How to transform your rented home (and still get your deposit back)

With everyone on a DIY buzz in isolation, renters are feeling a little left out. However, there are loads of great ways to change up your home that won't get you in trouble with your landlord

There are many things about our current Covid-19 restrictions that are difficult, but an undoubted upside for many people is that their homes have never looked so good. With nowhere to go, our attention has been turned to what we can do at home, and so jobs that have been put off for years are suddenly being tackled with gusto.

My local hardware store can't keep paint in stock, and I've been talking to people who have been transforming weed-filled gardens, re-sealed their showers, and even gotten round to painting the stairs. However, those of us who rent our homes can't generally join in with these transformative tasks without risking losing our deposit.

Or so we may think. Although painting is probably off the cards, there are actually loads of things you can do to make your space feel fresh, and a little more you, that can easily be reversed when you move out.


Light fixtures

They're not something people often think of changing in a rented home, but good light fixtures will make a world of difference to any room. Not only can you choose one you like the look of more, choosing a style that casts light around the room better will improve the whole mood, especially in the evenings.

Just make sure to keep the light fitting you took down, and you can replace it before you move out. You'll also be able to take your carefully chosen light fixtures to your next place.

transform your rented homeBow pendant lamp, £69, Made

If you don't want to get an electrician in to change the ceiling lights, then turn your attention to lamps. If my experience of renting is anything to go by, any lamps that are there will be cheap and fairly basic, but a good lamp is key to layering the light in your room, avoiding a bright glare from overhead and shadowy corners.

transform your rented homeBlack metal floor lamp, €199, Woo .Design

Lamps are also a great way to add personality to a space when you can't paint, or have a lot of your own furniture, so keep an eye out for interesting second-hand or vintage ones if you want something a little out of the ordinary.


While you may not be able to paint your walls, removable decals mean you can have the appearance of tiles or wallpaper that is totally reversible. Beija Flor has loads of great options that look like beautiful tiles or wall panels.

transform your rented homeArmenian roll sticker from €35, Beija Flor

If you'd like to transform a whole wall, then removable wallpaper is your best bet. There are many retailers online who provide this in endless designs, but Etsy is a good place to start.


transform your rented homeWildflowers removable wallpaper from €24.32, Marzipan Days on Etsy

Whether you want a bold, abstract pattern, something more subtle to cover your landlord's choice of garish colour, or a cute design to brighten up a child's room, there's endless options to suit your home.


Like lighting, curtains are something that's probably already in your rented home, which makes it easy to simply switch them with something that's more to your taste. Just make sure the curtains you buy are suitable for whatever curtain pole or system you have.

transform your rented homeGunrid air-purifying curtains, €25, Ikea

Many brands such as Ikea and H&M home have inexpensive curtains that will quickly transform a room. This may not be the time to invest in a pair of curtains, as although quality fabric will last a long time, if you move and your windows are a different size, you'll probably have to buy new ones.


Details like tatty light fittings and scratched cupboard handles will make a home feel scruffy, but these are easily replaced.

transform your rented homeCeramic melon knob, €16, Anthropologie

Whether it's your kitchen cabinets or a prominent chest of drawers, new handles will completely transform how they look, and you can take your pretty knobs with you when you move.



An instant and decidedly non-permanent way to transform a room is to change the textiles in it, whether that's investing in a beautiful rug for your bedroom, or disguising your worn sofa with a gorgeous throw and some cushions.

transform your rented homeBelgian linen throw, £224, hand dyed velvet jewel cushion cover, £68, extra large handwoven cotton cushion covers in Breton stripes, £22, Ingredients LDN

Unlike curtains, this is somewhere where you can go for investment pieces that you'll keep for years to come. A quality throw or rug will last for a long time, as well as having a gorgeous texture, and as long as you choose something you really love you can easily make it work in any home you move to in the future.

Featured image: Zara Home

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