5 DIY Home Decor Tips for Rental Homes with Small Spaces

Living in a small rental apartment can be tricky for many tenants. Limited space can also stifle your creativity and make it hard to personalize your home. Well, you don’t have to become a landlord or real estate investor to decorate your home tastefully. Do you want to make the most of your tiny rental? Would you also like to preserve your security deposit? Here are the top 5 DIY home decor tips for rental homes with small spaces. Let’s dive in!

Rental kitchen

5 DIY Home Decor Tips for Rental Homes with Small Spaces

1. Hang it Up

If you’re low on horizontal space, then go vertical. Hanging up personal items like photos, artwork, and even decorations can help spruce up your rental and make it feel like a home. You can even go beyond the aesthetics and make it a functional space to hang up clothing like hats and scarf. 

However, avoid putting a nail in the wall, as that can leave some permanent damage. Instead of stirring up drama with your landlord, opt for command strip and velcro hooks which allow you to flaunt your pieces without damage.  

2. Buy a Shelf

Another excellent decor tip for rental homes with small spaces is to buy a shelf. A bookshelf or a floating shelf is also a perfect way to maximize your vertical space while keeping everything you place on it organized. 

A popular piece in many rental homes is a modular shelf which allows you to change the rows and columns depending on how you see fit. So you can insert anything from as big as a television to a tiny photo frame of your favorite moment. 

Upright bookshelf

3. Create Different Zones

Making a small room functional can be a challenge which is why some people are hesitant to section certain parts off further. However, creating a specific zone for entertainment, working, or reading in each corner can make your space seem larger. It can also make you more productive as it primes your mind in each environment.

Curtains, divider screens, shelves, and even placing furniture against each other are budget-friendly ways to section off your room without breaking your security deposit. Even painting one side of the room a different color can easily differentiate the kitchen from the dining room. But you should contact your local property manager in Arlington before you repaint your rental. 

4. Use a Mirror

Mirrors are an excellent way to add more depth to your space and give your room the illusion of looking bigger. For example, a strategically placed floor-to-ceiling mirror can give your closet or room the enhancing effect of infinite space. 

If you can’t go that big, you can also maximize your natural light with aesthetically pleasing round mirrors. It could also be an opportunity for you to reflect on beautiful pieces in your home, like your gorgeous chandelier, one-of-a-kind painting, or stunning photo collage. 


5. Stash it Out of Sight

Finally, you can place your belongings out of sight and stash them underneath and behind furniture. For example, you can arrange your couch at an angle that backs corners of the room, giving you room to place baskets or decorative bins against the wall.

Whatever you decide to stash it in, ensure that it goes with the room’s decor, as that will prevent it from sticking out like a sore thumb. Also, if you plan to keep it underneath a piece of furniture, ensure you keep it organized. Feel free to use a thin layer of complementary fabric to keep your items hidden. 

Important Lease Reminders for Tenants Before and After Decorating

  1. Review Your Lease

As a tenant, it’s crucial to review your lease before making any cosmetic changes to your apartment. Different rentals have policies on what tenants can change, so it would be best to familiarize yourself with the rules so you don’t make a costly mistake.

  1. Just Ask Your Landlord

After reviewing the list, if you still need more clarification, just ask your landlord. They’ll be able to offer some much-needed clarity on what you can do without fear of losing your security deposit. 

  1. Document the Before and After

Security deposit disputes are one of the most common reasons for landlord-tenant rifts. However, after reviewing your lease and asking for the go-ahead, you can go the extra mile by taking photographic and video proof. Knowing what the apartment looks like before and after your DIY changes can settle disputes that may arise later.  


A small space shouldn’t limit you from making your house as authentic as possible. With these 5 unique DIY solutions, you can spruce up your rental and make it feel more like home. For example, command strips and hooks let you hang up personal items without risking damaging them, and shelves are another great way to utilize your vertical space. Also, sectioning your room into different zones can make it more functional, and using a mirror can create optical illusions of a bigger space. 

There are plenty of tips you can play around with to make a miniature rental cozier. Although before making any significant changes, it’s essential to review your lease and ask your landlord or property manager for a go-ahead. 

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