Apartment Decor To Make Your Rental Feel Like A Home

Apartment Decor To Make Your Rental Feel Like A Home

Renting certainly has its ups and its downs, and often one of the biggest frustrations renters face is feeling like they aren’t able to customize their space in the style they’d like. True, you probably can’t do any major renovations while you’re renting a home. But you do have plenty of options for finding apartment decorthat boosts the design factor of your space and helps you make it your own. We spoke with HGTV star and interior designer Francesca Grace, who recently opened up her design services to clients in the Bay Area, about the best ways to use apartment decor to make your rental feel like a home. Here’s what she had to say.


Dress Up The Walls

bedroom rental apartment decor

Photo via Francesca Grace

When you’re renting, it’s tempting to feel like your only options are white-painted walls and cream-painted walls (and maybe grey-painted walls, if you’re lucky). While those colors can certainly be a part of beautiful rooms, few things make a space feel like your own more than a pattern you’ve specifically chosen for yourself.

“If you can’t add permanent wallpaper to your space, I highly recommend using a peel and stick solution,” Grace says. “It’s a great and easy way to achieve gorgeous dramatic walls and add a fun pattern to any room.”

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is easy to remove later, so it can be a great option for renters.

If your landlord has strict rules against peel-and-stick, you can also go for art. Try creating a gallery wall or adding three-dimensional wall art pieces into your space.

“Prints that aren’t ornately framed should be good to use with command strips and won’t damage the walls, or you can try decorating with lightweight decor,” Grace advises. “We love the Palmera Fan from Urban Outfitters – it brings life to the space without being too difficult to install and remove.”

Spice Up The Kitchen

kitchen rental apartment decor

Photo via Francesca Grace

Kitchens can be tough to bring yourself to decorate. They tend to either be moderately updated — in which case you have other priorities — or super tiny and outdated, which can make it hard to decorate them stylishly. But adding personal touches to your kitchen is a must, since you haven’t been able to choose any of the fixtures yourself. So how does Grace recommend adding style to rental kitchens?

“If you can, paint or wallpaper would be my number one tip. You can even buy peel and stick floor tiles,” she says. “Either of these would have the greatest impact. If that’s not allowed or too much work, I would say adding any little details that speak to you. Hang up some art if you have the wall space and/or a runner if the space permits one. Choose fun colors or designs for things like fruit bowls, hand towels, and countertop appliances. Top it off with some nice greenery.”

Pay Attention To Lighting

apartment decor

Photo via Francesca Grace

Depending on the size and style of your apartment, lighting can become a bit of an issue. Some apartments can be dark, allowing for minimal amounts of natural light.

Grace suggests mitigating against this problem by keeping the space clear of clutter, utilizing stylish lighting fixtures, and taking advantage of natural light wherever you can.

“Don’t overcrowd the space,” she says. “Make sure you have a good amount of lighting from table lamps or floor lamps. Add a mirror to reflect any natural light into the space.”

If your rental doesn’t get much natural light, this is a good time to put extra effort into your wall paint, provided you’re allowed to change it.

“Paint the walls a neutral but warmer color than white, and be sure to add textiles and texture for some character.”

Embrace A Thrifted Look

living room apartment decor

Photo via Francesca Grace

For renters on a budget, going for a thrifted, worn-in, eclectic vibe is a great way to enhance your apartment decor style without spending big on items you might not be able to use forever. Most apartments and rentals are kind of kitschy anyway, so it only makes sense to embrace your rental’s quirkiness with secondhand finds. Mix and match them for a style that’s all your own.

“Thrifting is my go-to for unique finds,” Grace says. “Visit your local goodwill or any second-hand shop. The hunt is part of the fun. You can also find great and unique pieces on Etsy too!”

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Featured photo via Francesca Grace.


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