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5 Simple Steps to Renovate Your Rental Home For £303

24 Aug 20215 min read

Renovation possibilities are endless for homeowners, but renters are more restricted with how they can style their properties. However, that doesn’t mean that they are settling for magnolia walls and plain interiors - far from it!

Renters are arguably some of the most creative interior stylists. With deposits at stake, they find solutions that will inject colour and personality into their home, without leaving a trace come moving day.

We asked Instagrammers to share their top tips for making a rented house a home without blowing the budget!

The cost-effective rental renovation insights include:

  • Low-cost feature and gallery walls
  • Reusable statement accessories
  • Saving on soft furnishings
  • Bringing the outdoors in

1. Create a feature wall for £48

Cara rents an apartment in Manchester and runs the Instagram account @CasaDeCara, which she uses to share the transformation of her rented home to her almost 3,000 followers.

She recommends using vinyl or peel and stick wallpaper to create a completely reversible feature wall.


A chest of drawers next to a blank wall.


A chest of drawers next to a well decorated wall with black and white wall paper, plants and a mirror.

Cara says, “We have used this all over the flat to add our own style - from a full bedroom wall to decorating furniture and on our kitchen splashback. You can just peel it off when desired with no marks left on the wall. 

Not only is this perfect for renters who don’t want to damage walls, but also those who change their mind often. It’s super easy to apply and so the perfect solution to cover any of those dreaded yellow tinted walls!”

With vinyl wallpaper typically costing around £24 per roll, you could create a similar look in your own home for just £48 for two rolls. Any leftovers could be used to revamp your furniture too.

The thought of creating a gallery wall may fill some renters with dread - all those nails in the wall will take some repairing should they decide to move on! However, Cara has some workarounds that can make this must-have interior trend a reality.


A sofa and kitchen table in an empty room next to a set of black windows and tall plant.


A sofa and kitchen table in a decorated room with lots of picture frames on the wall and a desk next to the window.

Cara says, “A gallery wall will inject personality into your rental and is a great way to fill large blank spaces whilst ensuring your own style comes through. It is also the perfect time to think about colour scheme and how you want to match accents to the rest of your home. 

We have recently taken our large gallery wall of prints down as we fancied a change, and I can vouch for the brands Unibond (No More Nails) and Command Hooks as actually being renter-friendly and not leaving any damage at all!”

We’ve estimated that it’ll cost £76.28 to get you started with your gallery wall, based on 12 prints, 12 photo frames and Command Picture Hanging Strips.

3. Invest in decor you can take to your next home for £100

If you are still uncertain about making changes to walls, invest in some statement accessories for your home.

Cara explains, “In my bedroom, we are hiding away some of the furnishings that came with the flat in our storage cupboard and instead I am filling the room with pieces that I have personally picked and love that can come with me to my next home. 

I am also a sucker for buying nice kitchenware as I will always use them and they look nice on display if you’re short for storage like me. I am happy spending more on these items as I know I will have them for years and it can really change a space without needing to worry about damage.”

A budget of around £100 will be enough to secure some statement items for your home, from a decorative vase to a quirky candle, ornament or stylish cocktail shaker set.

Decorated kitchen shelves with plants and decorative mugs.

4. Use soft furnishings to add colour and texture for £39

Wirral-based Jess currently documents her renovation of her 1940s three-bedroom home on her Instagram account @RentingAt37. She recommends a clever workaround for those who are unable to paint their walls:

“You can bring in colour elsewhere if you can’t change your wall colours. Choose an accent colour or key shades and experiment with throws, cushions, artwork and prints to add texture to your space.” 

A cosy bed decorated with blue and yellow bedding.

Jess’ advice can be applied to virtually any room of the home, including the living room and bedroom. Brightly coloured blankets and cushions can be bought for under £10 each; we estimate that for just £39, you can buy four cushions and a coordinating blanket.

5. Add some greenery for £40

“Plants always help brighten a space up too,” comments Jess, illustrating how it’s not just what’s on the walls that will make your house feel homely. Not only is this an inexpensive addition to any room of the home, but studies have also shown that having indoor plants can reduce stress levels and help you feel calmer and more secure. 

A tidy, pale pink and white bedroom.

While a plant lover, Jess herself is a self-confessed plant murderer so if you’re worried about the upkeep of the plants, opt for an artificial one instead!

Although it varies depending on their size, a medium-sized real plant costs around £15 each, while an artificial version will usually set you back around £25.

Recreate their looks: your shopping list

We researched how much it would cost to recreate these Instagrammer’s looks in your own rented home. Here's how much each of the tips will cost to apply to your rental renovation.

1. Feature wall

  • Peel & stick wallpaper - £24 per roll
    • Cara recommended getting 2 rolls (£48) to maximise coverage.

  • Prints available from £4.99 from Desenio
  • Picture frames from 75p from IKEA
  • Command Picture Hanging Strips (x12 pairs) £7.40 from Amazon

3. Soft furnishings

  • Throw from £15
  • Cushions (x4) from £24

4. Statement accessories

  • £100 budget, which could include:
    • Cocktail shaker set from £25
    • Champagne saucers from £26

5. Plants

  • Medium-sized artificial plants from £25
  • Medium-sized real plants from £15

You can find more home inspiration on the Mattress Online blog; why not check out 2021’s must-have interiors trends or get inspired with nine TikTok hacks to transform your home?

We’ve got the home essentials covered too, with our range of mattresses and beds to suit any budget.