Taking your rental from a soulless catalog room to a personal sanctuary is entirely achievable; you just have to be willing to make a few changes. With these 6 living room DIY hacks for a fresh start, you can add a personal touch to your living space without upsetting your landlord. From displaying wall art to creating an accent wall, let’s dive in:

6 Living Room DIY Hacks for a Fresh Start

Choose a Theme

Harmonize your living room’s outlook by opting for a theme. Nothing shouts fresh start like swapping some of your old furniture for newer complementary pieces. Besides, in 2024, incorporating a theme in your living space can make it stand out aesthetically and make your rental feel more like home. However, whether you’re going for a Bohemian style, seaside getaway vibes, or a neutral palette, ensure you’re not just doing it because of something trending on TikTok. Trends fade, and renovations can be expensive, so take your time in selecting something that reflects your preferences.

Create an Accent Wall

Personalize your space with an accent wall to give your guests something interesting to look at. For instance, you could opt to make yours a different color by repainting or installing temporary wallpaper. But you don’t have to limit yourself to making it look different; it can also feel different. Some interior designers like to mix things up by adding a wooden wall, painting a mural, or hanging several pieces of art and photos.

Refresh the Paint

Revitalize your living room with a fresh coat of paint. You’ll be surprised how repainting your walls can transform them from tired and old to new and improved. But Bay Property Management Group Philadelphia suggests checking your lease agreement before decorating or repainting. So, be sure to do that before grabbing your brushes from the store. If your lease doesn’t allow you to repaint, opt for some peel-and-stick wallpaper.

Display Your Collection

Make your house a home by showing off your collections. An excellent way to get a fresh start is to hang up multiple reminders of what makes you happy. This could be photos of your loved ones, souvenirs from previous trips, or framed affirmations that get you going. Command hooks and Velcro strips could be useful in hanging some of these things on the wall, otherwise, you could opt for a shelf that proudly allows you to display your collection.

Enhance the Lighting

Brighten up your living space by enhancing the lighting. Light plays a big role in the overall aesthetics of a room, and if you know how to use it, you can make your living space feel more cozy. Opt for more versatility with ambient lights that make the space more inviting. You can also include task lights, such as floor or desk lamps that make it easier to get things done without disrupting the general ambiance.

Adopt a Few House Plants

Add some greenery to your space by adopting a few house plants. Indoor flowers and herbs improve air quality, reduce stress, and improve focus. These perks can help you feel better as you start afresh in a new space, so consider looking for local plants that match your space.

Do’s and Don’ts on Decorating While on a Lease


Telling Your Landlord

Apartment makeover ideas are welcome, however, it’s essential to consult with your landlord before making any significant changes to your living space. So, ask the property owner if it’s okay to ensure you comply with your lease agreement.

Incorporating Your Style

Don’t shy away from incorporating your style into your home. Living in a rental can feel cold, especially when many of the furnishings aren’t to your taste. However, you can make it a lot cozier by adding minor accessories and sprucing up the space with the DIY hacks we highlighted to make it feel more you.

Storing What You Remove

Personalizing your rental living space could mean removing things your landlord has already installed. For instance, if you live in a furnished apartment, you might have to remove a couch to make room for another one that blends well with your theme. In that case, remember to store the couch you removed safely, preferably where your landlord suggests after consulting them.


Damaging the Property

Avoid damaging the property during your redecorating projects. Repainting without permission, installing nails, and scratching the wall while moving furniture all count as tenant damage. Therefore, your landlord would be entitled to deduct repairs from your security deposit.

Installing Permanent Fixtures

Similarly, installing permanent fixtures without prior permission can also count as tenant damage. You might think adding a shelf is a plus to the living space, but the next renter, or the landlord could easily disagree with you. Instead of risking your security deposit on an improvement, always opt for easy-to-remove or no-damage options. Besides, you can always reuse these items in your next home, so it’s a lot cheaper in the long run.

Leaving the Property Without Reverting it Back

Most leases require tenants to restore the property to its original condition when they move out. However, even if your lease has that clause, it would be best to revert to the living room to avoid future disputes. Before making any changes, you can take pictures to ensure you know what colors the walls are or where to place whatever furniture you remove.


Are you moving to a new rental and looking for tips on how to make your new house feel like home? These 6 living room DIY hacks for a fresh start are sure to give you stress-free ideas. So go ahead and select a theme, create an accent wall, and display your collections. You should be safe as long as you keep your landlord updated and stick to decor items you can easily remove. Also, remember to leave the property as you met it and avoid unnecessary tenant damage.