Fed up of living in a home that makes you feel like you're stuck in a 90’s time warp? Renting can often feel restrictive, especially when it comes to making a space your own. But, there is a solution: clever decorating hacks. Here are some budget-friendly ideas to help drag your dated rental home out of its past.

1. Use a bookshelf for more than just storing books

As well as housing your favourite novels, bookcases are a quirky way to showcase your favourite knick knacks. Whether it's plants, trinkets or candles, surround your books with statement accessories to create an eye-catching focal point.


From left to right: Quinn Corner Bookcase, Oak - now £55, Tavistock 3 Cube Storage Unit - £59, Quinn Ladder Desk Unit - now £85

2. Switch up the lighting

Good lighting can make all the difference to the look and feel of a space. And the great thing is, changing it up is both affordable and easy. Simply add a new lampshade, floor lamp or side light to brighten up your home. Or for an unorthodox twist, use outdoor lights as indoor lights. 


From left to right: Bonnie Glass Box Lantern, Black - now £29, Rosie Chandelier, Champagne - now £49, Elizabeth Vintage Floor Lamp - now £55

3. Personalise your bed with a headboard

Spruce up a lacklustre bed by installing a new head board. As well as adding your own personal stamp, a new head rest will instantly make your bed feel and look more luxurious.


From left to right: Silentnight Paris Headboard, Sandstone - £59, Barley Headboard, White - from £79, Madeley Fabric Headboard, Grey - from £99

4. Add a statement chair

If your rented space lacks personality, a statement chair is the perfect remedy. Whether it's a bright coloured seat to add a flash of colour, or a statement throne to dazzle your guests, a show-stopping chair can do wonders for a rented space. 

From left to right: Robin Day Polo 4 Leg Chair, Blue - £79, Grace Chair, Silver Velvet - now £109, Fraya Chairs Set of 4, Yellow - now £129

5. Cheer up a dated sofa with a throw

As the living room's flagship piece, a sofa can hugely impact the way a room looks. If you weren't blessed with a nice sofa when you moved in, cheer it up with a colourful throw - no-one will ever know what lies beneath.  

throws From left to right: Matalan Coral Fleece Throw - £10, Stripe Faux Mohair Throw - £20Matalan Quilted Patchwork Throw - £20

6. Replace the curtains

Give your home an instant face lift by replacing the curtains. This is also a clever way to inject colour, without touching the walls. Opt for a lively pattern or vibrant colour for maximum visual appeal.         


From left to right: Broadway Striped Eyelet Curtains, Black - from £25, Fiji Eyelet Curtains, Fuchsia - from £29, Penelope Eyelet Curtains, Blue - from £25

7. Add a statement rug

A statement rug is the perfect antidote for ugly flooring. As well as hiding what's underneath, rugs help to punctuate a room, making it feel warmer and more homely.

From left to right: Portia Rug, Mauve - £9, Harewood Rug, Blue - £19, Cabone Rug Yellow - £45, Penelope Eyelet Curtains, Blue - £25

8. Prop up statement art

If anything is going to give your home character, it's artwork. For a stylish look that will keep your walls intact, prop up your favourite pieces against a mantelpiece, chair or window sill. 


From left to right: Matalan Girl With Umbrella Canvas Wall Art - £10, Matalan Glitter Flower Canvas Wall Art - £8, Couples Canvas Wall Art - £10

For more decorating ideas for a rented home, check out our article: Bathroom Prep: Make a rented space your own.

*Prices correct at time of publishing. Prices subject to change.