How To Personalize Your Rental Home

Crafting a cozy and warm space without risking your security deposit

Over the last decade, the number of Americans who’ve chosen to rent rather than own has steadily climbed from 34 percent to 43 percent. A big demographic contributing to this shift are young adults - those under 35 - who are choosing to rent for longer compared to past decades. Last year, 65 percent of young adults were renting, up eight percent from 2006.

As more Americans choose to rent for longer periods of time, permanent decor such as painted walls and lighting fixtures can become cumbersome if you’re planning to move within a few years. To gain some insight on items and decor that are commitment-free and easy to incorporate into a rental, ESTATENVY spoke with two professional designers to learn more about what’s trending right now.

Julia Buckingham is the owner and principal at Buckingham Interiors + Design where she specializes in mixing old and elegant pieces with modern sleek design. Buckingham says one of the easiest ways to bring warmth into a space is through natural elements like plants.

“Tall floor plants or some sort of exotic plant like a cactus is a great way to bring the outdoors inside and make a space feel more homey and put together,” says Buckingham. “A fiddle leaf fig plant is a great indoor plant that provides height and instantly warms up a space.”

As an alternative to paint, Buckingham recommends temporary wallpaper—self-adhesive, removable patterns and prints that quickly transform a wall or room into a cohesive, personalized space. Tempaper Designs is a great one-stop shop with hundreds of temporary wallpapers in chic designs, patterns and hues.

Heidi Ross, a professional home stager and owner of Showhomes Memphis, says you don’t need to be afraid of hanging art or wall decor without the use of studs. Ross spends her days staging homes so they’re market ready and relies on minimal hardware to avoid the gaping holes in the wall.

“I always weigh art on a scale to see how much weight I’m dealing with first. Many homeowners are surprised that you can hang heavy items without studs. It’s all about finding the right hardware for your needs,” says Ross. “Monkey hooks or OOKs picture hanging hooks are great alternatives that are affordable and easy to use.”

Whichever way you choose to decorate, taking the time to do so—whether that’s adding in a few plants or flowers, or creating an entire accent wall full of photos and prints—can help to make the new and unfamiliar space feel a little more like home, making all the difference.