According to statistics from Generation Rent, around 18 million people in the UK rent their home from a private landlord – a statistic that illustrates the sheer ubiquity of domestic rental in housing. There is a wide variety of rental agreements and arrangements within this figure, from simple lodging arrangements to entire unfurnished homes.
While rental contracts can differ greatly between landlords and letting agents, a great many of them share at least one thing in common – a ban on any permanent changes to the property. No painting, no nails in walls, even no blue-tac in case of wall staining. But without decoration, a house simply cannot become a home. What can you do to decorate your rental property without changing it permanently?
Permanent decoration work is usually with reference to a home’s walls; you might hammer a nail into the wall to hang a picture, or even install shelving by drilling into the wall. This is in addition to any painting work you might wish to undertake.
With regard to painting, some landlords might be more lenient than others – and especially so if their intention was to paint the walls after you ended your tenancy anyway. Still, a landlord may say no here – so what can you do instead?
There are adhesive strips (eg Command Strips) available that allow you to stick items to walls without damaging them in any way. These strips can be used to install hooks for hanging pictures or bulkier items and removed by pulling a tag at the bottom. White-tac may be used to stick up paper and posters, since it will not stain the same way cheaper blue-tacs might.
A space is not largely defined by its walls, though, and there may be some opportunities for you to introduce your aesthetic through furniture instead. Student lets are typically furnished, meaning furniture and white goods are provided as part of the tenancy agreement. Professional lets, meanwhile, are typically unfurnished.
If your rental is a furnished one, you may be able to request your landlord removes furniture to storage – allowing you to invest in your own, and cultivate your own interior design in the process.
Décor By Ornament
This vision can be furthered with a comprehensive and targeted approach to decoration by ornamentation. Personal items and trinkets imbue a space with a life all of its own and can allow you to create a truly sentimental home environment without making any material changes to your rental property.
Start with side tables and your coffee table. Candles and pottery can be used to add colour and depth to your space, alongside tasteful books and magazines. Houseplants can also add a great deal of life, whether a small air plant hanging from a curtain rail or a large monstera presiding over your doorway.