Decorating Mistakes to Avoid in Your Rental Property

Updated: Feb 4

14 decor mistakes to avoid in your rented home


Living in a rented home often comes with restrictions on how you can alter the home’s appearance to suit your style. Landlords, for good reasons, find it necessary to impose limits on what tenants can do in a rental. These regulations make sense because the next person renting the apartment may not like the changes you make to the apartment.


But this shouldn’t mean you have to live in a home that is uncreative and uninspired. There are ways to decorate a rental to your taste without breaking the terms of your lease. However, when stamping your personality on a rented space, you should give plenty of thought to what you include or exclude from the space. Here are 14 important mistakes you should avoid when decorating your rented home.




14 décor mistakes to avoid in your rented home

1. Buying furniture before you move

Unless you’ve taken detailed measurements of the rooms, it’s hard to know what kind of furniture will fit them. Besides, the dimension of a room is not the only factor that goes into choosing the right furniture. Its orientation, lighting, and items in the room will influence that choice.


2. Choosing the wrong size and type of furniture

Proportion, form, function, and focal points of interest are four important concepts you need to balance when choosing furniture pieces for the home. They should not be too big or too small in proportion. They should not be ornate, so they don’t feel out of place.


3. Insufficient lighting

Lighting is not just for illumination; it is also for creating ambiance. Improve the lighting by adding creative bits like string or pendant lights and floor/table lamps. Lighting should be adaptable to different moods. Also, use as much natural lighting as possible.


4. Too many patterns

There is a thin line between a design that is chaotic and one that is versatile. All the décor choices you make should be guided by a central theme. Choose your main theme and treat other aspects of the design as accents. Let your theme guide every decision.


5. Cluttered rooms

Avoid the temptation to display every knickknack you have acquired through the years. Even if things have sentimental value, they may not belong in the design. You don’t have to use all your stuff; store what is not necessary or rotate the items you put on display.


6. Failing to use wall treatment

Most landlords will not let you paint a rented home. But paint is not the only way to make walls interesting. You can use wall treatment. Removable wallpaper is a way good way to alter walls without violating your lease. You can hang wall art without using nails.


7. Not using window treatments

The window treatment will let you break up bland wall spaces and add a dash of color to monotonous apartments. You can use them as a backdrop to help furniture and other décor elements pop. A well-designed window treatment will help you get more out of your lighting.


8. Ignoring the entryway

Decorating the entryway is a good way to help visitors slide into the right mood when they step into your home. It is the first part of the home that will catch visitor’s attention and your best opportunity to make a lasting initial impression.



9. Overcrowding the entryway

Giving character to your entryway is vital, but don’t forget its function as an access point. Avoid crowding out spaces with clutter. Items in this area should focus on function more than form, such as a nice coat hanger, an amusing foot mat, or a space to leave your shoes.




10. Choosing the wrong plants

Do not use the rental as a place for pursuing your love of nature. Plants should not be competing with décor for space and brushing against visitors who are walking past them or seated. Your plants should not obscure the rest of the room from view.



11. Trying to match everything

One reason you are exploring décor ideas is to escape the monotony that characterizes most rental properties. However, if you make all your décor items match each other, that goal will be defeated. Inject inconsistency in a way that is creative and surprising.


12. Failing to clean your windows

Dirty windows cast a shadow on the beauty of your design. Clean windows may not catch attention, but dirty windows will and for the wrong reasons. Moreover, they will have a dampening effect on their surrounding décor, such as window treatments.



13. Overlooking the ceiling

As per the lease, you may not be able to drill into the ceiling of the home. But there are ingenious ways to hang plants or a lantern from the ceiling. One option to explore, in this regard, is adhesive hooks; some can hold up to half a pound of weight.


14. Failing to include mirrors

Mirrors help make a small room feel spacious. They reflect and disperse light, making the room brighter and more inviting. The reflection of the room in a mirror creates the impression that the room extends beyond its walls.




This blog post was written in coordination with Schambs Property Management. They provide property management, rental analysis, and rental resources throughout the North Carolina region. Schambs Property Management provides professionally managed rental properties, while at the same time maintaining a personal, hands-on, and responsive approach. They manage more than 400 rental properties (including single-family homes, townhomes, condos, duplexes, and quadruplexes) all across the greater Triangle area.

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