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Home Sweet Rental Home: Decorating Your Rental

by PCSgrades Staff - July 16th, 2022

Home Sweet Rental Home: Decorating Your Rental

Every year, military families move into rented homes. Whether it is on-base housing, or a rented space off-base, it can certainly be a challenge to make your rental feel like home. Sure, you aren't the owner, and you may only live there a short while, but you deserve to feel comfortable in whatever space you're living in! So if you're currently in a rental house, use these tips to make it feel more like home!

Tips for decorating your rental home

First, add some color

Rental homes often have a whole lot of WHITE. White walls, white woodwork, white crown molding (if you are so lucky). Whether you live in military housing or a rental out in town, you may be surrounded by white, which is not always bad. White is clean and bright and it goes with every other color on the spectrum. It can also be quite boring!

At our last rental, the house was completely white except for the kitchen, which was dated and peeling. Normally, I don’t even ask about painting the walls but the walls looked like they hadn’t seen a coating of paint since the builder two decades ago. So I asked to paint the kids’ rooms – blue for my daughter and green for my son. I even offered to paint the walls back to white when we left. Luckily, they said yes!

Other ways to personalize space in a rental

Painting an accent wall is an easy way to add color and personalization to any room. But as a renter, you should always ask permission before painting. They may require you to stick with neural tones only, or to re-paint everything white before you leave.

When you want a little color in rented space, you aren't limited to paint! You can also consider removable wallpaper, dramatic curtains, shelving displays, and wall art.

Stage your furniture in ways that provide functional living space for your family, then add accents like home décor, throw pillows, plants, and personal collections. Showcasing the treasures you have collected at other military bases is a great way to make your new space feel like home!

Yes, you really should decorate your rental

Whether it is white walls, stained carpet or peeling wallpaper, it can be tough trying to make a dated rental feel like home. As military families we tell ourselves, “Its only for a year or two”, but depending on orders, that year or two can stretch into three, four, or in my case five years. And two back-to-back rentals can leave you craving some color and personal touches.

One simple (and temporary) way to personalize your rented space is by hanging enlarged personal photos to add color and warmth.

Jennifer Farlin, military spouse, mother of two boys, and owner of Bella Home Staging says there are plenty of ways to spruce up drab white walls in a rental. She says her biggest tip is not to be afraid to do something wrong. So you can experiment and see what works best for your family.

When it comes to wall art, she urges you to think big! “For walls, bigger is better for art and photos. You can turn a favorite family photo into a canvas print relatively cheaply using online discounts though Groupon or Living Social."

You can read more tips about decorating on a dime in our article here.

Don't wait, decorate as soon as you move in

Farlin encourages military families not to hold off until they are in their “permanent” home to decorate. “You may not be there forever but you’ll be there long enough,” says Farlin.

It's difficult to spend the money and energy on non-essential decorations immediately after a PCS move. But this space will be your family's home for a portion of their lives. Unpacking and moving in is part of the emotional adjustment after a PCS move.

Farlin says, “Home should rise up to greet you regardless of the address.”

She suggests putting up your own window treatments rather than relying on the plain blinds or shades already in place. Another tip is hanging curtains wider than the window to add coziness and cover up some of the bland wall space.

So whether you are preparing to move into a rental home soon, or you have already been living in one for a while, use these tips to add some color, personalize your space, and help your family enjoy their temporary home!

PCSgrades Staff