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Written by Abbey Laan Trimboli

Living in a rental property can have its limitations, especially when it comes to decorating and expressing yourself through design and style. Here are some creative, temporary ways to incorporate your own flair and personality, without upsetting the landlord.

Get Funky with Fabric

Fabric is a cheap and easy way to add personality through colour and texture. Julie Borg from Concept Property Styling says: “Keep your base, such as your couch, neutral and layer colour in through soft furnishings. This also helps absorb any echo and makes the environment feel homely.”

  • Don’t like the dull brown carpet? Add a living room rug or hallway runner.

“A rug placed under the end of the bed adds style and colour, but also makes a room feel more warming and welcoming, especially if it’s not carpeted,” Julie says.

www.thebudgetdecorator.com
  • Thread fabric through your balcony rail for an instant revamp.
  • Make your tablecloth a talking point by layering different fabrics. Look out for seconds or ‘end of roll’ in fabric stores, or visit your local thrift shop.
  • Couch and cushions looking tired? Try new covers on both and add an inviting throw rug in colder months.
  • Stretch fabric over artist canvasses to create your own headboard.
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Get Sticky with Washi Tape

If your lease stipulates no repainting or hooks in walls, washi tape is for you. Originating in Japan, this decorative adhesive tape is made from natural fibres (bamboo or hemp). Decorating options are limited only by your imagination with thousands or colours, textures, patterns and widths on offer.

  • Add washi tape to furniture, light switches, benchtops, walls, doors or ceilings for a splash of colour or bold statement.
  • Can’t hang pictures? Create washi tape frames on walls to showcase your favourite photos or poster.
  • Create a washi tape head board in the bedroom to compliment your existing furniture and linen.
  • Create a ‘washi tape’ calendar on the wall and use post-it notes for reminders and appointments.
  • Kids can have fun decorating their bedrooms in a way that reflects their interests and is mess-free.
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Washi tape is easily removed when it comes time to vacate a property. But do check with your landlord before the use of adhesives in the home.

Go Green

Plants are a natural and healthy way to add some colour to your rental.

  • Cacti and other succulents are a popular choice for bathrooms. They come in a huge range of colours and sizes, making it easy to find something to complement your existing décor.
  • Choose hard-wearing plants such as Peace Lilies, Aloe Vera or Echeverias for balconies and verandas. Ferns are great for the cool, dark areas inside.
  • The best part – you can take your garden with you when you vacate the property!

“We use lots of small, artificial plants dotted around the kitchen and bathroom to add greenery. Larger, feature plants are great for filling empty corners,” Julie says.

Super Small Changes

Even the strictest of leases allows for DIY decorating.

  • Liven up the bathroom by storing the existing shower curtain. Replace it with a fresh, clean curtain that reflects your style and personality.
  • Create a peg board for reminders and appointments. Find a place in the kitchen where it can lean against the wall – no hanging required.
  • Brighten up the living area or bedroom by replacing an outdated light fitting with something more stylish.
  • If you enjoy sewing, make your own curtains in a colour or pattern of your choosing.
  • Prop your favourite print up on the mantelpiece or use the space to display smaller photo frames and favourite items.

Julie states: “Art, vases and a few interesting knick-knacks add a personal touch and reflect style and design. We are seeing a lot of timber furniture at present. A timber coffee table would make a great feature, and be a stylish trend that is affordable and transportable for a tenant.”