25 Apartment Decorating Ideas and Design Tips for Renters

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When it comes to decorating a rental apartment or home, the struggle is real! Over 50% of renters are dissatisfied with not being able to customize or improve their homes.

It’s easy to feel discouraged by your landlord’s rules or your lease’s limitations. Most apartments weren’t created with storage or space saving in mind, either.

But don’t let these restrictions stop you from making your apartment feel like home. Simple, practical and damage-free rental decorating ideas are within reach!

Whether you’re a first-time renter or a long-term tenant, you’ll appreciate these 25 apartment decorating ideas to jazz up every corner of your space.

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apartment decorating ideas kwik hang no drill curtains

Dos and Don’ts for Decorating a Rental

First, let’s review what you should and shouldn’t do before you start decorating your apartment or rental home. 

DO:

  • Review the rules and terms of your lease: Decorating rules can differ depending on your landlord or management company. Be sure to read the fine print, especially when it comes to walls, paint or switching out fixtures, for instance. Ask questions if you’re not sure.
  • Use damage-free solutions whenever possible: Most renters spend at least $600 on their security deposit. Don’t expect to get your deposit back if you leave behind any wall damage. Look for rental decorating ideas that don’t require nails, screws or drilling.
  • Shop around and be thrifty: For most renters, apartment dwelling is a temporary situation. If you know you’ll eventually move or purchase a home, don’t splurge on costly furniture or decor that you might not be able to keep in the future. Plus, it’s smart and sustainable to buy secondhand or refresh older pieces!
  • Keep storage top of mind: On average, one-bedroom apartments are 714 square feet, and studios are only 472 square feet. If you’re working with a small space, consider storage and space limitations whenever you think about buying something new for your apartment or rental home. Is this the best use of your small space?
  • Utilize natural light: To make a small apartment, condo or home feel bigger, brighter and warmer, take advantage of natural light as much as possible. It’s a great way to save on utility costs as well.

DON’T:

  • Repaint or change the flooring: Most landlords won’t allow tenants to make these major changes. Play it safe and avoid making floor updates to your rental. 
  • Install “permanent” fixtures: Changing light fixtures or appliances on your own isn’t wise if you’re renting. You’ll find it cumbersome to deal with when your lease is up, and your landlord or property management might ding you.
  • Overcrowd or overdo it with decor: Keep your rental unit clutter-free, so you can maximize the space you have. Choose practical pieces that serve multiple uses and aren’t bulky. Invest in smart storage solutions if you’re prone to clutter.
  • Buy everything at once: Curating a beautiful, functional apartment that abides by decorating rules requires creativity and patience. Don’t rush the process — take your time searching for pieces that work well with your space.
  • Overspend: Be realistic about your budget. Try to shop for pieces that you’ll want to keep for years to come. Invest in quality items that you use frequently, and trim your budget for items that won’t get as much use or are just for decoration.

Apartment Living Room Decorating Ideas

A living room serves many functions, especially in a rental apartment or home. It’s a space for gathering, entertaining, relaxing, studying or dining – so you need to make it count!

Here are our top five apartment living room decorating ideas and tips to optimize your space and bring in the natural light.

Apartment Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Apartment kitchens are notoriously small, so you’ll want to make use of every inch of your kitchen’s available space.

Check out our top five hacks to update the kitchen in your apartment or rental home — without compromising any valuable space.

Apartment Bedroom Decorating Ideas

Breathe life into your bedroom with these practical, stylish and landlord-friendly decorating hacks!

Apartment Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Want to maximize space in your small apartment or rental home bathroom? These bathroom decorating and storage ideas might be just what you’re looking for.

Apartment Patio Decorating Ideas

Create an outdoor retreat you’ll love! Check out five ways to elevate the patio or balcony in your apartment or rental home.

Surefire Solutions to Decorate a Rental

You don’t have to break the bank or spend hours researching ideas to decorate your apartment or rental home.

Kwik-Hang’s damage-free curtain rod brackets are the perfect solution for renters! Just align the brackets to your window frame, tap them in with a hammer and hang curtains or drapes instantly — no other tools needed.

You can also add Kwik-Hang’s no-drill curtain holdbacks to complete your window treatments and create the space of your dreams. Our holdbacks feature the same patented damage-free technology as our bestselling brackets.

Kwik-Hang curtain hardware is as easy to install (and remove) as a thumbtack! The brackets are safe, sturdy and hold up to 20 pounds.

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