Reasons why decorating a rental is totally worth it

Decor for days

Living room decorated with pastel colors
(Image credit: @letsgotopoppys)

Are you moving into a new apartment or recently moved into one? You might be contemplating whether or not you should decorate it. After all, does it make sense to spend money sprucing up a place where you only might live for a year or two?

Do you already have furniture? While your mom’s old sofa might not be your style —do you really need to get something new? What’s the point of replacing that ripped dining chair if you’re never going to invite people over to sit on it? This isn’t a great attitude to have. 

Decorating your rental isn’t as challenging as you probably imagine it is. It also doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. Doing this can be life-changing and make you feel more positive about your environment. Here are eight reasons why decorating a rental is totally worth the effort and money.

It Brings About Positive Energy 

Living in a space you love that reflects your personal sense of style will ultimately make you feel good. “I always say that you are the energy you surround yourself with and that especially translates to your home," says artist and designer Elizabeth Sutton. "People spend tons of money on bags and shoes that they wear almost never— yet they are conflicted about investing money in their personal space, even if it's a rental.”

“I’ve been renting since I got divorced, and I’ve always invested in the space. You can live in a tiny space, but if it is beautifully decorated, it will have a different energy,” says Sutton. 

Decorating Yourself Is Easier Than Ever

There’s never been a better time to decorate your home. You don’t need to be a professional designer to create a space that you truly love and feel good about. From Instagram to Pinterest and YouTube, there is tons of inspo out there and it’s all free. You can easily take ideas you find online and adapt them to your own style as well as to suit your budget.  

And if you still need help, companies such as Havenly offer virtual interior design services for a reasonable price. 

It Doesn’t Need To Be Expensive 

From Amazon to Wayfair, there are so many places to get great deals on everything from large pieces such as beds and sofas to all the fun decor to complete your space. You can look around and compare prices without moving your butt off your chair. 

Here’s another tip — if there is something you've been eyeing and it’s not within your budget, all you need to do is wait for a sale. Just check your calendar. Stores will use any holiday as a reason to give customers a discount. So, be patient — a deal on that coffee table you love is just around the corner. 

It’s A Fun Project 

Decorating shouldn’t be stressful. It’s fun and creative. Start by creating a mood board. Then shop around. You don’t need to accessorize your entire apartment in a week. Take your time. Go to stores on the other side of town. Explore local garage sales and flea markets. 

You’re More Likely To Entertain 

Sutton tells me, “I also love entertaining, and who wants to entertain in a dreary space?” 

She has a good point. There’s nothing like having friends over whether it's for a dinner party or game night. It feels good to show off your space and create an environment that feels both festive and cozy.

You Can Take It With You 

“You can invest in art, furniture, lighting, rugs, and decorative pieces that you can always take to your next place,” explains Sutton.

Remember, you aren't just buying things for your current home. You are also buying them for your future home, making every splurge all the more worth it. 

It’s A Great Excuse To Learn DIY Skills 

Think you can’t paint a wall or install peel-and-stick wallpaper? That’s simply untrue. With a little bit of patience and an hour or two of YouTube videos, most people can DIY a variety of home projects. Decorating your rental is a great way to expand yourself and learn skills you never thought you had.  

You Can See How Your Style Evolves 

If you don’t decorate your rental, you’ll never see how your style evolves. You might decorate your first apartment in a modern way but may opt to go more contemporary for the next place. As you move from home to home as a renter, you will see how your style changes. Your design choices ultimately become a time capsule of the places you've lived.  

Amanda Lauren

Hi, I’m Amanda Lauren. I’m a design expert and interior stylist who writes for Real Homes, Forbes, Real Simple among other publications. I live in Los Angeles in the historic neighborhood of Hancock Park with my husband, and two dogs, Lulu and Milo. We also have a baby coming in spring 2023. I’m a big believer in finding beautiful things at all price points. There are so many places to find affordable things, you just have to look for them. If you don't find it at first, look harder!