Whether you rent or own, the place you live should feel like home. And a big part of what makes a place feel homey and welcoming is the decor.
If you own your home, you can pretty much go nuts. No one is stopping you (with the possible exception of a homeowners association if you’ve external renovations planned). As a renter, however, things get just a touch more complicated.
The lease you signed when you moved in probably includes some pretty strict rules regarding what you can (and cannot) do as far as your property is concerned. There’s no need to despair, though. That just means you’ll need to get a bit creative with how you decorate.
Here are a few ideas you can put into practice without losing your security deposit.
Paint It Up
Unless your rental agreement specifically forbids it, there’s nothing stopping you from putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls of your landlord’s property. However, this is something you need to be extremely careful in doing, and you absolutely should discuss it with the landlord first. There’s a good chance that if they do allow it, it’ll be at your own expense and you’ll be required to restore the walls to a neutral color when you move out.
As an alternative, you might consider removable wallpaper or adhesive wall hooks.
It’s important to note that there is a chance these will both leave residue, which could impact your security deposit. In the case of wall hooks, if you aren’t careful with their removal, they could also cause permanent damage to the walls. Again, that’s your security deposit on the line.
If you’re not keen on paying for repainting and you don’t want to risk removable wallpaper, furniture could be one alternative. Tall bookshelves with decorative knick-knacks, large mirrors, and privacy screens can do a lot to spice up your surroundings without making any permanent changes to them. And as an added bonus, you can bring them to your new place if and when you eventually move.
Smart lighting could also be an option. A few wall lamps with color-customizable bulbs can go a long way towards changing the feel of your space.
If beige carpeting and brown hardwood isn’t really your design style, you could invest in a few throw rugs or mats to change up the flooring. They’re available at a fairly reasonable price and tend to last quite a while. Plus, as an added bonus, they can protect the property’s flooring from damage and spills, meaning less money taken out of your security deposit at the end of your tenancy.
Making a House a Home
According to Bormaster Law, “decorating a rental property can be difficult, especially if you have a particularly strict renter’s agreement. Once you’ve made sure to understand the terms set by your landlord, however, you actually have a surprising amount of freedom. The advice I’ve laid out above can be applied to all but the most draconian of spaces. I hope it helps make your place feel more like home.”