It takes time to make a rental feel like home, but with a little bit of effort it can be done. Here's how to do it without risking losing your deposit
Get creative with wall stickers
You need to scrutinise your rental agreement, before making any irreversible changes to your rental property. Some landlords will be fine with you painting the walls or wallpapering, as long as they approve the paint and paper and see it as you making an improvement on the property. Others may ask you to return the property to the original state it was in at the end of your lease.
If you don't want to do anything permanent, decals or wall stickers that peel off without a trace are the ideal alternative to paint and wallpaper. Above the ufengke Flower Peach Blossom wall decals from Amazon add a Japanese touch to an otherwise bland wall.
You can get stickers that cover tiles as well, so you can cover plain tiles with pattern and colour. There are twenty four 15cmx15cm tile stickers in the pack of Grey White Wall and Floor waterproof tile stickers shown above from Amazon.
Add some wall art
Wall art really helps to make a rental feel like home. Personalise your walls with beautifully framed original works of art, prints and photographs.
If you're concerned about knocking nails into walls you don't own, check out 3M's range of super strong picture hanging strips. These adhesive strips come in various sizes and can hold quite heavy pieces to walls without the need for nails. If you follow the instructions, they should remove off cleanly when it's time to move on too. I've tried them. I found they did the trick and came off without a mark, but you do have to follow the instructions to the letter.
Throw some rugs on the floors
When landlords furnish their properties in preparation for renting them out, they tend to cover their floors in hardwearing vinyls, tough engineered wood and neutral, hard-wearing carpets. To make a rental homely, warm and brighten up bland and boring floors with a rug. And, it's not just living rooms that benefit from rugs, they work in bedrooms, kitchens and hallways too.
Dress the windows
You don't have to live with everything your landlord leaves you. To make a rental feel homely, pack away any curtains or blinds that were up when you moved in and replace them for the period of your occupation with some more to your taste.
Switch nasty nets with more stylish window film, which is particularly handy if you live in a ground floor flat and want to keep out prying eyes from the street.
If you're renting a furnished property, you can also have fun jazzing up the furniture. Use cushions and throws to spruce up sofas and armchairs and choose colourful duvets, extra pillows and bedspreads to smarten up the beds. (see how to make your bed look like one from a boutique hotel.)
Dining chairs can have seat pads added too and for the duration of your rental you can also switch out the lampshades, toilet seat and shower curtains for ones more to your liking.
Finally to make a rental feel homely, filling the shelves and window sills with your decorative bits and pieces: books, vases, mirrors, photo frames and other treasured mementos.
Discover how you can transform your walls and furniture, without leaving a mark, with washi tape
Decorating with Japanese washi tape is on the verge of becoming a craze. Half an hour before this photo was taken these bedroom wardrobes were plain white. Using two rolls of tape in orange and taupe they were transformed into this piece of modern art.
The wardrobes look even more effective at night when the strobe shadows from the beams above the units add to the picture. The tape is easy to apply, you smooth out any bubbles with your hand as you roll it on, and it came off these wardrobes without making a mark. Always do a patch test first, to be certain it won't mark your particular surface though.
The tape comes in a host of widths, colours and patterns. And as it should peel off without leaving any residue, it's perfect for brightening up a rental property. It also lends itself well to children's bedrooms, playroom, kitchens and studies. There is a huge selection of decorative tape on Amazon.