Making your rental your own – without risking your deposit!

You may just be renting your apartment or house, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel like home! We spoke to our rental guru Karon Murphy about how you can decorate your rental without risking your deposit – and how you can support your local community at the same time!

1) Think before you buy!

As tempted as you are, don’t rush out and buy everything before you move in. You’ll need a few essentials, but we suggest you move into the property and give yourself a few days to get to know it before you go spending. Even if it’s not to your taste, we suggest you work with the large furniture as it’s unlikely the landlord will have any room for storage, so in terms of furniture, just buy small pieces like side tables, small cabinets or floor shelving. Write a list of what you need and before rushing off to the likes of Ikea, find out what can be bought locally! Remember, it’s a rental so make sure whatever you buy you can take with you when you move on!

2) Liven up your walls – without causing damage!

You may want to re-paint those white walls, but in rented properties we’d advise against it. Use pictures to liven up your walls instead. We love these local art prints from the Liverpool Gift Company and you can also get some great prints from Tate Liverpool. Phil’s Picture Palace on Lark Lane is also worth a visit for some amazing one-off items!

When it comes to putting them up, Hooks and hammers are a no-no in a rental, but command hooks or strips which can be removed from the wall at the end of the tenancy without leaving a mark, are the best things ever invented! Mixtiles are also popular or, if you really wanted to make a statement, you could use some peel and stick removable wallpaper like those sold at Wallpops.

Keep the likes of flat screen TV’s off the walls; stick to TV cabinets! Any items put up using nails or screws will need to be removed and filled at the end of the tenancy and the whole wall repainted with the matching colour!

3) Softly does it...

Adding textiles is an easy way to cover things you’re not happy with, to make a space feel like your own and even offer some protection to furniture and flooring! A new duvet cover or bedspread can make the world of a difference in a bedroom, while dressing up a plain sofa with cushions and throws instantly improves it. Bean bags would also be a great way of bringing in new furniture without the hassle of lugging heavy pieces into your home and we love these from John Lewis. We’d avoid trying to change curtains or blinds as you risk damaging the originals and therefore risk your deposit!

4) Bring the Outside in…

House plants are a must for bringing a home to life and the greenery can help make you feel happy and add colour to an otherwise bland space. Some plants like the Peace Lily can even help clean the air and take in moisture, but we’re not suggesting your create a rainforest in your rental! Just a few will suffice and there are plenty of cool places in Liverpool selling house plants. Take a trip to Root at the Bluecoat, or Grin on Bold Street where you might also pick up some cool retro décor pieces. There’s also the Crazy Plant Lady near the Baltic Market and our award-winning interior store Utility not only sells amazing plants, but they’ve also put together a fantastic guide about which plants should go where. Take care not to spill onto carpets, wooden flooring or worktops when you’re watering!

5. Lighten up

Many rental properties, particularly new developments, have plenty of bright spotlights so buying yourself some mood lighting can instantly transform a room. Floor lamps and table lamps work a treat, but use the command tape for any wall lamps. We also love these peg clip line lights from John Lewis which light up your room and show off your photos at the same time. And, LED strip lights always do a great job of bringing life to shelves and cabinets, like these colour-changing ones from B&M Bargains.

Before making any changes to the appearance of your rental property, you must get in touch with us! If you can’t take it with you when you leave, then it’s probably better not to go for it as you’ll risk upsetting the landlord and losing your deposit!