How to Personalize a Home (When It Isn’t Yours to Keep)

The life of a renter isn’t easy. You fall in love with an apartment, you settle in, but it still doesn’t quite feel like home. Maybe it needs furniture fixing or whether it has garage doors fixed or not. You know that there’s a very real possibility that you’ll be moving again, and landlords very rarely let tenants decorate the rental property in any permanent way. So you’re stuck sitting there and thinking of ways to put a personal stamp on your new home without making it permanent. Are there really temporary yet effective and charming home decor ideas when you’re just a tenant? Yes; you don’t have to live in generic apartments any longer.

1. Unique carpeting

Carpets are very easily some of the most interesting details in a home. They break the monotony of the floor and give you something nice and warm to look at. With the right kind of carpet, you can show off your personality and taste in home décor. Plus, they’re pretty easy to move when you need them somewhere else. 

There are countless kinds of carpets to choose from, each more interesting than the last. The prices vary from basically free to exorbitantly expensive, which means you’ll have more than enough options no matter what your taste is like. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can get several carpets and partially layer them over one another. This gives your room even more personality and it can really show off your decorating talents.

2. Your favourite books

There’s no better feeling than lounging around on the couch and reading a good book. When you have some of your favourite books at arm’s reach, you can feel like you’re at home. Book lovers should dedicate a specific shelf or bunch of shelves to their books so that they always have a wide variety to choose from.

You don’t just put them on a shelf to have an easy way to reach them, you’re also putting them on display. They’re there to remind you of your tastes and the memories they’ve given you. Plus, a well-stacked bookshelf is a sign of a well-sharpened mind.

3. Cherished art

No matter where you live, you probably have a couple of pieces of art that you treasure most. They always come along with you and wherever you go, you’ll always find some room for it. Decorating your living space with that art will make it feel like home. 

You should constantly be on the lookout for pieces of art that would make your home look even more quaint and artsy. Local fairs and flea markets often have quite a few hidden gems that are worth checking out, as long as you know where to look for them.

4. Tapestries on the walls

When you’re renting an apartment, your décor choices are limited when it comes to walls. Most landlords won’t let you paint over them and looking at a boring monochrome wall won’t be a big plus to your living space. Luckily, paint isn’t the only way to transform your walls into the colour that you desire. 

Tapestries are a cheap and efficient way to turn those white monoliths into an artistic canvas, without worrying about the effect being permanent. Best of all, you’re not limited to simple colours or patterns like you would be when painting. You can choose any kind of design you want and just hang it over your wall. This freedom to express yourself will give your walls a new kind of personality that will match your vision for the apartment.

5. Furniture 

bedroom furniture

Rentals are usually partially or fully furnished by the time you move into them. The kitchen and living room will have all of the essentials that they need and you won’t be able to introduce any new pieces of furniture without causing additional clutter. However, there’s one room in the home that might have space for a bit of a personal touch – the bedroom. 

Leave your mark with a tasteful piece of bedroom furniture that will complete the room. Pick out something small, but impactful, that will go well with the other pieces of décor. Storage units, desks, and ottomans can add flair to the room without taking much space, and they can be very practical additions to the décor. If your nightstand is looking a bit empty, you should consider adding a small lamp that will make it easier for you to read before going to bed. Not to mention, it makes falling asleep a lot easier than abruptly turning off the main light in the room. 

6. Kitchen details

Kitchens are tough to customize in a rental place. There isn’t much room for improvements and everything that you might want to change is forbidden. Countertops, cabinets, and sinks aren’t modifiable without the permission of the landlord. However, these fixed elements aren’t what gives the kitchen its unique personality. 

It’s all about the personal details that you introduce into the kitchen. There are lots of small changes that you can make without angering the landlord. You can use gift wrapping to colour the cabinets. The knobs on cabinets can be temporarily switched with more interesting ones, which can make them nicer to look at and even easier to clean. 

You can always coordinate the colours of the various elements in the kitchen. You might not be able to touch the walls, but things like dishes and hand towels are free game. You use the kitchen to eat first and foremost, which means that the dishes and cutlery will be the most impactful elements. There’s no reason you can’t hang some art in this room, either. Just keep it away from the stove, as the water vapour might do some damage. 


You may have to be more creative when it comes to putting a personal stamp on a rental property, but it will surely be worth it. You’ll finally feel like you’re at home, regardless of how long you’re planning to stay. Believe it or not, your rental apartment can be an extension of yourself and your personality without leaving any permanent marks on it.

Mianna Korben

Mianna is a passionate writer currently living and dreaming in Europe. She is a strong believer that both mental and physical fitness go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. And like any other girl, she is guilty of falling in love, over and over again, with premium makeup, fashion and champagne.

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