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Best wall treatments for renters

March 15, 2018

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There are times when renting your house or apartment feels really good.  Like when the air conditioning stops working.  And you know, the new a/c unit isn’t coming out of your bank account.  Or new dishwasher.  Or fridge.  Or microwave.  Seriously, there are some pluses to renting.   Then again, renting can be difficult when all you want is a space that you love and feels like home.  I feel your pain here.  I wish you all could’ve seen all of the white walls and the horrible vertical blinds (so many blinds!) that greeted us on our walk through our current house.  It did not feel like home.  But I’m methodically going through our house and adding little (big?? depends on who you’re asking!) elements here and there that make it home for us.  You can do the same thing in your house!  It can be difficult to achieve the perfect look in your home decor while renting, especially in terms of wallpaper and other large scale wall treatments.  I’m here to tell you, though, that you can find or DIY some very beautiful, removable products for the walls of your rental.  Here’s H+H’s top picks.

 

 

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Wallpaper is king

 

My first choice for wall decor is always going to be some sort of wallpaper-like treatment.  I love wallpaper.  There’s almost nothing else that can so effortlessly transform a boring room into one with style and personality.  Some may say that it’s a poor choice for renters and just a couple of years ago, I would have to agree.  But times are a changing.  There are many temporary wallpaper products that you can easily find now.  Seriously, some really beautiful choices.  And those products coming onto the market basically opened up my eyes to this idea as a possibility.  Now, that being said, I’m not actually including any of those products in this roundup.  Because most of them are pretty expensive.  Which is fine.  I know home decor can be an investment, and one that I think is worth it, usually.  But if you’re in a rental and you’ll only be there a year or two, maybe $500 for a wallpapered kitchen nook isn’t necessarily going to be the best way for you to spend your money.  Surely, you guys are nodding your heads here.  We can do better than that.  And as you’ll read below, there are lots of options.  I’ve found that if you’re willing to do a little work, you can make things temporary or removable that weren’t intended to be used in that way.  Which opens your options and gives you lots of choices at different price points.

 

 

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Fabric used as wallpaper

 

Fabric can be used as a wallpaper with the right hanging technique.  This is good news because for most people, fabric is pretty easily sourced at their local fabric store.  Meaning, you can go in and find what you love.  You can grab swatches and take them home to make sure they match the other finishes and colors in the room.  Easy peasy to make a decision.  Of course, before you go out to buy the fabric, first measure your wall(s) that you want covered to know how much to buy.  I think little nooks or smaller accent walls are especially charming when done up in a wallpaper or in something like a wallpaper.  Instant personality.  All of the sudden, your house, especially if it’s a rental and the current finishes are not so much your style, well, it’s all you now.  Not to mention this is a pretty quick and affordable project.  You won’t believe it, but this blue geometric wallpaper is actually fabric!

 

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The very beautiful Mandi who blogs over at Vintage Revivals  has a great post that outlines the two best methods for adhering fabric to the wall.  Both of these photos are from a room redo she did.  Her aesthetic is so lovely.  Anytime I pop over to her blog, I tend to stay for a while.  Go there to check out all the details on using fabric as wallpaper.

 

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Traditional wallpaper turned temporary

 

This might be my favorite option for temporary wallpaper.  You can take traditional wallpaper, pasted or unpasted and with just a couple of supplies – painter’s tape and double sided tape – turn it into a renter’s dream.  Just recently I found some really great affordable (yessss!) wallpaper on ebay that I am planning on using in our home here.  I’ll keep you posted on that project and how it turns out.  I’ve got high hopes.  I first read about this option over at Erin’s blog where she posted about this beautiful fawn wallpaper.  How charming, right??  Check it out here.  I think you’ll find it incredibly doable.  Someone might have to stop me from putting wallpaper up in every room in our house using this method.  I’m obsessed.

 

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Large scale wall art

 

I do realize that some people just do not love wallpaper.  I sincerely hope they’ll reconsider these feelings, since I know they’re wrong (I’m mostly joking here), but since that can take some time, let’s go over this room and the beautiful large scale art on the wall around the tv.   Try to picture the tv and the tv stand here without the art surrounding it.  No bueno.  Or maybe I should say boring central.  That art adds so much to the overall look of this room.  In a rental you can easily do the same – carefully select and hang art of whatever kind that matches the scale and dimension of the wall it’s on and the furniture it is surrounded by.  This may mean you’ll have to get a bit creative if you find yourself moving to a new house.  Maybe what worked in the living room in the old house will work better in the dining room of the new house or the master bedroom.  Nothing is set in stone.  And don’t get hung up (see what I did there?) on all the nail holes.  Command hooks can be a renter’s lifesaver!  So find your best art and get to hanging!

 

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Board and batten can be temporary too

 

Some of you may be thinking that this is temporary wall decor for crazy people and you just might be right.  But maybe someone out there is stuck in a rental for a few years (or longer!) and just hoping for the opportunity to add some wood trim magic that is board and batten on the walls of that dull rental.  Well, you know the landlord’s rules, but my point here is that you can do this with just a few tiny nail holes in the wall.  You don’t use construction adhesive like you would in a more permanent installation, nor do you caulk the seams where the boards and the battens meet the wall.  You just nail it in and paint it.  Another transformative change for that rental house with white walls and dull everything.  There are tutorials for diy board and batten in every corner of the internet.  One of the best ones that I’ve found was done by John and Sherry over at Young House Love.  So thorough.  If you want to know how to do it, they’ve even got a couple of videos on the whole process.

 

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The end of this story really points to you.  Which wall treatment are you going to do in your own home?  I can tell you that I’ve got big plans here at my home – temporary wallpaper and shiplap along with some faux built-ins.  In our rental.  Because I’m turning our house into our home.  Stay tuned for more details!

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Military Life

Identity

Marriage

Relationships

Join She Thrives Coaching Club

work with me

STOP Saying These Phrases if Your Want to Grow Your Business

Watching Your Competition Won't Help You Grow

My Morning Routine for a Successful Workday

10 Business Tools to Transform your Productivity

blog posts

most recent

tune into the show!

Hey, I'm Becca! I help military wives confidently survive military life.

blog categories