Ideas for making a rental feel like home.

Home decorating ideas on a budget

How to decorate on a budget. Use these clever tricks to make it a home.

Moving into a new apartment or home?

There are simple and cost-effective tricks to help you decorate your new home or apartment on a budget. Even though some rental leases do not allow for re-decorating or painting there are still ways to bring some personalization, comfort and life to your living space. Use these clever and cost-effective tricks to make your space a real home sweet home.

Living areas

Making your living areas comfortable and stylish is not difficult. Even on a tight decorating budget you can create the look you want. Consider these ideas:

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  • Invest in your furniture. Shop intentionally for items that will transition into any future home, especially one you might purchase. Whether you prefer contemporary or modern there are many to choose from.
  • Use fabrics to add personality. If the wall colors are neutral, you can easily dress up a room with colorful fabrics. Create a vibrant scene in the living room by pairing a simple sofa with bold throw pillows and playful drapes.
  • Personalize with paint. If you own your home, you're able to paint with colors you appreciate. If you rent, be sure to get permission to paint or make major changes. Some landlords paint before new tenants move in, and they may let you pick from a few color options.
  • Updating walls without paint. If picking out your own wall color isn't an option, there are some great ways you can still update the look of your walls with things such as temporary peel-and-stick vinyl wall decals and temporary wallpaper (Check to make sure it won't damage walls before using). You can even experiment with fabric wall hangings and lights that would not cause damage to the walls.
  • Utilize furniture. Bookshelves and book cases can be a versatile way to decorate any room. A tall bookshelf has a homey feel, and in an open floor plan it can signal the transition between a dining and living area. If you need extra counter space, opt for a shorter bookcase that could double as a buffet or cocktail station. Painting the bookshelf could provide additional color. You can always paint a dresser or end table as an alternative to bring in various colors into your living space.
  • Utilize rugs. Give your home a refreshed look by covering damaged or outdated flooring with rugs. Kitchens and bedrooms are great places to experiment with colorful or patterned runners.


Bring in a touch of personality and individuality for you and your family in the bedrooms. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Select neutral colored bedding. White or neutral colored bedding is a great investment as they are versatile and easy to accessorize with. It sets a crisp, clean tone and provides a neutral backdrop upon which to layer throw blankets and pillows.
  • Utilize throw pillows. There are many ways to bring in color and decorate with throw pillows.
  • Add mirrors. Mirrors are functional, decorative and add dimension and light to a room.
  • Organize. Minimize clutter by organizing your space. Think of different and efficient ways to utilize closet space, shelving, containers and even note boards.


There are several simple things you can experiment with to create the atmosphere you enjoy. Here are a few ideas:

  • Light it up. Add lamps and candles to create a feeling of coziness. The soft, dim light will change the whole look and feel of the room. Adding light fixtures, such as a variety of portable lamps, gives you options to create different light levels and varying ambiance.
  • Repurpose accessories. Repurposing and restyling items can be affordable and simple. Decorating a shelf or tabletop with items you already own is a great way to decorate. Picture frames, candles, collectibles, vessels and figurines can be moved or re-arranged for a new look and feel to any room.
  • Hang pictures or art. Nothing reflects your style more than pictures and art. If you're comfortable filling a few small nail holes before you move out, then hang that frame (search for the wall stud, first; otherwise use drywall anchors). If there is a strict no-nails-in-the-wall policy, opt for removable adhesive hooks that won't damage walls.
  • Get in touch with nature. Nurture your inner-gardener with an herb garden in small containers set in the kitchen window. If you don't have a green thumb, opt for succulents that are easy to care for and have interesting shapes. Occasionally, grab an inexpensive bouquet at the grocery store or farmer's market for a simple centerpiece that elevates the look of an entire room.
  • Swap out hardware and more. Update the look of a room by replacing cabinet hardware, interior doorknobs, and switch plates. If you rent, be sure to save the originals so you can put them back before you move out. If you have permission from the owner, you could also install new faucets for an upgraded look in the kitchen and bath.

Be creative and have fun when decorating. Making a home inventory is always a good idea. Also, be sure to review your home or renters insurance regularly to make sure you have adequate coverage.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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