DIY décor solutions for rented homes

when you're renting, there are restraints to the types of home improvements you can make. Lets face it, most landlords aren't open to drastic changes to their home - even when YOU - the tenant - are incurring the cost. So how can you spruce up a tired looking rental and make it your own?

The tumultuous state of the housing market has given rise to a new ‘generation of renters’. Apparently, the average age of a homeowner in the UK has skyrocketed to 38. Regardless of age, buyers and renters alike want to make their living space look as magnificent as possible; an Englishman’s home is his castle as they say.

But when you're renting, there are restraints to the types of home improvements you can make. Lets face it, most landlords aren't open to drastic changes to their home - even when YOU - the tenant - are incurring the cost. So how can you spruce up a tired looking rental and make it your own?

Some changes are perfect for the handy tenant - subtle renovations can make a drastic difference and give the property a face lift.

Are all you renters ready to mark your territory? Here are some tips to help get you started:

  1. Get stuck in. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. This one is not a deal breaker - when you can’t DIY, MyBuilder.com is a great way to find local recommended tradesmen. Always remember to get few competitive quotes before deciding who to hire.
  1. Lick of paint. Ok, so not every landlord likes the thought of their tenants running wild with a paintbrush. But many are, as long as you’re willing to buy the paint and/or handle the project yourself. Stress to your landlord that you’ll stick to neutral colours, they’ll want to know that they can rent the place out again without having to re-paint. Want professional help? Find local painters and decorators to do it for you at a good rate.

  2. Temporary wallpaper. It’s unlikely that your landlord will allow you slap on crazy patterned wallpaper. There are some great websites out there offering the temporary wallpaper or funky wall stickers as solution.

  3. Fill up an open plan. A kitchen breakfast bar is really practical and they look cool, especially in open plan apartments that lack furniture. The place will benefit from a piece of furniture separating the kitchen from the living room. If you’re feeling original, get a carpenter to create your very own bespoke breakfast bar.

  4. Go rugged. Rental properties often have dirty, tired carpets or scuffed, chipped laminate flooring. These are often unsightly. A slick rug can be an easy way to cover the takeaway and alcohol stains of past tenants. And - you can take them with you to the next place.

  5. Lay some vinyl. Speaking from experience, both my bathroom and kitchen floors were ancient and in poor condition. I laid some cheap vinyl flooring to give my bathroom the tiled effect and kitchen new laminate feel. It’s that easy!

  6. Feature Furniture. Go out and buy a large painting/picture or decadent mirror. You can put this against the wall as a backdrop, or front and centre, both inject a bit of your personality and functionality. If you’re a little lady like me, mind Health and Safety and get a local handyman to help you hang large mirrors/pictures.

  7. A modern touch. Whip out your screwdriver and replace old, kitchen/bathroom knobs and door handles with something more modern or decorative. Keep the old ones, then you can replace them when you move.

Disclaimer: Always check your tenancy agreement or ask your landlord before making major changes. If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to ask for professional help - DIY disasters can cost you a bundle to fix.

By Kay Fleming, the eternal renter
With thanks to Mybuilder.com