Young people these days in the UK are increasingly becoming synonymous with a rather depressing millennial-defining name: generation rent. This refers to the fact young adults are being pushed towards renting accommodation as a result of astronomically high house prices, a meagre growth in real incomes and tighter lending policies being offered  by banks. A study conducted by the thinktank Resolution Foundation has shown that barely half of all UK families in Britain own their own home, highlighting the difficulties young adults face, whilst the rate of property-owning has been declining since 2002.

Think those statistics sound dismal?  Wait till you hear about renting in London. Research from PwC has shown that by 2025, only 40% will own their own home, with city dwellers becoming predominantly renters. In comparison, 60% of Londoners owned their property in 2000.

Evidently, a profound change has taken place, and some might say a dreary one, but it doesn’t have to be viewed that way necessarily. When people think about one of the fundamental perks of buying a home, it is likely high up on that list will be something to do with the freedom to decorate in whichever way you choose.

However, if getting onto the property ladder doesn’t seem too likely to you in the not too distant future – fear not! Hope is far from lost.

In fact, there are many different ways you can inject a little bit of your personality into the place where you are renting, without having to fret about causing irrevocable damage and never seeing the light of day of that hard-earned deposit.

We should add though that it is also worth asking your landlord before expecting the worst on making alterations: some don’t mind if you repaint a room, add a bit of wallpaper or add a couple of shelves, provided that you return the property in its original state when leaving for good.

Still, even if this isn’t possible, there are plenty of options available to you. We’ve had a little peruse online for some clever and creative ways you can decorate your rental property, and gathered only the very best:

  • Invest in lighting
  • Wallpaper stickers
  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Pictures and postcards
  • Wall tapestry
  • Bookcases
  • Soft furnishings


Invest in lighting




Harsh lighting hardly gives a welcoming homely vibe to a property, so if you want to make some speedy changes to your home, investing in some table or standing lamps, or fairy lights is a great way to start.


Wallpaper stickers

Yes, it is possible to customise your walls without damaging them, or making a hefty dent in your deposit! Have you thought about trying contact paper in your home? There are a myriad of things you can do with it – Pinterest is an excellent place to look if you are feeling thrift of inspiration. These wall stickers are removable, and another way in which you can add a bit of personality to your rental property. We love these chalkboard wall stickers from






Buying some plants or succulents is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to update your home and add a little personality, why not change things up a little?



In a similar vein, flowers can add a splash of colour (and a bit of oxygen) to a dull living room or bedroom. If buying flowers regularly seems like it could end up a bit of a costly affair, why not buy a batch of fake flowers to supplement them and get an almost the same effect? And there are plenty of things you can do with them – why not put them in a little glass jar, or turn them into floral wallpaper hangings?


Pictures and postcards




So, perhaps your landlord won’t allow you to paint the walls a lurid green, but, you can still add some colour to them! Why not hang a few painting up, using various sizes so you can frame a few postcards too? If you are a bit scared of drilling a few holes into the wall (and who can blame you) then why not prop the frames on a bookshelf or mantelpiece?

Buying artwork or posters for your home doesn’t have to be an expensive investment: try scouring local charity shops for some bargains, browse eBay and Amazon.


Wall tapestry

Want to make a statement? Hanging a wall tapestry should do just the trick! We like this intricately detailed, fringed tapestry available at Urban Outfitters at £45.






Don’t underestimate the power of a humble bookcase! If you are a serial renter, bookcases are your friend. Fairly easy to put together, and a fantastic storage option if you aren’t able to put shelves up. You could also use a bookcase to pop a few frames onto if similarly, you are limited in terms of hanging pictures on your wall, turn into an eye-catching display and add some succulents too!

And who says that bookcases have to be limited to your living room or bedroom? Why not use one for storing ingredients from the kitchen? Get creative! You could even use a bookcase as a room divider, the options are endless.


Soft furnishings

If you are feeling restricted in your ability to add some character to your house, why not invest in some cosy throws, blankets or cushions? It’s a practical way to add a bit of textural detail and colour to your interior and to snuggle up in comfort during these next few cold wintry months. For ideas, we really like the home collection Liberty has to offer this season.

As you can see, there are numerous ways in which you can decorate your rental property. It may require a little bit more time and creative thinking to consider the options than if you had your own property, and with a few ideas you may have to pick up the phone and contact your landlord, but it will be time well spent. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t add your own style to your home, rented or not!