3 Damage-Free Decorating Tips for Renters

by Barbara Rybicki 07/25/2022

Many renters feel stifled by their inability to make interior design decisions about the property. Painting the walls, installing shelves or changing out light fixtures are all things most property managers don’t allow. However, there are still lots of things you can do to decorate your walls when renting without risking noticeable damage. Here are three DIY decoration ideas perfect for your apartment or rented space:

Accent With Removable Wallpaper

Wallpaper has never been easier and more accessible to renters. Temporary wallpaper comes in many styles with countless patterns and colors to choose from. Some retailers even offer custom prints for the artistic type. While the aesthetic possibilities are endless, the more important thing is the ease of use. Temporary wallpaper works similarly to a giant sticker: it’s made of thin fabric with adhesive on one side, either covering the entire surface or at the edges. You can cut it (and sometimes order it) in specific shapes and sizes to fit any room.

Despite being significantly less hassle than traditional wallpaper, it can still feel like an extensive project to cover an entire apartment or even a single room. Using temporary wallpaper to create an accent wall is a quick way to transform a space without messy paint or paste. When it’s time to move out (or change your design) you can simply remove the panels without damaging the walls. Some varieties will even re-stick to use multiple times.

Dress Up Your Windows

Many rental properties are outfitted with hardware for hanging curtains, but many have little more than basic mini blinds. If you have brackets or a curtain rod already installed, you’re in luck: to decorate your windows it’s as easy as finding the right curtains. If you don’t have a curtain rod and cannot make holes in the walls, there are some alternatives.

One alternative is to use tension rods. You can find this type of curtain rod available at any home goods store in choices of color, style and finish. Tension rods go on the inside of the window casing and don’t require any nails or screws. You can also use the heavier-duty command hooks to hang very lightweight curtains. To avoid damaging plaster, put a piece of duct tape between the adhesive and the wall.

Mimic Built-Ins With Modular Bookcases

If you’re wanting to add some depth and dimension to a space without risking your security deposit, modular shelves are a great way to mimic the presence of built-in cabinetry. Many retailers sell options of various shapes and sizes including the popular stackable cube shelving units. For the most authentic built-in aesthetic, opt for tall narrow bookcases. These present great together or set on either edge of a wall to create that traditional presentation on an otherwise empty wall. Plus, it adds more storage and space to display your favorite accessories and more.

These are just a few ideas for rental-friendly decorating. Every rental agreement is different, so before you take on any major decorating project review any rules about damage liability. This will help you personalize your space while avoiding any expensive surprises in the future.

About the Author

Barbara Rybicki

I am originally from Poland but have been a Grafton resident for almost thirty years.

I come from the Hospitality Business. I used to work in 5 Star Marriott Hotel Management. That experience taught me how to provide excellent customer service. That "Marriott" way of doing business instilled in me over the years helps me tremendously to succeed as a local real estate broker.

Nothing is more exciting to me than gratifying feeling I get from helping people reach their real estate needs and dreams. You can count on me to always do what is in your best interest. I will be there for you throughout the entire transaction making sure you understand each step of the buying or selling process. I will guide you with great communication skills  and hard work ethic. 

I have not only passion for my job but also extensive real estate expertise. Whether it is preparing and staging your home to sell for top dollar or helping you purchase a perfect home, feel free to reach out to me so we can start this process together.

I specialize in marketing and selling residential real estate in Grafton, Upton, Northborough, Westborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury, Milford, Hopkinton and Metro West area.

I can not wait to meet you!

Awards and Designations:

Realtor Designation since 2005

Licensed MA Broker since 2009

Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)

Accredited Staging Professional (ASP)

Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® since 2005

National Association of Realtors (NAR) since 2005

Multi-Million Dollar Producer

Remax Executive 100% Club 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018

Remax Platinum Club 2015

Remax Hall of Fame Club 2017