Rental Style

Knowing how to communicate your personality via your décor and making your space feel ‘truly’ yours can be a challenge at the best of times – but particularly if you are living in a rented home. However, it is possible to decorate your interior without knocking down walls and losing your deposit, as explored by Medina Grillo in her book ‘Home Sweet Rented Home’. Medina shares lots of styling tips and DIY ideas that can inject some personal character into a rented home, and I have picked some of my favourite suggestions to share with you:


One of the most budget friendly and easiest ways to showcase your personality at home is to express yourself through wall art. Medina proposes fashioning a gallery wall to introduce some character through the colours, patterns and imagery, showing off ‘what you like’ and ‘who you are’. You can purchase cheap frames from charity shops and upcycle them yourself in fun colour combinations to match your space.

Top Tip: To get the gallery wall layout just right, lay your images out on the floor first before attaching to the wall, preferably with adhesive strips that can later be removed with minimal damage to the wall.

As well as a gallery wall, removable vinyl wallpapers are becoming increasingly popular with a variety of patterns and colours to suit every taste and add a playful dimension to your home. They also have an adhesive sticky back that can easily peal and stick without ruining your walls and saving your deposit on moving day!


Another element in your rental home that you are stuck with is the flooring, nonetheless Medina advocates utilising plenty of runners and rugs to add warmth, materials and colour throughout your space. Cover the entire room or simply add a pop of texture for variety, either way the great thing about rugs and runners is they are not permanent! Play around, layer and change them up as much as you like.

“Contentment within your home is something you can find now, not in a far off, home owning future” – Medina Grillo


One way to maximise your rental space is to experiment with storage. Multipurpose furniture, such as a bed with drawer’s underneath or ottomans and poufs that double up as storage boxes are a great way to ensure you have minimal clutter. By removing unnecessary ‘stuff’ from around your home it will feel more spacious and therefore welcoming. Medina also advises buying some inexpensive wooden crates that can be effortlessly painted and used as storage boxes or even attached to the wall for shelving.

Kitchen cabinets can sometimes be outdated and old fashioned, Medina recommends removing the cabinet doors to generate a more open modern ‘look’. This also means you can show off your prettier bowls and cups and even place some vinyl wallpaper on the back of the cupboards for an extra dose of bold personality.

Top Tip: Make sure you store your kitchen cupboard doors somewhere safe and dry so they can easily be put back when you leave the property. Also, Medina suggests only removing the top cabinet doors so you can still store unsightly food cans and packets in the lower cupboards.


Medina has a few key rules when purchasing furniture and accessories for your rental home:

  • Make sure you buy some investment pieces as well as bargain furniture. Mix and match your pieces.
  • Search in second hand or charity shops for some unconventional finds.
  • Transform furniture pieces by painting and giving them a refresh and new ‘look’.
  • Customise and upcycle as much as you can to truly express you character.
  • Insert lots of soft furnishings such as throws, cushions and area rugs for added warmth and personality.
  • Pick a theme and colour and stick with it for a consistent and connected look.
  • Include lots of indoor plants around your home to add affordable character.