo. Luckily, Houzz editor Victoria Harrison is here to help tennants overcome their decorating woes - starting by changing a defeatist mindset. 

Victoria Harrison encourages renters to envision plain schemes as the perfect canvas to add warmth and interest with quirky furnishings and personal items.

From wall stickers to statement lighting, here's Victoria's clever decorating tips to make your rented property feel like a home.

Add character by upcycling furniture

Grey Painted Chest Of Drawers Wooden Furniture Store Good Homes Magazine

Image: Wooden Furniture Store

'If you can’t paint the walls, think about ways you can add character with removable items instead. Open a tin of paint and upcycle the items you own, to bring in some personality and colour that way, be it a cabinet, table or bookshelf.'

Update a wall with stickers

Orange Grey Wall Stickers Hallway Chair Geometric Cushion Etsy Wall Boss Good Homes Magazine

Image: Wallboss, Etsy

​'Wall stickers can be added and removed with no fuss; they come in a huge range of designs and colours; and they are inexpensive. Popular in kids’ rooms, they are also great for small feature walls, such as in a hallway.'

Choose modular furniture

Living Room Brick Wall Grey Sofa Wicker Coffee Table Yellow Curtains Dunelm Good Homes Magazine

Image: Dunelm

'Opt for furniture that can be moved around and reconfigured so it can more easily fit into another home. As an example, instead of a sofa with a chaise, which limits the possible configurations, opt for a simple sofa and an armchair: you will have the same seating space but will retain flexibility with the layout.'

Decorate your bathroom or kitchen with tile stickers

Grey Mosaic Stick On Tiles Kitchen Notonthehighstreet Good Homes Magazine

Image: Etsy, Wall Genie 

'Tile stickers are great for freshening up a kitchen or bathroom, and they’re 100% removable when you decide to leave. Or perhaps consider removable wallpaper, which sticks on and peels off easily.'

Lighten up your home with large lamps, string lights and candles

Living Room Grey Sofa Blue Cushions Black Freestanding Lamp John Lewis Good Homes Magazine

Image: John Lewis

​'Lighting is key in any space, and is one area you shouldn’t scrimp on. Rental lighting is often dark, stark or virtually non-existent and adding lamps, candles and string lights can instantly transform a room without leaving any permanent marks. Think big, sculptural, freestanding lamps as well as gorgeous shades that can transform the entire look of a room.'

Add the art without the holes

Mantle Piece Flowers Vases Candles Amara Good Homes Magazine

Image: Amara

"'If you are not allowed to hang anything on the walls, try to use what you already have to make a decorative statement – consider a fireplace mantel, existing shelving, or the top of a cabinet to display art and decorative pieces.'

Go for big rugs

Living Room Blue Sofa Bright Multi Colpured Rug Habitat Good Homes Magazine

Image: Habitat

'Bare walls and floors don’t always mean an uninspiring interior for renters, but adding something of your own is a great way to make it feel more like home. Cover your floor with a big, beautiful rug or use several smaller ones layered up.'

 

Have you made your rental property feel more homely? Let us know how by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page. 

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