The 10 Commandments of Rental Decor

If there are rules that you as a renter must follow, make it these 10 commandments. Because, while paying your rent on time is important, so too is making sure your place is personalized and stylish. Working within the boundaries of your landlord, it’s little things like a new light fixture that will make an impact without costing a lot of time or money. And, the best part about this entire list is that you’ll leave with your security deposit intact once it’s time to move up and on.

1. Thou Shalt Add Storage

Let’s get real, custom cabinetry is not an option if you don’t own the place. Since rentals usually lack storage, add your own with affordable Ikea bookcases, simple shelves, or these organizing solutions. // image via


2. Thou Shalt Change the Hardware

Rental hardware is basic… your style, not so much. Switching out cabinet pulls and bathroom hardware will make a huge difference. Just remember to keep the original pieces to swap back in before moving out. // Image via


3. Thou Shalt Ditch Vertical Blinds

They are the ultimate decorating sin! To prevent your space from looking like a hospital room, take them down or hide them under curtains. Again, don’t toss — they’re essential if you want your security deposit back. // Image via


4. Thou Shalt Line Cabinets

This might seem trivial and a bit annoying, but lining your cabinets is a must. Not only will it make your kitchen look clean, but also it will mask worn and grungy cabinets without having to paint. Adhesive liner works, but a softer grip liner is better because it’s easy to install; it will also prevent glassware from chipping. // Image via 


5. Thou Shalt Accessorize Like Crazy

It’s true, and that’s the only way you’re going to get a truly personal space. Go to town with throws, pillows, and accents that reflect your style. // Image via 


6. Thou Shalt Avoid Wallpaper

Well, in most cases. Sure it’s stylish, but in all honestly, wallpaper is really inconvenient to remove, especially if you won’t be in your place for long. If you love the patterned look, consider the removable wallpaper seen in this studio or these alternative wallpaper ideas. // Image via 


7. Thou Shalt Hang Art

No excuses — get your art on the walls! Patching up a tiny hole come move-out day is nothing compared to the impact it will make on your space. No need to create a full-blown gallery wall either. Try hanging one statement piece and resting photos on a mantel or shelf, similar to this home. // Image via 


8. Thou Shalt Invest in Rugs

Especially if your place has carpet! Rugs are an easy way to cover up that not-so-cute carpet and can be packed up with you come your next move. Rugs are also a necessity to keep noise down, especially in older apartments with wood floors. // Image via 


9. Thou Shalt Emphasize Lighting

This is another trick that many renters often overlook. Take it from HGTV stars Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri who suggest you use lightning to set the tone and make an impact in a rental. Get creative too with floor and table lamps that can easily be moved from place to place. // Image via 


10. Thou Shalt Make the Most of Plants

No yard? No problem. Pots are a great way to achieve the bohemian jungalow look or even have your own urban garden. The best part is you won’t have to fret about leaving any of them behind. // Image via 

This story originally ran on POPSUGAR Home.

  • These are such great tips for making a rental space really feel like home! The other day I wrote about an easy alternative to wallpaper that utilized a patterned paint roller! It’s a fun way to really customize a temporary space.

    • Hey Ashley! Do you happen to have a link to your post? I would love to read about this!

      • Hey Natalie! You can check out the post at

        The company is really awesome, and their youtube videos do a great job at showing the ease of use. Enjoy!

  • Great tips! I will be sure to keep these in mind!

    All That Glitters

  • that first one is so good! definitely bookmarking for future use 😉

  • Absolutely agree! I need to get on it with a few of these… 🙂

    xo, Irina

  • Great tips!

  • Stephanie (Fab You Bliss)

    I’ve used every tip here…definitely a fantastic list!

  • Great tips and even better accompanying photos!

  • Noni

    Great tips! I’m redecorating my place so this will come in handy 🙂

  • Wow, this was honestly really helpful. A lot of these tips seem obvious but they are honestly things I don’t always think about– switching out cabinet hardware and lining your cabinet drawers for example. Love this- thanks for sharing!

    Jen Hacker | The Single Diaries

  • Chemyeeka

    These are some amazing tips. I start grad school in the Fall and my apartment will definitely be getting some of these!

  • Miriam

    One thing my room mates and I do is get big sheets of cloth and hang them on the walls (I put paintings up over them). Good for walls that are boring or ugly but you’re unable to paint! Just a couple holes near the ceiling to deal with come move out time 🙂

  • Kelly

    Love all of this! I need to know where I can get the grey sectional. I must have it! # 5 Thou shalt accessorize like crazy!

  • Yes. My landlord won’t let me paint. Even just to freshen up with white paint. Super annoying!