6 Simple ways to make your rental bedroom more cozy

Dakota Murphey runs through a few of the ways to put your personal stamp on your rental home – without risking the security deposit
Story by: Dakota Murphey – Guest writer
Covering the walls can lift your rental bedroom communication, furniture, job, learning, orange
Covering the walls can lift your rental bedroom

With the crushing news that Millennials won’t ever be able to buy their own house (apparently something to do with our insatiable appetite for avocados), it sounds like it’s time to get comfortable with renting – indefinitely.

Of course, that’s not necessarily a terrible thing. Renting definitely has its perks, like never having to worry if the boiler packs up, or being able to up and move to a new city within a matter of weeks. For a generation that is scraping a living together in the gig-economy, having to relocate for new work makes renting almost a requirement.

There is one universal sadness about renting a home though; the total inability to customise, particularly where it matters most. Ugly kitchens can get by if they’re functional, and pastel bathroom suites are almost nostalgic… but bedrooms? Faced with décor that’s either offensively twee or depressingly magnolia, rental bedrooms are almost always sentenced to being tasteless and impersonal.

Or is it? Having lived in more rental properties than I can count on two hands, I can recommend a number of ways to put your personal stamp on any room (but particularly your bedroom) with minimal effort and without having to sacrifice your security deposit.1. Command strips/Command hooksThere you were, thinking that you couldn’t hang pictures in fear of leaving great big holes in the wall – and here I am, to let you know where there’s a will, there’s a way. And when I say ‘a will’, I’m actually referring to the renter’s best friend: Command Strips.


Furniture can make all the difference in a desk, furniture, interior design, product, room, gray
Furniture can make all the difference in a rental room

Command Strips are essentially wall-velcro. One side backs onto your poster, picture frame or whatever else it is that you’re trying to hang, and the other sticks to the wall. Use a few of these babies in conjunction and you can stick almost anything (up to about 7.2kg) up on the wall. You can also use Command hooks to hang pictures.When the time comes to move out (or when you fancy a change of scenery), you simply stretch out the adhesive and it peels away – just follow the (simple) instructions carefully, and your landlord won’t ever know you had a 30-frame gallery wall above your bed.

2. Luxury beddingWhile I would never recommend splurging on a rental property (you’re never going to get your investment back after all), it’s absolutely worth indulging in the items you’ll hold onto when you leave. At the top of this list is comfortable, luxurious bedding, and fun, fresh linen to cover it with. It’s likely that your bed takes up a significant amount of space in your room, and you’d be surprised at what the difference a snuggly duvet in a bright, crisp cover can make. Don’t forget to add a co-ordinated blanket when it gets chilly!3. Wall decalsNot everyone’s cup of tea, but perfect for personalisation in a pinch. If you’re not familiar, wall decals are essential large vinyl stickers that can be stuck on any smooth surface and then neatly peeled away again. They come in literally endless colours and shapes, so have a good browse online to find your favourite.

For those of you feeling more daring, temporary wallpaper is also a thing.

4. RugsWhat is it with rental properties and ugly carpet? It’s either painfully bland, or some garish multi-toned mixture that’s clearly been chosen for its ability to camouflage stains and survive tenants for the next three decades. Your best bet is definitely going to be investing in an area rug that’s as big as you can afford – preferably that can all but cover the underlying monstrosity of rental flooring.

Change out light fittings and hang paintings to bedroom, ceiling, furniture, home, house, interior design, room, wall, white
Change out light fittings and hang paintings to put your stamp on a rental room

If your room is an awkward shape then you might need to get creative and layer-up a few low-pile rugs, angling them around corners and tucking under larger bits of furniture.

5. Cheap fittingsThe cheap paper lampshade dangling in the middle of your bedroom is probably so dull you’ve forgotten what it looks like. Swapping it out for a statement shade that reflects your own personal style is a really easy way to create oodles of character at the flick of a switch – just don’t forget to swap them back before you go!6. CurtainsIf I had a tenner for every horrible curtain or blind that I’ve encountered while renting, I could almost start scraping together a deposit! Luckily, there are a few workarounds. Recessed windows are a doddle to hide behind a voile on a tension rod, while carefully pinning or draping floaty fabrics on top of ugly curtains can work just as well.See? Nothing mind-blowing (well, apart from Command Strips which have absolutely changed my life forever), just a few low-effort hacks to keep your rented room feeling like home. Give a few of these a go and I guarantee that sobbing into your avo-toast will soon become your second favourite hobby.

Dec 13, 2017






Similar stories

NEO by Classen

A new generation of design flooring bringing together the outstanding characteristics from the worlds of laminate and vinyl design. NEO by Classen is waterproof and extremely robust, PVC and Plasticiser free, is ecological and rec... Read more

Innovative gas fireplaces

This stunning new fire is ‘on trend’, ideal for contemporary spaces and generous living areas. Read more

Your guide to christmas lights

If you want to inject your home with a healthy dose of Christmas cheer, nothing beats Christmas lights Read more

Latest books

Home Trends 3403

The design of our homes – new or renovated – should be an individualistic response to our lifestyle, family set-up and budget. But there are also common requirements we should all aim for – a balance of public and private space... Read more

Fowler Homes

These high-quality homes proudly designed and built by Fowler Homes are just the starting point for your own inspiration. They reflect the latest and best  ideas, materials and technologies to benefit your own home Read more

Home Trends 3401

If you're designing a bathroom for a new home or renovating your existing one, you'll quickly discover how involved the process can be.It's not only the challenge of how to fit the different functional zones into the often limi... Read more

Related profiles

Creative Flooring

Creative Flooring is 100% NZ owned and operated and the only company in New Zealand that can produce pre-finished wood and cork flooring to order, in a range of colours to match any décor. Read more


The new leader of home design and fashion in New Zealand, representing some of the best flooring and plumbing manufacturers in the world, and with the most exclusive range of flooring and wall tiles the market can offer. Read more

The Studio of Tableware

The Studio of Tableware is regarded as New Zealand’s leading tableware specialist. Read more