5 Renter-Friendly Ways to do Wall Decor — Add Personality to Your Home, Without Ruining the Walls

When rentals only allow temporary decor, there’s no need to hold back on adding your individual touch. There are plenty of ways to pack a punch, take a browse through the professionals' non-permanent ideas below

Living room with gallery wall above sofa
(Image credit: Alexander James)

When it comes to decorating rental spaces, the challenge lies in adding style and personality without making any permanent changes. Fortunately, nowadays there are plenty of options for inventive wall decor ideas that can instantly enhance your home without jeopardizing your deposit.

From temporary wallpaper to hanging baskets and gallery walls, we’ve called on the professionals to conjure up the best solutions for decorating a rental your own taste.

1. Temporary wallpaper or wall decals

Chasing Paper temporary wallpaper

(Image credit: Chasing Paper)

Temporary or peel-and-stick wallpaper is a total game changer for renters, offering the opportunity to experiment with bold patterns and colors without the commitment of traditional wallpaper.

‘Whether you prefer geometric designs, botanical motifs, or classic stripes, temporary wallpaper allows you to transform a room's aesthetic and then easily remove it when you're ready to move on,’ says Nina Lichtenstein, founder of Custom Home Design by Nina Lichtenstein.

‘If a full wall treatment seems a little overwhelming, wall decals are a fantastic alternative creating just as much of an effect and they are also available in endless designs,’ says Ryan Nelson, rental property expert and founder of Rental Real Estate, ’Their smaller size allows for targeted accent walls and they peel off cleanly when it's time to move out.’ They're both ideal solutions to bringing a personal touch to otherwise bare walls.

2. Artwork

A white hallway with a gallery wall

(Image credit: Walter Studio Interior Design)

Artwork is one of the simplest ways to transform a space. ‘You can frame and hang pretty much anything, wall hangings can show off your style and personality as well as any other piece of furniture or decor,’ suggests Amanda Wiss, founder of Urban Staging. Think gallery walls, home-photography, artwork, frames, rugs and mirror play. There are infinite possibilities of design planning, formations and displays, and what you can do with artwork in every different space, so it’s good to have a bit of a plan before getting started.

Perry Walter, founder of Walter Studio Interior Design suggests showcasing your very own photography, ’Turn your favorite photos into large-scale artwork. Getting them printed on canvas creates a stunning statement piece’, a totally unique look that you can easily take with you to your next home.’

When it comes to creating a gallery wall, Nina recommends using lightweight frames and Command strips to avoid damaging the walls. ‘Display a mix of artwork, photographs, and prints to reflect your style and interests. Arrange your gallery wall in a cohesive layout to make a statement without leaving holes behind,' meaning you can rearrange or rotate your gallery wall anytime you like for a fresh look. Including tactile three dimensional pieces can assist in creating that unique visual interest.

3. Hanging planters

A blue kitchen with warm lighting featuring hanging planters and artwork

(Image credit: Sebastian Cox kitchen - deVOL)

Bring the outdoors in by incorporating hanging baskets and plants as wall decor. ‘Install hooks or wall-mounted planters to showcase cascading greenery like pothos, ferns, or spider plants.’ suggests Nina. Not only do plants add life and texture to your walls, but they also contribute to better indoor air quality and create a calming atmosphere.

4. Plants

A neutral bench next to a side table with a large vase and sprig of greenery splaying out

(Image credit: Lisa Staton)

Again, as we know so well, plants can do wonders featuring inside our homes, bringing life and natural beauty to the interior. If hanging plants aren’t your vibe, try an open shelf or even a pedestal to stand your greens upon, allowing them to stretch out and flourish as they like for a naturally three dimensional effect. Perry recommends choosing low-maintenance varieties that thrive indoors and enjoy the calming effect of greenery.

5. Upcycling and reusing furniture

A city kitchen diner with an eclectic style

(Image credit: Salon 21)

Offering new life to old furniture with a lick of paint and some extra detailing can achieve an immensely elevated look up against a bare wall. Perry says, ‘Colorful bookshelves, stacking or creatively arranging books and other possessions on shelves adds color and visual interest to a blank wall.’ Plus, it's a functional way to store your favorite reads and decorative pieces.

Going forward

A living room with gallery walls

(Image credit: James Merrell)

By incorporating and layering these portable design elements, it’s simple to create a comfortable and stylish rental that reflects you and makes you happy to call the space your home, all while being easily removed when it’s time to leave. Landlords often appreciate these non-invasive decorating solutions that don't require patching or repainting, making the transition between tenants easy.

‘These ideas not only transform spaces but also empower renters to create inspiring environments that reflect their unique tastes and preferences,’ says Nina. Decorating a rental doesn't have to be limiting. With these innovative ideas, you can turn your temporary abode into a personalized sanctuary that feels inviting and stylish, all while respecting the limitations of your lease agreement.

Portia Carroll

Portia Carroll is an interior stylist, writer, and design consultant. With a background in interior architecture and design, she has a plethora of creative experience in the industry working with high end interior brands to capture beautiful spaces and products and enhance their qualities.