Cheap Ways To Decorate Your Rented House To Make It Feel Like A Home

Because if you're paying through the nose for your flat it would be nice if you actually liked it

Cheap Ways Decorate Your Rented House To Make You Feel Like A Home

by Brittany Bathgate |

Aside from throwing your money into a black hole every month, the second most frustrating problem with renting is not being able to personalise your space. Having lived in rented properties for nearly seven years now I am too familiar with the struggle that is not wanting to spend money sprucing up somebody else’s property alongside not wanting to live in a 90’s time warp surrounded by magnolia paint and biscuit coloured carpets, but actually there are ways you can personalise your space easily and on a budget. These are my top eight hacks I’ve learnt along the way to make my rented abode feel a little more permanent.



First and foremost wave goodbye to those magnolia walls and paint them white!

It’s common to assume you can’t paint when living in rented accommodation but where’s the harm in asking? Nine times out of ten landlords will say yes because let's face it, you are doing them a favour for free. They save on labour costs and you get fresh white walls, it’s a win-win. Painting the entire interior white as soon as we moved in made a world of difference and gave us the perfect blank canvas to work with.



House plants are a relatively cheap and an easy way to personalise a room, and add colour. Plants can help clean the air in your home and they have been proven to reduce stress. I’ve found they are also the perfect why to detract focus from and disguise nasty window ledges.



Sounds basic but if you are lacking in storage shelving can solve your problems and they don’t have to be expensive. We picked up wall brackets from a D.I.Y store for next to nothing and the ply is a large sheet from a timber yard cut in 3. So long as you re fill the holes prior to your departure most landlords are happy for you to put shelves up. Then comes the added pleasure of dressing and personalising your shelves.



More than likely your carpets haven’t been changed since the 90’s and now resemble a dirty biscuit colour or like us you might have a laminate floor in extreme disarray – get a rug! We arranged our main living space around a geometric monochrome rug from Urban Outfitters; it has successfully hidden a multitude of sins and compliments the neutral surroundings.


If the space you’re moving into is unfurnished or partly furnished save yourself some money and get savvy with D.I.Y furniture (pallet beds are all the rage don’t you know) One scroll through Pinterest and you can pick up a handful of make shift furniture ideas. We have saved ourselves an abundance of money by making a bed out of timber and dining set using ply wood.

Bed - The bed simply sits on 4 pallets with a surround and matching headboard made from 1”x 6” timber.


Dining set – A sheet of ply primed and then painted grey on top with metal IKEA trestle legs. The benches were simply constructed using off cuts from a builders site.


Pictures & Art


If your landlord is reluctant to let you paint the walls, another fix is artwork. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, Dean and I have a penchant for picking up posters and postcards at art galleries and exhibitions we visit.



Small changes to your furnishings such as the curtains or lampshades can really make a difference , we switched all our lampshades for these cheap and easy to install light frames from Clas Ohlson.

These lamp leads are ideal for adding temporary lights sources into your home; I’ve added one above my desk using a wooden wall bracket.

Alongside altering furnishings adding home accessories to mantels, shelves or any empty surfaces can really aid personalising your rental. I favour trays, candles holders, vases and decorative storage my go to online stores are Cow & Co,Future and Found and Wander Store. H&M is also fantastic if you want some really cheap thrills!



The Swedish powerhouse can do no wrong especially when you need to furnish your house fast and on a budget. When moving into our un furnished house IKEA was a life saver. If you are moving into a partly or entirely unfurnished property put some money aside to potentially go wild with. We came out of IKEA completed kitted out with everything from footstalls and mirrors to plates and plants all for less than £400 (£200 each).

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

How To Split The Bills With Your Housemates Without Falling Out

Decorating Tips We Can Learn From Airbnb

How To Move House: A Definitive Guide

Follow Brittany on Twitter @BrittanyBathg8

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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