Ultimate Guide for Decorating a Rental

I’ll be honest. Having the passion of interior design and living in a rental can be challenging. At times, I feel limited when there are thousands of ideas swirling in my head- usually ideas that require a permanent change. Although the struggle is real, it doesn’t have to be a set back in personalizing your home. Even if a rental is temporary- don’t wait to make it into a space you love and can relax in at the end of the day. There are temporary fixes that don’t require a permanent change. In this post, we will go over how to take a blank canvas, and turn it into a warm and inviting space.

Let’s get started! Here are 4 practical steps in creating a rental you adore:

Step # 1:PICK A LOOK

What style speaks to you? Farmhouse, French Cottage, Modern, Bohemian, Western, Industrial, Contemporary etc. Don’t worry about the trends. Find a style that you really love and try to stick to it- of course, there are some exceptions. Some styles that differ really work well together, for example Modern Farmhouse. But, if you’re trying to do Modern Farmhouse, with Santa Fe, Shabby Chic and contemporary…you see how it can get messy? It’s more pleasing to the eye if everything is cohesive throughout the house. Come up with a color scheme that you want to incorporate in and throughout your home.

Tip: if you live in a smaller rental, I’d suggest using light and airy colors to make a small space seem larger. Accessorize with color.


Focus on one room at a time. I usually start by focusing on the Living Room. It’s typically the first room you see when you walk in, and most time is spent there. Once you begin a room, make sure to cover the essentials. (Ex. Couch, coffee table, end tables etc.) If you have a small living area space, don’t overwhelm it with a large sectional. Try something more petite with exposed couch legs. That’ll give the illusion of more space. Same with accent chairs, try to keep it in proportion with the sofa. Check out thrift stores for end tables, coffee tables. Add a little chalk paint, and it will look brand new. Most people want to skip to the fun part (styling) but you can’t do that if you have nothing to work with.

I love this beige sofa from Target! Here is an example of what a couch with exposed legs looks like.



Focus on gathering “non permanent” items, that you can take with you when you move. It is an investment gathering items you love, and will be able to use for years. Think of things like: rugs, table lamps, furniture, curtains, bedding, wall art etc. Yes, you may not be able to do the much loved shiplap or paint walls- but you can still start the process by collecting timeless items that you’ll use for years.

This DOES NOT have to be an expensive step! Like I briefly mentioned above- go to thrift stores, Goodwill ½ off Saturday, use things passed down from family, garage sales, Hobby Lobby clearance. I’ll be sharing about thrifty ways to decorate your home in another post- so stay tuned!


Because this sign was a gift from a friend- this wall was only $2 to make!) The white baskets in this photo are actually collapsible fruit baskets but it still gets the job done. The brown ones are wicker chargers from Goodwill. Try thinking out of the box. It’s not ALWAYS necessary to follow rules 😉

Step #4: STYLE

To me, this is my favorite step, but it can also require a lot of patience and time. This includes, decorating those end tables, coffee table, hanging up wall art.

I’ve personally found there are specific things that bring warmth to a room. Here they are:

It takes time and patience- so have fun in the process! Stay true to you/your style, and again don’t just focus on the trends. After all, you are the one living in your home- so make it reflect YOU!

I plan to write a post about decorating tips/tricks that might come in handy once you reach step 4 😉 Comment below to tell me your biggest decor hardships in a rental.



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