Paint is a simple and effective way to add colour and personality to a room, but can you paint the walls if you’re renting?
Some landlords might allow you to paint (some will even buy the paint for you) if you agree to put things back the way they were when you moved in. Others, worried that your citrus orange decor will deter a future tenant, won’t let you touch their designer magnolia silk. If you are asking permission to paint, one of the DULUX ‘whites’ usually goes down well, while dark, intense colours don’t. Landlords like to keep things light and neutral.
No matter how much you love a colour, four walls, or even one whole wall of it, can sometimes be too much so try being creative with how you paint…. half painted walls, stencilled feature walls, or stylish borders are great if you don’t want to commit to painting an entire room ( as seen below)
2. Wall art
When you can’t paint, add art.
Renting contracts don’t usually allow for art to be hung with nails or screws on the wall. However self-adhesive products like Command strips or picture hanging clips are a good alternative. Hanging art can take many forms. While the best might be a single, large canvas on the wall behind the sofa, large paintings can be expensive. One option is to buy a selection of identical or similar frames to create a ‘gallery’ and fill them with photographs and/or prints.
Other suggestions include:
- Hang a large tapestry/or a piece of fabric. Try Etsy or your local fabric shop for fabric remnants
- Buy one or more large canvases, buy a paint colour tester and just roll it on with a small roller, all over the canvas.
- try empty picture frames. You can find frames in second hand shops, or art shops or you can put them together from wooden moulding. The larger and more impressive they are the better. Instead of adding a painting to a neutral coloured frame, paint the frame and leave it empty.
- Layer different sized prints on existing wall shelves.
3. Wall decals or removable wallpaper
Wall decals and removable wallpaper are a great way to add colour to almost every room in the house. Choose monochrome decals for a sophisticated look, or bright and cheerful cute animals for a child’s bedroom. Best of all, they can usually be removed without damaging the paint beneath, but check this carefully before you buy!( See our favourite places to buy wallpaper from here)
4. Soft furnishings
Add things like, throws, rugs cushions, and curtains to your home. Curtains are not difficult to make, you don’t even need to be able to sew if you use fusible webbing. Cushion covers can be made from scarves and throws can be simply hemmed pieces of fabric (see here for a no sew tutorial). With regards to curtains, plain fabric can be stencilled to match the wall, (if you use suitable paint) or you can buy low cost voiles in bulk and if you don’t like white, use Dylon in your washing machine to change the colour.
Add a rug to your wooden or tiled floor, or hang your rug on the wall. This is relatively easy to do, even if the rug is thick as you can fold it in half and hang it over a length of plastic pipe. Thread string or wire down the pipe and hang the string or wire from a heavyweight wall hook.
5. Colourful statement furniture
Styling a room with large colorful upholstered piece of furniture like a sectional sofa or upcycling a thrifted item with paint will instantly make a space feel more colorful than it is.
7.Plants or flowers
If a corner feels dead and vacant, introduce a plant or indoor tree. Plants will instantly add colour and make the space come alive.
There are just a few ways you can add colour to a rental without the need to paint. If you have any other ideas – drop them in the comments below!