9 décor ideas that won’t put your rental deposit at risk

Private Property South Africa
Veronica Logan

When renting, it is often difficult to make the space feel like your own whilst ensuring your rental deposit and a happy landlord are waiting for you when you move out.

The good news is that there are plenty of simple and cost-effective ways to make your rental a “home sweet home”.

Here are some of our favourite ways to personalise your space without breaking the bank or the rules:

1. Removable wallpaper

Wallpaper has come a long way since the days of glue mishaps and hours of elbow grease! Most hardware or home-décor stores stock “peel and stick” wallpaper sheets in a variety of colours and designs. This can be used to decorate an entire room, however, if that seems out of the question or budget, consider doing one wall and turning it into a feature wall. Alternatively, you can even use washi tape to create your own wallpaper design as these are a lot cheaper than wallpaper.

2. Wall decals

Whether store-bought or customised, these are another great way to personalise specific areas of your home. Wall decals are super easy to apply, and if applied in a repeating pattern across a wall, they can take on the look of bespoke wallpaper and serve as a feature backdrop to any room. They can also be used on other surfaces in the house such as bedroom cupboards, doors or even kitchen cabinets to bring additional visual interest and charm.

3. Painting your existing furniture

Giving your existing furniture a new lease on life and bringing in pops of colour to personalise your space can be as easy as buying a tin of paint. A new coat of paint on an old coffee table or set of dining room chairs can drastically change the way a room looks and make it feel more like home without costing too much.

4. Making your own open storage display unit

Open storage is a great way of visually displaying your personal belongings. Open storage units often don’t need to be permanent fixtures which means they can be moved around and taken with you when your lease is up. Be on the lookout for discarded crates, wooden boxes or pallets that can be refurbished and made into a bookshelf or eye-catching storage unit.

5. Bringing in rugs or throws

The great thing about rugs and throws is that they bring a very real sense of your own style to any room no matter where you live or for how long. There are an assortment of homeware stores that stock different types of rugs or throws in different colours, shapes and to suit any budget. Larger rugs especially can create the illusion of space and help protect floors, or even cover up floors you don’t necessarily like but can’t change.

6. Playing with lighting

Lighting can really make a huge difference to the atmosphere of a space, and while the light fixtures do contribute to the overall vibe of the room, the bulbs themselves can be more of a statement piece, especially if you use bulbs of different wattages and strengths. Furthermore, you can play with different styles of lamp shades and place your lamps at various heights around the room i.e. on the table, on the floor or on the bookshelf to create a bit more mood and personality in your space.

7. Displaying your art without damaging the wall

Nowadays it’s much easier to display your beloved pieces of art or photo frames without the need for drilling into the wall or using nails. Products such as removable hooks, clips, tacks and double-sided tape are relatively cheap, easy to find at local hardware stores and won’t leave a mark when removed. The internet is also full of useful tips and tricks on how to use everyday items such as string, clothes pegs and coat hangers to showcase your memories and artistic flair.

8. Upgrading your shower head

This one might not have crossed your mind, but changing your shower head is a relatively inexpensive yet effective way to make a big difference to your day-to-day life and make a bathroom feel like yours. Most of the time, the showerhead provided by the landlord is pretty standard, so upgrading to one that meets your individual preferences can make a world of difference both aesthetically and come shower time!

9. Bringing the outdoors in

Nature has the unique ability to make one feel at home and gives a sense of serenity that a paint swatch or furniture piece can’t quite match. Not only are indoor plants such as palms and succulents mostly self-sufficient, they also bring a beautiful source of personality and colour to any room, especially when creatively potted – in anything from bottles to watering cans and lightbulbs. You can also bring in things like driftwood or interesting branches and rocks, so your creativity can really come to the fore in owning the space with the help of the great outdoors.

At the end of the day, there are so many cheap and clever ways to make even a rented home feel like your own without putting your deposit in jeopardy. What’s more, because of their temporary nature, a lot of things can simply be removed and taken with you when you decide to leave which really is an added bonus. That being said, be sure to check your lease to understand what you can and can’t change as some landlords can be quite pedantic. Apart from that, let your imagination run wild and create something that makes you truly happy to come home to.

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