Redecorating tips for renters: Small impact, big change

When we’re moving somewhere new, we want to put our own stamp on a place. But that can be a little tricky when you’re renting.

You can’t get rid of that awkward sofa in the living room or the rickety table in the dining room and the bedroom just never quite feels like it’s yours with the remnants of the last tenant’s posters still sticking to the wall.

But there are a few small thins you can do that can really change your space, without impacting it permanently and annoying the landlord!

Tweaking small details

Upcycling furniture has never been more popular! Sustainable, fun and creates one-of-a-kind pieces, it gives a room that extra little touch of you, without that much effort or impact! @renting.hacks makes the most of her rented home, based in south east London with these cute little hexagon knob additions to what was a plain jane cupboard.

‘Such an easy way to update a tired looking chest of drawers! We got this one from Ebay for just £30 and the hexagon door pulls for just £12, quick and easy!’

DIY projects

A little initiative goes a long way! Nothing says ‘rented’ or ‘impermanent’ like a lack of a headboard. The bed floats in the room with pillows up against a hard wall, seeming ungrounded and random in the space. But with an artistic hand and some careful measuring like has done, you can create a grounding place and an art feature all in one!

‘A little makeover…DIY panelling and a lick of paint! I was never fully happy with this room so decided to give it a little TLC. I removed the old headboard and decided to panel the back. We found the most gorgeous piece of wood (from an old wardrobe) so we sanded and stained it before fitting it on top…Finally, added some fresh white bedding, lots of cushions and some decor bits.’

Sticker tiles/Sticky vinyl


A post shared by (@homewithcarvell)

These are such a good idea to really switch up the feeling of a space, whether it’s your bathroom or your kitchen. Kitchen in rented places can often feel impersonal and aren’t the easiest to make your own. But sticky tiles and sticky vinyl mean you can choose your design for your surfaces and even portions of the wall if you like!

‘Vinyl sticky back paper is literally my best friend, you can disguise any surfaces you don’t like or want to change to fit your colour scheme. You can even do this with furniture you might have to keep (if your apartment is furnished). I’ve used mine to cover up the surface over the sink as it wasn’t to my taste and it made a huge difference.

‘So, again similar to the sticky vinyl [sticky tiles] work in the same way! Peel and stick. I’ve actually used mine…as a little splash back, but again you can do this in the kitchen and it would change it up completely! I’ve even used mine on my bath rack to make it look a little bit more unique!’

Invest in accessories

Chances are, if you’re renting now, you may be renting again in the future. Investing ina  few key accessories that make a house a home makes a temporary place feel much more inviting and welcoming for the renter. Furniture, plants and rugs like the one that @renter.hacks invested in. Ideal for making a place seem that little bit more lived in, it adds a cosiness that feels like home.

‘I find using a lot of rugs in a rented flat useful to eliminate our footstep noise for the flat below, also helps as most rented accommodation has pretty rubbish flooring! I struggled to find a large rug on a budget but found this one on eBay for just £68 for 200x300cm… if you’re willing to put the time in, you can find some real bargains on Ebay.’



A post shared by Meghana Bhat (@diymegs)

Ambience is any space is key in determining its atmosphere and the lighting in a room is a huge part of that. Lamps can make a difference to the harsh overhead lighting, but they can sometimes be too big, or awkward for a space, like in the kitchen or bathroom. A real gamechanger are LED lights. No electrical connection needed, they can simply be attached to the underside of a kitchen cabinet to provide over counter lighting, or as spotlights around a bathroom mirror.

There are plenty available in IKEA that will suit lots of different spaces and create a play of shadow and light, highlighting the best parts of the room and creating a cosy atmosphere.