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five ways to give your rented home a makeover — without losing the deposit

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Fri 06 Sep 2019

five ways to give your rented home a makeover — without losing the deposit

Putting your own stamp on a rented home is difficult if your decorating decisions mean putting your precious deposit at risk.

But just because you don't have a mortgage, that doesn't mean you have to live with someone else's interiors tastes.

Award-winning DIY and home improvement blogger Medina Grilloregularly offers tips and tricks on how to transform a rented property on her Instagram account, sharing budget-friendly tutorials, IKEA hacks and interiors ideas.

Here she reveals her top five tips on how to do a makeover without losing the deposit.

1. Hang mirrors in dark spaces

A lack of natural light can make a home feel gloomy and dim, especially dark corners.

Well-placed mirrors will help to brighten up a space. "Choose either individual mirrors, or mirrors that go from floor to ceiling. This helps to reflect light and make a small room feel more open," explains Medina.

"It's also good to avoid heavy, bulky, skirted furniture and go instead for pieces with raised legs, glass surfaces or less visual weight to help let more light in."

2. Make sure you utilise dead space

Old Victorian and Georgian period apartment conversions are known for having awkward nooks and crannies, so it's hard to know how to make the most of the space.

If you're unable to build storage into the dead space, invest in smaller, multipurpose furniture.

"If you're looking for furniture which works twice as hard, buy a coffee table offering additional storage. Or you can even switch out a coffee table for a storage footstool instead. Investing in a sofa that could convert into a guest bed is also a great option.

"I have converted alcoves and the space under my stairs into workspaces, created additional rolling storage under my bed, turned my windowsills into shelves for my plants and used the space behind the door for storage using over-the-door hooks," reveals Medina.

3. Make the most of the paint colour

It's disheartening to rent a home with neutral shades on the wall if you're a fan of bright colour. But you don't have to pick up a paintbrush to brighten up a room.

"If you rent, chances are your walls will be a light colour which is a great thing because lighter colours on a wall help to bounce light around and make everything feel larger."

"A patterned rug is a brilliant way to add colour and drama to a bare room," says Medina. "Adding artwork immediately brings vibrancy and interest into a room - go large scale and always hang it at eye level."

If you choose to hang artwork, be sure to stay away from nails to avoid damaging the walls. Opt instead for command hooks which can hold up to 225g of weight and come away from the wall without leaving a mark.

When removing, never pull the strip towards you, always pull it straight down.

4. Use the furniture that’s already there

There's no need to splash out on brand-new furniture, as it's easy to work with what you already have. Invest in some clever hacks to save you from building storage cupboards - and avoid upsetting your landlord.

"I'd suggest placing big bookcases behind your bed so they can double up as a headboard,” says Medina. She also advises: “Shelf dividers are a quick way to help make the most of existing storage and keep things organised."

5. Curtains help to make a room

Curtains can do so much more than just keep out light and draughts and provide privacy. Whether you choose full length or just down to the windowsills can have a huge impact on a room. 

"Make sure to hang curtains as close to the ceiling as possible, especially if you're blessed with high ceilings,” advises Medina. “This will give the illusion that the window is longer and wider than it actually is.”