No matter how many times we move into new rentals, the daunting feeling of walking into a basic house with creamy white empty walls (in a semi-gloss finish, whyyyy) will never go away. Sure, painting is always an option and I’m all about the power of paint but sometimes you want more. Sometimes you need to elevate your design to truly decorate a large wall. While homeowners might turn to classic wallpaper options or other wall treatments like beautiful moldings, renters can feel stuck with blank walls. You don’t have to though, there are decorating options even for renters. I wanted to share 7 things that renters can put on their walls – things that are creative and beautiful and most importantly, they are easily removed when it’s time to pack up and move onto the next place.
7 Ways to Decorate a Large Wall in a Rental Home – Decorating Bare Walls
Temporary wallpaper is one of my favorite ways to spruce up a rental. As little as a couple of years ago, there weren’t very many options for removable wallpaper. Today, there are hundreds of gorgeous wallpapers to choose from and they are much more widely available. I found this wallpaper for an accent wall in our main bedroom on Amazon and it was really affordable. Spoonflower is another retailer that has a large variety of both removable and traditional wallpaper. The removable wallpaper from this retailer is a splurge that may not be in a renter’s budget. That being said, if you find a wallpaper there that you cannot live without – it’s worth exploring the idea of an accent wall. Here’s a tutorial for installing removable wallpaper.
Hack Regular Wallpaper to Make Any Wallpaper Removable
While my first option for decorating a large wall is removable wallpaper, my second favorite thing to put on walls in a rental home is regular wallpaper (the kind that you typically paste to the walls) but make it rental-friendly. This is a great tool to have in your toolbox when you can’t find the perfect removable wallpaper or you’ve just fallen in love with a traditional wallpaper that you just can’t shake. I added a wallpaper accent wall to my dining room with this little hack to make any wallpaper removable.
Use Vinyl Tile as a Backsplash
The most challenging space in my house to make ours has been the kitchen. With its very dated look and very little I could change about it, I found little ways to make a big impact. Adding some rolls of vinyl that look like tile along the walls of the kitchen to look like a backsplash was a really easy update that went a long way to making the kitchen look more my style. There are many options for removable backsplash ideas. I found one I loved and shared how to install it here. The great thing about this printed vinyl is that you can use it in a variety of ways, not just backsplash.
Use Wall Decals as a Fun Accent Wall
The girls were so excited to decorate their shared room when we moved to Twentynine Palms. I helped come up with some ideas to make it feel like their special space including adding wall decals to create this accent wall behind their bunk beds. Wall decals like these little dots all the way to full-blown removable wall murals, there are so many beautiful ways to create an accent wall that can help make a space feel more personalized.
Hang Family Photos in a Gallery Wall
Nothing says home like having some family portraits hanging on the wall. While I’m not crazy about giant gallery walls with dozens of family photos in main living spaces, I do love a classy gallery wall that’s done well. I hung this grid-style gallery wall in our living room in our last house and it now hangs on our stair landing in our current home. I think the black and white photos are timeless. I think a lot of times as renters, we shy away from putting too many holes in the walls. I think spending a day filling holes is incredibly worth it to make a home you love.
Create Your Own Art
Another thing renters can put on walls to make it feel like home is what you might think of when you think of wall decor, wall art. I think the use of good art is very underrated. I’ve recently started investing in prints and original art from artists that I love and I plan to build on that collection going forward. Sometimes it can be difficult to purchase art for various reasons including budget constraints, design plans, etc. I wanted a large piece of art to go above our sofa and knew that I simply couldn’t afford a piece at the scale I wanted. Instead, I created my own canvas and painted my own artwork that is now hanging behind the sofa. Never let budget hold you back from creating a home you love – if you can’t buy it, there are so many other options: thrifting, DIYing, etc.
Create a Grid Style Accent Wall with Vinyl Decals
In our old house, I was really into accent walls that featured pretty trim and molding. Although we owned the home, we knew we’d be selling it in the near future so I didn’t want to do too many permanent wall treatments so I opted for a renter-friendly accent wall in our bedroom. Using 2 1/2 in. white vinyl decals, I created a grid-style accent wall. I loved the contrast of the white on the greige wall. You can really get creative with this and do picture frame molding or a diamond accent wall. If I were to do it again, I might do a thinner vinyl strip in a monochrome look.
I hope this post has enlightened you a little bit to all of the options there are for renters to put on their walls. Living in a rental doesn’t have to be boring and you certainly aren’t consigned to whatever blah space is already there. You absolutely have the ability to make a rental your own with simple things like putting things on the walls. If you are interested in more ideas for decorating a rental home I have a rental decorating guide I think you will enjoy. I’d love to hear about some ideas or things you’ve seen renters put on their walls to personalize them and make them feel more like home.
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