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The Best Renters Hacks for the Living Room


Greetings friend.  Today starts a new monthly series that has been on my mind forever,  The Best Renters Hacks.  It is a monthly collaboration of DIYs and decorating tips for a different spaces in your home shared by home decor/DIY bloggers who are experienced renters.   We are kicking off this series with the living room.

We have lived in 7 homes in the last 11 years and 6 of those have been rentals.   I’ve enjoyed turning each temporary abode into a place that feels like home with go to rental hacks that I have perfected over the years.  Practice makes perfect my friends and these are my favorite tips to share.  Whether you are a military family, move frequently or a long term renter, don’t wait to make your place feel like yours.  Unpack immediately and display your favorite things.  Try something new, take chances, and think outside the box!

Buy pieces of furniture that has dual purpose or can be used in multiple rooms.  Small side tables, garden stools, and flat surfaces that have storage are work horses.

We have a storage bench that has been used in our foyer, at the foot of the bed, as a coffee table, extra seating for the dining room, and stored under our sofa table for DVD storage.  rental living room furniture arrangement

Eclectic Summer Home Tour

Be creative with blank wall space!

Hang artwork with command strips when there are “no holes in the wall” restrictions or to make your moving out walk through easy.

wall gallery in rental living room

Emerald Isle Home Tourhang art with command strips

Eclectic Home Tour

Create a focal wall with washi tape.   Sometimes, it’s hard to fill up a large blank space or maybe the wall color isn’t appealing.  Use this fun and easy technique for instant impact. post-feature-washi-tape-wall

Geometric Washi Tape Wall

Use something unusual for a “gallery wall”.   One of my favorite things to do is to peruse a thrift store or dollar store for inexpensive items to turn into a gallery wall.  Also perfect for those large wall spaces to fill!  If you are using light weight items, poster or small small command strips are a dime a dozen. foyer fan wall for rental art

DIY Foyer Fan wall 

Use non traditional pieces of furniture for small spaces like this campaign style chest turned tv cabinet (plus more storage!).   As renters, we have to be flexible when we move.  This cute cabinet has been a bedside table, sofa side table, and now holds our down sized tv.

painted campaign dresser for tv stand

Winter Eclectic Home Tour

Hire an electrician to switch out ugly ceiling light fixtures (if you DIY, PLEASE turn off the power source first).  You can also create a DIY cover like this floral paper lantern.

DIY floral paper lantern DIY Floral Paper Lantern

Take down vertical blinds and store them under the bed when possible.  Hang light weight curtains and rods with command hooks for a renter friendly solution.   Hang them higher to make your room appear larger.  I’m always amazed at how window treatments when hung properly transform a room completely!hang curtains high for taller walls

Emerald Isle Home Tour

Place rugs over carpet, ugly linoleum, tile, anywhere!   We can change the floors in our rental but we can distract from ugly ones with pretty rugs.  They are great to lighten up a dark space, or to add a punch of color.  If you do move frequently, choose a colorful pattern if you’re confident it could work in any room and all your accessories, otherwise, stick to a neutral pattern/color.  (Please read this post if you are not sure how to choose rug size, style, or type.)renter decorating tips - use rugs

Accessorize!  Mixing a couple of high end pieces (maybe a nice piece of art or designer pillow!)  with DIY, thrifted, or hand me down decor creates a curated, eclectic look that can really make your rental feel like home. pull seating arrangements close together in the winter

Winter Decorating Tips for After the Holidays

Two of my favorite things to decorate with, plants and books!  There is just something comforting about having your favorite books displayed or within an arms reach that make your space more enjoyable to be in. renter decorating tips

Easy to care for plants are a great way to finish off a space and make it come alive.   I also love using faux succulents in my vignettes. use plants in a rental to make it feel like home

Do you have any favorite tips you would like to add?

I’ve asked my friend to share their best renter hacks, DIYs, and decorating tips for the living room and I can’t wait to see them.  Won’t you join me?the best renters hacks

Up to Date Interiors | Monica Wants It | Domicile 37 | The Home I Create

More renters decorating tips!

bookcase styling tips decorating tips for renters


  1. Kathy OMG you are the master the of decorating rentals! I love love your living room and your tips! Especially the one about using plants and books, I definitely do both. I’ve been trying to convince hubby that we should switch out the light fixtures in this house {we did in our last rental} but he actually likes them *rolls eyes* LOL. Thanks again for putting this series together.

    1. Thank you Linda! Your house is just gorgeous. I’m waiting for the day that I can actually paint walls again. I’m so glad you are sharing your rental experience too!

  2. I love your tips and while I was browsing your site the one thing that came to my mind was how I wish I followed your blog early in my marriage to help guide me through all that rental life and decor has to offer. You truly are a master at rental living and making it your own. You always have great tips!

  3. Thank you for sharing these tips! As an idea, for a wall you would love to use as an accent wall, but don’t to (or can’t) hang wallpaper, instead of gluing the wallpaper to the wall, a good idea is to cut the paper into picture frames (preferably with thin frame borders) and hang the pictures up. Hope this helps!

  4. Hi Kathy ,
    First time to your blog. I am not a renter but looking for ideas can happen anywhere. There is a photo in this blog post f a rug in front of the mantle with “stove” These are my colours (not a typo I am Canadian ) light background with blue and purple print. Is it possible to get the info on the rug…company etc.
    am going to read more now. 🙂
    Kind Regards

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m glad you stopped by. That rug I purchased at a store called Nitori in Japan. They do have a website but I’m not sure if they are located in other countries.

  5. Thanks Kathy,
    Not sure I could talk my husband into bringing one home next time he goes on business, LOL
    I will look it up anyway.

    1. lol! Maybe overstock? Some of my favorite Canadian blogs are PMQforTwo, The DIY Mommy, and The Happy Housie. Maybe they would have better resources for rugs. RugsUSA ships to you but there is an extra shipping cost. Good luck!!

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