When renting, it can sometimes feel like you’ve got fewer options when it comes to decorating your home to reflect your personal style. However, even if your house or apartment hasn’t been updated since 1994, here are 5 easy tips on how you can spruce it up. Best of all, they’re all things you should be able to do without needing to ask your landlord permission.

1. Mirrors

If a space feels dark or closed off, consider adding a mirror to it. Mirrors can do wonders to brighten a room and make it feel bigger. Lean a mirror on a chair, cabinet or the floor. Test different angles locations to see where you can position it to best catch the light.

2. Houseplants

Houseplants are having a resurgence and we’re all for it! With types to suit those with the greenest of thumbs right down to those that swear they couldn’t keep anything alive, there’s something for everyone.

For the practical

Pot some basil or mint and keep on a sunny windowsill. Now you’re set next time one of your mates randomly suggests mojitos.

If you’re in for the long haul

Consider a larger plant, like a rubber tree. Rubber trees can grow to an impressive height within a couple of years and are relatively low maintenance. But if things don’t work out between you, don’t plant it outside – they’ve got roots so strong they can damage the foundations of houses.

For those who kill all the plants

Try aloe vera. As a succulent, it can be a bit more forgiving if you forget to water it. Aloe vera likes bright rooms, but not direct sunlight, and is ok with humidity so it can be a great candidate for bathrooms.

If in doubt, check out this ABC News article on the health benefits of indoor plants.

3. Pictures

Some landlords are happy for you to add hooks to your walls, some aren’t. If you’re not able to install picture hooks, consider propping your pictures up on other surfaces or using 3M Command Hooks. 3M Command Hooks are sticky hooks that promise they can be removed from walls without damaging them.

4. Light shades and bulbs

A statement light shade can make even the dullest room look fresher. Check out local op shops, or even IKEA. From IKEA, the NYMÖ matches most rooms but is unique enough to work as a statement piece.

Another option if a room is too dark or bright is to change light bulbs to something that’s the colour and strength that you’re after.

5. Ask a friend whose house you love to come and give you their opinion

If you’ve got a friend whose house looks awesome, ask them to come around and give you a few tips. Fresh eyes can come up with all sorts of great ideas, like moving around pieces of furniture or even tips on decluttering so you feel like you’ve got more space.

Bonus tip – Ask your landlord if you can paint

Often, landlords are as keen to find great tenants as you are to find a great landlord. If you’re looking to stay somewhere for a couple of years but would prefer it if your bedroom was white and not olive green, offer to paint it. Some landlords are very open to you making cosmetic changes to your home, especially if they don’t think it will negatively impact the property’s value. You might be able to come to an agreement like you doing the painting and your landlord pays for the paint.

One of the best things about renting is that it gives you the option to live in different locations and see what you think of them. That said, if you’re getting to the stage where you’ve decided you don’t want to rent forever, saving for a house deposit can be a motivating goal to work towards.


With BrickX, you can invest in the property market from as little as $50 by buying Bricks. Earn net rental income and potential capital returns, while learning more about the property market.

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