Rental Revamp: 11 Ways to Decorate Without Losing Your Security Deposit

by Kathy Adams

This stylish DIY wall art is as easy to make and it is to remove when the time to move out comes.

Carrie Waller

Renting a home doesn't mean you have to settle for the landlord's idea of decor. Temporary solutions such as removable decals and cabinet hardware can update your space and make it feel more like home without violating your rental agreement.

Related: Find out how to make your own DIY yarn wall art

11. Embrace Tape Accents

Update plain spaces with colorful painter's tape or washi tape. These low-tack tapes peel away without leaving behind sticky residue, so you can swap them out as you see fit, or remove them completely when it's time to move, leaving no evidence behind.

Related: Get the full turotial at A Beautiful Mess

10. Cover Up with a Chic Rug

Whether you prefer a finish other than the flooring in your rental home or simply want a quieter, warmer surface under foot, an area rug has you covered. Bold, modern patterns add visual warmth and a sense of style to the space, creating a focal point for an otherwise nondescript room. Layer rugs for a play on pattern and texture.

Related: Gain more tips for layering rugs by clicking here

9. Give Cabinets a Makeover

Revamp cabinets and drawers by replacing outdated hardware with new knobs and pulls made in this century. For pulls or handles with two posts, measure the space between posts so the replacements are the right size. Save the old hardware so you can set things back as they were before you move out.

Related: Get tips for choosing the right hardware at Bob Vila

8. Chalk It Up

If your plans for a chalkboard wall have been dashed by a landlord who won't allow you to paint the walls, this option is for you. An adhesive vinyl chalkboard, available on a roll, peels and sticks over any smooth wall and peels away just as easily when it is time for you to move out -- no wallpaper paste, adhesives or special tools needed.

Related: Read the full tutorial at The Shabby Nest

7. Install Privacy Panes

Block an unsightly view even if you aren't allowed to install curtain-rod hardware by using a privacy window film. This material sticks to the window without an adhesive and is available in a number of finishes such as a faux etched glass or stained glass.

Related: Read more about decorative window film at Apartment Therapy

6. Decorate with Faux Picture Frames

No nails allowed? No problem. Use decorative washi tape to hold your favorite pictures, posters and postcards on the wall, adding design elements with additional bits of washi tape. Washi tape peels cleanly away from the walls like masking tape, but it may tear paper after being left in place for a while -- keep this in mind if taping up paper-based images for display.

Related: Find out how to make your own at Design Sponge

5. Make Your Own Wall Decals

Wall decals dress up plain walls without paint or nail holes. Make your own decals by drawing and cutting out designs on fabric in the color or pattern of your choice. Create a typography-inspired focal wall, or whip up a small decorative element such as a vine. A mixture of cornstarch and water serves as a paint-safe adhesive. Mix and layer fabrics for designs such as trees or cute insects for a child's room.

Related: Check out the step-by-step tutorial at Curbly

4. Create a Faux Chandelier

If an outdated or non-existent ceiling fixture cover detracts from the look of a room, jazz it up with a faux chandelier. Layered wax-paper discs become faux capiz shells, while a stripped-down lampshade frame serves as the structure holding the strands of faux shells to the fixture. Be sure to install low-wattage LED bulbs which emit far less heat than incandescent light bulbs.

Related: Find out how to make your own faux chanelier at Classy Clutter

3. Print Oversized Art

Turn a favorite photograph into an oversized art print by photocopying it on a wide-format printer and scanner at a local print shop. The resulting image is a tad grainy and slightly imperfect, adding an artistic touch. Frame the image with a poster frame to hang from a picture rail -- no nails needed -- or use removable poster putty to secure it to the wall.

Related: Read more about printing oversized art on eHow

2. Make a Portable Backsplash

Decorate the space between kitchen counters and cabinets with a homemade portable backsplash. Sturdy cardboard, fiberboard or stiff plastic serves as the backing material, cut to fit the space snugly. Add glass, ceramic or vinyl tiles, or faux tin tiles to create the desired look, gluing the pieces to the backing board with construction adhesive. Simply remove the entire backing board and take the backsplash with you when you move out.

Related: Head over to The Social Home for the step-by-step instructions

1. Hang Budget-Friendly DIY Wall Art

Make your own yarn wall art hangings. The best part about this project? From the color of yarn to the size to the shape, they're 100% customizable. Use thumbtacks to hang this lightweight art for minimal wall damage that's easy to fix when the time to move out comes.

Related: Get the full tutorial on eHow's Home blog

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Photo Credits

  • Carrie Waller

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Kroger, SFGate and others.