Simple Ways to Personalize Your Living Space

Reader Contribution by Ashley Houk
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I’ve been living in rented spaces for nearly a decade and, while I have managed to make most of them quite homey, decorating can be overwhelming. At times, it even seems impossible due to limited space and strict lease guidelines.

You have no choice in wall color, flooring, cabinets or accents. On top of that, many property managers don’t allow tenants to paint the walls and request that no holes be put into them. Even though you probably paid a security deposit, you don’t necessarily want to lose it, if and when you find your forever home or choose to relocate. Save your security deposit and add your personal style to any living space with these simple—often upcycled—decorating projects.

Photo by Adobe Stock/

Create True-to-You Planters

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ranked indoor air pollution as on the top threats to human health. Luckily, some studies have shown that indoor plants can help purify the air by eliminating potentially harmful agents. In addition, houseplants have been shown to improve mental health, reduce stress levels, as well as boost productivity and mood.

Incorporating plants, even into a small space, is easy and thrifty. Repurpose aluminum cans into small, tabletop planters for succulents or cacti. You can also create a vertical, indoor garden out of an old spice rack or other cubby cabinet.

Prefer potted plants? No problem! Transform an old shower caddy or create minimalist plant stands.

Photo by Adobe Stock/mamako.

Decorate with DIY Wall Art

Maybe you’re not supposed to use nails or screws in a rental, but filling holes is easy and takes next to no time when you’re ready to move out. So, dress up those drab, neutral walls!

Add bohemian vibes with a simple wall hanging or keep things looking upscale with a Pollock-esque canvas in your color scheme. If you’re fond of nature-inspired art, or need something special for the kitchen, create prints using cut fruits, veggies or your favorite foliage.

Another option for wall décor is contact paper. Unlike painting or wallpaper, it’s easy to apply and remove, is inexpensive and can be used in so many ways.

One upside to renting? Most places are painted and decorated with neutral tones, which means you can choose furniture, dishes, bedding and other simple accents that you love and ensure that they’ll be a match wherever you end up.

Looking for more ways to personalize your living space? Check out these projects:
A to Z: Personalized Wall Art
12 DIY Projects to Bring Nature Indoors
Modern Macramé Hanging Planter