City Life, Tips & Tricks

Design Within Lease: 9 Ways to Decorate and Personalize Your Rental

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When you move into a new apartment or rental home, you want to make it your own. But often times, that pesky lease document gets in the way of all the various things you want to do to decorate and personalize your pad. We get it. Owners want to be sure you leave your rental the way you found it – so that when you move on, they can rent it to the next person. This typically means no significant modifications like drilling or nailing holes, changing flooring, or painting walls with anything beyond standard paint colors like whites, creams and beiges.

This can all feel incredibly restricting – especially if you can see how, with just a few tweaks, you could make your place feel homier. Well, guess what? You’re not the first person to deal with this issue. In fact, a whole segment of the design industry has popped up to serve these very needs and help you circumvent pesky lease restrictions on what you can and cannot decorate. The important thing is to avoid doing nothing, which is a great way to feel terrible when you’re home. Rental or not, you spend a lot of time at home, so you might as well enjoy it.

While the options are myriad, we recommend focusing primarily on larger efforts that accomplish more visually, attending to the more subtle details second. This means floors, walls, kitchens, bathrooms, windows — and last but not least, lighting.

And remember, before you lift a finger, check the fine print on your lease document to be sure even the slightest modification doesn’t dip into your security deposit. If it does, it’s worth submitting any potential change in writing to your landlord prior to getting started.


Removable Command Hooks

All Modern Designer Wall Decals

Japanese Washi Masking Tape

Walls Need Love – Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper Collections

Peel-and-Stick Backsplash Tile

Emma Jeffs Window Film

Mirth Studio Peel-and-Stick Vinyl Flooring

Velcro Hangables & Moulding and Millwork from Lowes

Philips Hue Lighting

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