Decorating a rental property can be a challenge. Even if you only plan on renting for 12-24 months, you still want to make it feel like home, right? It’s important for tenants to remember the rules of their Property Manager when it comes to customization. Iron Creek Properties wants to refund 100% of the Security Deposit, but that means tenants have to adhere to the rules when it comes to changing paint colors or putting molly holes in walls. Here are 5 fantastic, non-permanent decorating tips to really spruce up your rental property:
Tip #1: You can change the light fixtures.
Dated light fixtures or ugly ceiling fans are easy to swap out and can instantly update the look and feel of a room. Store the original fixtures in a well-labeled box so that you are able to re-install the originals when you move. Your new fixtures can move with you when the time comes. If your budget doesn’t allow for brand new fixtures, look for ways to update the lighting with some DIY creativity and low wattage light bulbs. A globe cut in half, a drum shade, or even a birdcage can be placed over existing fixtures to add interest and personality.
Tip #2: Update the walls with removable decor.
There are many ways to update plain color walls without causing damage. Remember that Iron Creek tenants are not allowed to paint the walls without prior written approval from a Property Manager. Here is a solid tip that doesn’t break the rules: try updating the walls with removable wallpaper, starch and fabric, fabric covered foam board, or even maps hung with removable tape. These methods will allow you to stay on trend without anything permanent or damaging to the existing decor. Google ‘DIY removable walls’ for additional ideas.
Tip #3: Use rugs to cover existing flooring.
Sometimes a rental property will have rooms with less-than-incredible flooring. Since flooring types are generally something outside the control of both the tenants and Property Manager, covering those with an area rug is an easy fix. In general, items like unsightly carpet, tile, or linoleum can easily be covered up. If budget is a concern, look for plain, inexpensive rugs that can be stenciled and painted with regular latex paint to get a custom look on-the-cheap. Find rugs that match well with the existing paint colors and the personal belongings you’ve brought into that particular room. As an added bonus, when you cover a hardwood floor with an area rug, it helps prevent scratches and gouges that would go above and beyond ‘normal wear and tear’.
Tip #4: Add color with toss pillows, throws, curtains, and painted lamps/furniture.
For many reasons (including ease of repainting or to give tenants a neutral base to work with), the walls of your rental are likely to be some sort of ‘antique white’ or ‘builder’s beige’. If you don’t like it, however, have no fear! You can add flavor and spice to your new digs with the help of colorful accessories. Toss pillows and colorful throws are fantastic and inexpensive ways to add pops of color throughout a room. Choose window treatments in chic geometric patterns to update the space and remember to hang curtain rods “wide and high” above your windows to elongate the look of the windows and add drama. Painted lamps and furniture also do wonders to incorporate more color into a room. Also, tenants should remember that they can request permission to change the existing paint color in a room (at their expense). Ask your Property Manager for more details!
Tip #5: Bring some natural decor elements from the outside into your space.
When you’re a renter (or heck, even an owner), bring the outside indoors. Every room in your house will look better with fresh flowers and plants. A small nosegay on a nightstand or in the washroom goes a long way towards making your home feel more cheerful. If keeping plants alive is a concern, consider using hardy succulents or air plants which do not require as much watering. Branches, acorns, shells, and pine cones all can be used seasonally to add warmth and charm to your space. The best part? Sans a couple hours of time-investment, that stuff is either really cheap or free. If you’ve admired a friends plant from afar, ask for a cutting to start your own. This packs added punch during the dreary winter months when greenery is hard to find outside.