Living in a rented flat or house needn't mean you're doomed to endure the landlord's dodgy taste in decor. Many, with consultation, will allow you to decorate, especially if what you do either improves the quality of their accommodation (not hard, right?) or is easily reversible. Plus, there are tons of ways to personalise your abode that won't need permission at all.
So why not make your rented house feel like a home with our clever decorating ideas for a rented home. In need of more inspiration? You'll find lots of clever ideas over on our renting hub page, too.
1. Invest in eye-catching pendant shades
Every room deserves a focal point, and you can create that in even a bland, boxy space with gorgeous light fittings that, of course, you can remove and take with you when you move.
This Polly pendant shade in grey is from Made.
Find out how to design living room lighting to make your space feel cosy.
2. Put up a mural (temporarily)
A mural adds wow factor quickly and newer designs can not only be sized to fit your space exactly but also simply peeled off when you leave your rental for your forever home (fingers crossed).
The Lovell Johns world political rustic map wall mural, from £42 per m2, Wallsauce.
Check out the tons more wall mural design ideas for your whole home.
3. Use removable tape to create cool designs on walls and floors
The latest craze from Japan, removable tape can be cleverly used to create eye-catching designs or simple edgings. Use it on kitchen cabinets and bedroom wardrobes, too, for an instant update, or on canvases to create artwork.
Haru stuck-on design tapes, from £11 per roll, Nitto.
Love this look? Be inspired by these colour block paint ideas, too.
4. Create privacy (and interest) with window film
Whether your rental bedroom or bathroom overlooks a shared garden, an ugly view or a busy street, window film is a super-affordable way to create instant privacy, but interest, too, without having to invest in window dressings.
Yachts pattern window film, from £45 per m2, Purlfrost.
See more wonderful window film ideas in our design gallery.
5. Design a gallery wall (without banging in nails)
Want to hang a pictures and artwork without damaging the walls? You can easily do it with Command Strips, which stick the pictures firmly to the wall, but can be peeled off easily when you leave.
6. Jazz up a bedroom with wall stickers
Whether you want to give a child's bedroom a personal touch or lift the decor in your own bedroom, kitchen or living space, wall stickers are a great option: maximum impact at minimum cost and effort, plus many can be easily removed.
Yellow and grey polka dot wall stickers, £20 for 78, Koko Kids.
Look out more lovely wall stickers in our design gallery.
7. Have loose covers made for a sofa
Stuck with someone else's sofa? Want to buy a new one, but not till you move to somewhere more permanent? So why not have a cover made up for your landlord's sofa? It'll be worthwhile if you're planning to stay for a year or more.
Rosendal pure washed pure linen cover in silver grey, £529, fits Ikea’s Klippan 2 seater sofa, Bemz.
Rather spend the cash now on a new sofa? We've rounded up the best of the best sofas for under £500.
8. Give tatty kitchen units a new lease of life
Vinyl murals aren't limited to walls – you can use them to give dated, flat-fronted kitchen cabinets a new lease of life quickly and easily.
Watermelon slices seamless pattern on white polka dots background, £118 for 300 x 80cm, other sizes available, Pixers.
Or perhaps your landlord will happily let you paint kitchen cabinets to give them a new lease of life?
9. Add colour and texture with blinds
In rooms where you don't want to put window film, simple blinds are the next most affordable option. Choose ones with a strong pattern to liven up the otherwise (inevitably) plain decor.
Orla Kiely rosebud orange Roman blinds, from £68.45 for a made to measure blind, English Blinds.
Buy the best blinds at the cheapest prices for your rental property with the help of our buyer's guide.
10. Layer rugs to hide an unsightly floor
If you're doomed to live with an unattractive carpet, perhaps floorboards that have seen better days or you simply want to liven up a plain floorcovering with something with a bit of personality, rugs are the way to go.
Don't miss our selection of the best rugs for your living room.
11. House plants – to bring life, colour and texture
House plants are a no-brainer for rental properties – they add tons of personality and can really make a space feel like home quickly.
All products shown, Ikea.
12. Great storage... really great storage...
Rental flats tend not to come with fabulous storage that's tailored just to your needs. But why buy wardrobes and bulky pieces of furniture that might not fit in your next pad? Instead, look for items that are handsome but transitory, that can be upcycled, hacked or personalised to give your rental home a unique look that's all your own.
We love this Ikea hack, where a plain Ivar cabinet (£45) becomes something a little special, with the addition of legs and cut-outs for handles.
13. Recover your couch, armchair or footstool
If your landlord's taste in furniture is... questionable... or you can't afford to replace the tired looking sofa you bought years ago/inherited from a distant aunt, don't write off gorgeous looking furniture just yet.
If you're working with a piece from Ikea, Bemz are the brand you've been looking for. Producing stylish looking covers and legs for your sofa, armchair, footstool and much more, it's never been easier to instantly upgrade a space for much less than the cost of buying new.
For an even more budget option, pick up new cushions and a couple of throws to revamp your sofa and, in turn, your living space.