8 Ways to Add Charm to Your Rented Space

DSC_0388_edited2Moving into your own apartment/condo/house is a new adventure, in every sense of the word. If you live alone, you might be pretty excited about the fact that you can binge watch Netflix for four hours, or rock out to your favorite pump up jam at 6 a.m. with zero judgement or glaring eyes coming from the bedroom down the hall.

If you’re moving in with your significant other, you might be looking forward to lazy Sunday’s, home-cooked meals together and spending more time with the person you care most about.

Or, if you’re living with three other roommates, two dogs and your roommate’s boyfriend who basically lives with you, then you might be excited there’s always, always something going on and someone there to talk to.

The point is, getting your own place is like the turning point on your road to adulthood.

But, if you rent an apartment you probably know there can be restrictions. Some landlords tell you you can’t paint, while others freak out if you try to nail a hole in the wall (helloooo, Command strips).

For all you renters out there, read on for tips on how to make your home feel like, well, home!

1. Get Creative with Storage


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I don’t have a ton of space in my kitchen, which isn’t exactly ideal. As someone who loves to cook, making dinner can often bring on feelings of anxiety and frustration because stuff is LITERALLY. EVERYWHERE. When you don’t have counter space, think up. This shelving unit is a great way to maximize space in your apartment by using the space that’s available — your walls. After all, the more counter space, the better — am I right?

2. Upgrade Your Bar Cart


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A bar cart is a necessity in a twenty-something’s apartment. When I was in college, we loved to display our wine bottles on whatever surface we could find (i.e. the fireplace and on top of kitchen cabinets). A bar cart gives a grown up twist to the whole “displaying your spirits for the world to see” thing. Plus, they’re just so cute.

3. Curate Your Own Gallery Wall

gallery wall

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I nerd out over a good gallery wall. I can’t get enough of the idea. I’m pretty sure my entire Pinterest board is filled with gallery walls, which means either a) I have a problem or b) I know what I like. I’ve collected a lot of art over the years. Most of it is completely random — flea market and thrift store finds, etc. But the great thing about gallery walls is the display is supposed to be random. The more interesting the pieces, the better.

4. When it doubt, fresh flowers

flowersI love the way fresh flowers brighten up a space. ‘Nuff said.

5. Mix Vintage Elements with Modern Ones


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This is one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love the way a lucite chair contrasts with an intricate wooden desk. If you live in a more modern complex, adding vintage pieces here and there will help it from looking too stale. And if you live in an older home? Try incorporating industrial, modern pieces for a look that’s sure to get noticed.

6. Experiment with Temporary Wallpaper

wallpaperTemporary wallpaper is a great idea for renters because well, it’s temporary. Use it to create a fun accent wall, liven up a piece of furniture or to create character in unexpected places like a staircase (if you have one).

7. Play with Prints


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I’m lucky to have hardwood floors throughout my apartment. They’re pretty on their own, but a patterned rug takes things up a notch. IKEA has some really great, affordable options. If you’re not looking for an area rug, printed pillows or a fun throw are great alternatives!

8. Light a Candle or Two


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There’s just something about candles that instantly make a place feel more homey — know what I mean? I love lighting festive candles around the holidays. They make my apartment smell like cinnamon. THE BEST.

Did I miss anything? What are some of your favorite ways to add charm to your rental?

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  • Public Lives, Secret Recipes

    That first image is stunning!! So smart too! xo

  • Public Lives, Secret Recipes

    That first image is stunning!! So smart too! xo

  • Oooh, I love all of these suggestions and I love the look of your place too. SO cute!! As for adding charm to rentals? I think a fun decal pattern can be the perfect way to get a wallpaper look! xo

    • Thank you, Veronika! That picture was taken in my first apartment. I’m currently working like a madwoman to decorate my new place in Columbus! Need to share a tour soon. Congrats on your new place!

  • Trang Do

    Wow! Love this decor!! Looks amazing!!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Really great tips! As a renter myself, I try not to invest in my space TOO much but I think your points are really relevant to make a rented home still feel like your own.

    Stay fab,
    Lisa Favre

    • Thanks, Lisa! Temporary fixes are always the way to go. As long as they’re cost effective, of course ;)