5 Decorating Tips For First Time Renters

October 29, 2017

So, you’ve signed the lease and you can’t wipe that cheesy smile off your face. You’re finally taking the leap and moving into your first rental apartment! This can be a rather daunting experience, especially if you’re used to the comfort of your parents home. I remember when I moved out not too long ago, I was overwhelmed with excitement but also quite nervous to be living on my own.

Looking back, I am so happy with the choice I’ve made, I especially enjoy being able to decorate my space exactly how I like it. Based on my experience, I am going to dive into 5 decorating tips that will make your new space feel more like home. This will help you settle in and get comfortable knowing you don’t have to break the bank doing it!


1. Shop your parents home or your old bedroom

So, this has helped me a lot, kitting out an apartment from scratch can become quite a pricey exercise. Why not raid you parents home or garage for any interesting or cute items. This could be an art piece, vase, your granny’s old side table, basically anything you can use to make your space feel cosy and comfortable. Having some pieces from home will also help you feel more acquainted with the space, it will make you feel at home. Surrounding yourself with familiar items is said you help with nesting.

Once you have all your big items, you can buy some accessories to add to your look and make your new home more stylish and unique. In my case I took most of my furniture from my bedroom back home, as I knew it would fit perfectly into the look and feel I wanted to create in my new apartment. It allowed me to cut costs and save the extra cash for some DIY projects. Another perk was that my parents could now use my room as a walk-in closet! A win win situation!


2. Get your hands dirty with some paint

I can’t say this enough, paint is everything. A lick of paint can make all the difference, especially when you have limited furniture to begin with. My favourite paint for DIY’s will have to be Chalk paint (you can find quite a variety of colours at Builders Warehouse), it’s so easy to use as it requires no sanding or primer. It can be used on wood, walls, and fabric too, imagine the possibilities!

For furniture:

It’s perfect for adding some life into furniture pieces you either collected from you parents or bought at a second-hand store. With a quick wipe, some gorgeous paint and new hardware you can have it looking even better than before. I love buying second hand wood furniture, it’s the perfect canvas for a quick style update.


Image found on Thirty Eighth Street

For walls:

If you are planning to stay in your apartment for at least 2 to 3 years, you could consider painting some walls to make the space feel new. Another option would be to paint one focal wall, it usually makes quite a dramatic change to a space. Be sure to get sign-off from your landlord before going ahead as most rental companies has strict rules and regulations. Also, if you do plan to paint, I would suggest choosing a neutral or light colour that could easily be repainted to its original colour when move day eventually comes.

If you’re not keen on painting or you are just planning on staying short term, check out tip number 3.


3. Creating interest on your “blank canvas” walls

For first time renters, you will quickly realise that you are quite limited in the changes you can make to your space. When I moved into my apartment I was looking forward to hanging my artwork and mirrors on the walls, but in my contract, they specifically stated that I couldn’t put any holes into the walls. Well, how was I supposed to create a homey feel with blank walls?

Luckily there is a very useful product available by Pattex called No More Nails, they have a variety of options to choose from depending on your hanging requirements. If you are hanging light pieces I would go for the No More Nails Tape, it allows you to hang artwork without damaging the wall.


5 Decorating Tips For First Time Renters

Image found on Coco Lapine Design, Home by Idestrup Via Lokalbolig


If you haven’t invested in artwork yet, or your budget has run out (this can happen very quickly). Don’t fret, luckily for us access to a good camera is easy, you can quickly take a couple of photos using your smart phone and have it printed out. I printed my photos in black and white to create a cohesive feel and created a feature wall using black gallery photo frames.

You can also opt for sticking your photos down with washi tape, see this cool example I found on Pinterest below. Don’t you just love it!


5 Tips for First Time Renters

Image found on Pinterest

4. Be selective on your splurges

When dressing your rental, you need to think ahead, focus on buying furniture that can easily fit into your future home. Don’t splurge on custom pieces, rather treat your space as you would your closet. Spend that hard-earned cash on investment pieces, like a good bed/mattress, sofa, tables, and chairs. These are pieces you know will be with you for the long haul, and would need to be able to stand the test of time.

When choosing your big-ticket items consider a neutral palette like grey, black, beige or even navy blue. This allows you to go crazy with colour when decorating as you won’t be limited to a specific colour scheme.


5. Adding pops of colour

Colour, colour, colour! I find it hard to choose one accent colour for my apartment as my taste varies quite often, and having to stick to it for the long haul just scares me. That’s why I always inject colour into my home using small decor accents. Pieces that can easily be replaced without costing too much. So, if you ever get bored of that bright Magenta you were once crazy about, you can easily update your space by replacing those small items with your new favourite colour.

I personally enjoy neutral spaces with accents of either rose gold or brass. It adds an extra layer of texture and shine into a space and compliments both cool and warm tones. At the moment my palette consists of black, white, and raw timber, I’ve included accents of brass through lamps, curtains and scatter cushions and pops of green through plants. I love bringing colour into my space with plants and flowers, it adds life into your home while also making it feel well curated and fresh. Wouldn’t you agree?


Image found on Planete Deco


Image found on Gravity Home Blog


Tell me, were these tips helpful? If so, would you like me to do a Part 2 on this topic?

Please comment down below, looking forward to your response!

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