Despite or the rules and regulations, there are simple ways to decorate a rental on a budget.
#1. Accent Wall
Don't paint your whole rental space! Instead, paint one accent wall in every room. Choose the wall directly opposite the entrance and paint it in a bright color that goes well with your furniture. This can be purple, blue, red, orange, yellow—in short, for a modern look, create a chic accent wall that makes a statement.
Lighting is very important in modern decor. For a simple decorating idea for renters consider visiting IKEA or another discount furniture store and buying large, see-through white lamps or lampshades reminiscent of Japanese lanterns. These make beautiful illuminated focal points in every room.
#3. Mantle Alternative
Many rental places have no fireplace and, hence, no mantle to form a decorative focal point. The simple decorating idea for renters is to place a console table against the wall with a decorative mirror hanging over it. Decorate the table with candles, pictures, a bowl of acorns, flower vases, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
#4. Wicker Baskets
Organize your stuff without crowding your rental place by using some colored wicker baskets. Buy cheap wicker baskets at a craft store, then spray paint them in a zesty color like lime green, orange or red, which will really spice up your decor. Next, you'll want an open bookcase to stack your baskets and decorate your space. I find that the most affordable bookcases are the DIY ones, which you have to put together yourself. You can find these at affordable department stores.
Perhaps the simplest decorating idea for renters involves pillows. And you don't have to invest in a whole bunch of new pillows. I recommend buying beautiful bright fabrics at a fabric store like JoAnn's and sewing new pillow cases for your old pillows. Just be sure you choose colors that go with the rest of your decor.
#6. Window Treatments
Curtains or beautiful blinds are important for any room because they decorate it vertically, which is the area least decorated. The simplest window decorating idea for renters is to hang curtains. I like hanging a wooden pole over a row of windows using ornate shelf brackets. It's cheaper than buying a separate curtain rod for each window. You can find ornate wooden poles and brackets at home improvement stores, where they can cut your pole down to size. As for the curtains, you can sew your own to match your pillows, or just buy curtains on sale. If you wish to turn a sheet or tablecloth into a curtain, use clip curtain rings to hang it.
Especially in smaller rental apartments or homes, a rug will help define the space in each room and add harmony to your decor. For a simple decorating idea for renters consider buying a rug at a home improvement store or cheap department store, where prices are affordable. Consider buying a single-toned rug but one that has a dominant color that will brighten the room. If your pillows and curtains match this color, your rug will bring everything together.
See-through things that allow light to flow through them make a space look beautiful. You can tie thick silk ribbons to ordinary drinking glasses and turn them into beautiful small vases. Save your wine bottles (or apple cider bottles) and display them in a cluster on window sills or your living room table. Beautiful glass jars like the honey bear ones are also beautiful to display.
#9. Homemade Fabric Art
You don't want to stud your rental walls with holes, so clustered art displays are out of the question. Therefore, be sure to select one or two dominant pieces for the entire room. Personally, I prefer mirrors in small rooms because they increase the visual space. If you can't afford expensive art, consider buying one yard of beautiful sturdy silk fabric at a craft store. Stretch the fabric on a frame built from 2x4 lumber, then hang your homemade fabric art on the wall.
Greenery and flowers have a calming effect on us. My simple decorating idea for renters is to display live plants (not silk or plastic) somewhere in each room. I like to cut branches from my trees and bushes to create live bouquets throughout my home. You can also weave a few silk flowers through this greenery and get away with the impression that the whole bouquet is real.