5 Tips for Decorating a Rental

Blogger Myquillyn Smith shares her favorite ways to spruce up a semi-permanent abode.


decorating  a rental apartment or home

For her first six years as a blogger, Myquillyn Smith, the voice behind The Nesting Place, and author of a book by the same name, was “content to rent.” Smith, her husband and their three sons occupied a rental home from which she tested and wrote about projects with a low-commitment spin: starched fabric wallpaperadding temporary architectural detail to a mantel, and painting walls while keeping the landlord in mind.

After more than eight years without a mortgage, Smith and her husband bought a farm house fixer-upper last year. But she still hasn’t forgotten her favorite tips for sprucing up a semi-permanent abode. Here, she shares her top five ideas for making a rental feel like home.

joss-and-main-curtains1_circleInvest in items you can take with you.

Think classic pieces of furniture that will go with the “bones” of any house, or pieces that can be repurposed, like the dresser turned into a TV console, below.

2_circleAdd “temporary” color.
“If your rental has white walls and neutral carpet and you can’t paint, use pieces that can introduce color like rugs, pillows and painted furniture,” Smith advises.

3_circleCover up carpet.
Don’t like the carpet in your house? Layer a rug over it. “You’ll get flooring you like better and you can take the rug with you to the next house,” she says.

TV4_circleChange out the light fixtures.
Smith’s favorite way to make a rental feel like home? “I bring along my favorite chandeliers and store the light fixtures that came with the rental. When we move out, we take ours down and put the old ones back up,” she says.

5_circleHang drapes.
Especially patterned ones. “Pattern fills a room and instantly ‘homeifies” a space,” says Smith. “Don’t feel like you have to use the curtain rods the last renter left, bring your own and hang them high and wide around your windows.” sign_off

Shop everything you need to spruce up your rental (at up to 70% off) on Joss & Main: