The Most Inspiring Decorating Ideas for Rentals
One day, in the hopefully not-so-distant future, we’ll be proud homeowners. With a sprawling backyard, wrap-around porch, exposed ceiling beams, and beautiful built-ins, our dream homes will be, naturally, everything we’ve ever hoped for. But until then, we’ll each likely find ourselves residing in a wide variety of apartments and sublets of varying shapes and less-than-ideal sizes. Yes, a rental presents some very unique challenges, but you needn’t be intimidated. To help you to see your rental in a new light, we’ve rounded up seven temporary spaces that are seriously special. Read on for the best lessons you can take away from each.
Key Lessons: Opt for statement lighting and lovingly assembled collections to make your rental feel lived-in and personal. This very simple kitchen dining space is all about that industrial pendant strung from the ceiling and the cabinets filled with pretty ceramics. Cozy details like plenty of soft throws and pillows make the living room (pictured below) feel similarly welcoming.
The Rental: A Creative and Fresh L.A. Home
Key Lessons: A neatly curated color palette will make any space feel designed. In this case, a simple black-and-white palette is brought to life by a few key pops of color, which are mirrored by a fun, textured rug. Build on a neutral sofa and switch out the smaller items as your style and needs evolve.
The Rental: A Rich and Sophisticated New York City Apartment
Key Lessons: Consider the details and create vignettes throughout your space. Add a bar area, helmed by a great piece of artwork. Section off an area in the living room to create an ad hoc dining space. Add objects and sculptural pieces to surfaces, and be sure to switch out ordinary drawer pulls and cabinet knobs—minimal effort, but major impact!
The Rental: A Designer's Sunny San Francisco Home
Key Lessons: Invest in beautiful furniture that you’ll want to hold onto, even after you move. Solids and neutrals—and yes, some colors can totally pass for a neutral—are smart investments. Poppy pillows are a great interchangeable way to add warmth and personality. If you’re craving a bigger transformation, consider painting one accent wall in a rich, sophisticated hue: It will transform the space instantly and give your home style and an air of longevity.
The Rental: A Crisp and Luminous Sydney Living Space
Key Lessons: Don’t let white walls or big, blank spaces intimidate you! A vibrant collection of artwork and houseplants can make an otherwise simple space come to life. In this case, smaller pieces of art and décor accents complement the centerpiece statement canvas. Embrace an open space by keeping the entire palette airy—you’ll be able to create an enviably artistic loft aesthetic.
The Rental: A Breezy and Homey California Rental
Key Lessons: Have an outdoor space at your rental? Consider yourself blessed and don’t even think about letting it go unused or neglected! Instead, create a simple entertaining area: A dining space with a timeless table and chairs and pieces is a fine place to start. Add a natural fiber rug to anchor set-up, and when in doubt, add plants.
The Rental: A Fashion Designer's Feminine Madrid Rental
Key Lessons: High-impact décor pieces don’t have to be high-maintenance, and they will make your space feel intentional and considered, not like a home you’re just passing through. Antiques like a pair of gilded mirrors or a gorgeous hutch will imbue any space—even an impermanent one—with a sense of history, while bright colors will make every space a little more irresistible.
Do you rent? What decorating tips do you swear by? Tell us in the comments!