The time is quickly approaching when you’ll likely be moving into your new place ahead of the academic year, whether that be student halls or a privately rented apartment. Hooray to your own space, but boo-hoo to the bland interior that usually accompanies student accommodation. As always, we come up with solutions to your everyday problems, so read on for some renter-friendly decorating tips that we swear by.
If like us, your tenancy agreement came with a subtle warning to not paint the walls, drill holes, or basically add any type of personality to your space, then you’re not alone. Luckily, we have ways around the strict rules that don’t ruin your image as the perfect tenant while adding a bit of life to your bright white or magnolia walls.
If your phone storage is completely taken up with cheesy holiday photos and aesthetic shots of your favourite city or food, then we’ll go ahead and assume you love capturing the happy moments in life, so why not display them and share the joy? This is where command strips will be your best friend. It’s so easy, just buy a pack of command strips, a few frames varying in sizes, and print your photos before hanging them up on the wall. This way there’ll be no filling holes at the end of your tenancy, just a gentle pull on the frames, and they’re off hassle-free.
If painting a statement wall isn’t an option, a large tapestry hanging may be a good alternative. There are so many options to choose from with a quick Google search, from intricate boho patterns to simplistic geometric designs, and if none tickle your fancy, you could even get creative and paint your own design on a large piece of plain fabric. Whichever option you decide to go with, it’s a great way to add character and bring colour into the room.
We’ll be honest, peel-and-stick wallpaper is a new one for us, but we’ve heard great things and we’re willing to try it. That’s right, apparently, there is a type of wallpaper out there that you can stick on to your wall and then remove after a few months as if nothing ever happened, and according to extensive research, aka DIY TikTok, it really works. So, if you’re not afraid of trying new things, or a little bit of risk, we recommend trying this hack.
If you don’t have the budget for big pieces of furniture or the patience for DIY, soft furnishings are one of the most common and effective ways to bring life into your home and elevate the look. It’s easy to get caught up in extravagant ideas and pricey homeware, but don’t forget the classics, they can really make a difference.
Have an empty-looking sofa? Chuck some cushions on it. Your bed is looking a bit flat? Layer a bunch of pillows. Got a sad-looking chair? Add a seat pad. What we’re trying to say is that cushions are the answer to a lot of our homeware problems, and they can be a great way to make your seating cosier and more inviting. You can use a bright-coloured or funky patterned cushion to add a statement look or keep it timeless with a plain cushion that matches the tone of your sofa. Either way, you’re one step closer to having a more put-together home.
By far one of our favourite ways to warm up a room and add a decorative touch is by adding rugs, it’s basically art for your floor, so what’s not to love? Admittedly they can be quite expensive, especially when you want to go for the large sizes but there are ways around it, and we love to keep our eyes on second-hand groups and stores like Freecycle and Trash Nothing. It’s quite common to find gems on there for a fraction of the original price, if not free, so give it a try.
Probably the most affordable way to add character and cosiness to your living room is through blankets and you can do it in so many different ways. If you’ve ever seen our styled apartments on our Instagram, you’ll know we love the classic throw over the bed and make it look like it just casually scrunched itself up in the perfect way or roll it and place it in a wicker basket next to the sofa. It’s so simple yet makes your home look so cosy and lived in without making it cluttered.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or genuinely love to get creative, DIY is a great way to make your house a home, and the great thing is that the possibilities are endless. From creating your own art pieces to upcycling furniture, it adds a unique and personal touch to your space and is one you shouldn’t bash until you try it.
Why oh why do rental properties come with such outdated furniture and sofas in the most outrageous colours or patterns? (Unless you’re renting from Manchester Apartments, of course!) A brown floral sofa may work for some people but it’s definitely not the vibe we’re after, so if you’re in the same boat, check this.
We’re sure you’ve seen sofa covers floating around the internet and if you can splash the cash on them then go you, but if you’re wanting a second option then investing in a huge blanket is a great alternative. Make sure it’s big enough to cover your whole sofa, then just place it on top, tuck it in and secure it with Velcro command strips. That way you have a brand-new sofa for almost £0.
One thing that always comes to mind when we think of beautiful interiors is huge artwork pieces as the focal point in a room, but unfortunately for renters, this isn’t always doable. One because those works of art can cost thousands, and two because we haven’t found command strips strong enough to hold up that amount of weight yet.
As always though, we have a solution. All you’ll need is the biggest canvas you can find, some pre-mixed plaster, and some sort of tool. Once you have everything you need, let your creative freedom take over and start layering up the plaster on the canvas, using your tool of choice to create different textures and patterns. Once dry, you can leave it white or add some colour with paints and lean the canvas against a wall for your own statement art piece.
We hope you’ve found some of these tips useful and try them out in your new home, but if you’re still in need of a little extra inspiration, we always post our decorated apartments on Instagram so you may want to give us a follow.