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Get The Look: Three Ways To Make Your Rental Living Room Pop

Renting the place you live – whether it’s an apartment, house, or otherwise – can really put a cramp on your ability to decorate. After all, lots of the easiest ways to express yourself through design (aka painting and hanging art) are almost universally banned in rental homes. But even if you’re stuck with white walls and beige flooring, you can still have a home with personality and style. You just need to really nail it on the furnishings!

Change What You Can

In a rental space, there's a lot about your decor that's out of your control - which is why it's doubly important to make the most of the pieces you can (by Sun Soul Style Interiors)
In a rental space, there’s a lot about your decor that’s out of your control – which is why it’s doubly important to make the most of the pieces you can (by Sun Soul Style Interiors)

These three living rooms by Sun Soul Style Interiors are a great example of squeezing a lot of style out of just a few items, in a way that works with a pretty bland neutral apartment backdrop – and that won’t leave more than one or two nail holes. Better still, the highest-impact items are ones you won’t have to blow your whole budget on. In this first room especially, you don’t even need to splurge on a new or eye-catching sofa, just a few decorative throw pillows and a nice blanket.

Get the Look: Sofa, rug, table, lamp, chair, art, pillow

An Easy Formula To Decorate Your Rental

Colorful furniture, bold artwort, and distinctive accent pieces can make a so-so rental space sine with your personality (by Sun Soul Style Interiors)
Colorful furniture, bold artwork, and distinctive accent pieces can make a so-so rental space sine with your personality (by Sun Soul Style Interiors)

So what are the must-haves to get a gorgeous living room in a rental space? The short answer is: the types of furniture you’d buy anyway, but probably not your default pieces. For example, everyone needs a sofa. But if you’re buying a new sofa to move into your rental space, consider choosing one with a colorful upholstery or more striking design. Accent your new (or existing) sofa with a few stylish throw pillows, focusing on fun colors, patterns, or textures. Always include a stylish, patterned area rug to cover up your boring flooring, and splurge a little on a decorative floor lamp – it makes a bigger difference than you’d think.

For the bigger pieces, you want to skip the simple square Ikea coffee tables and choose something with a little more style. As long as it’s not too big, it’ll add a lot to the space without overwhelming it. You should also invest in one accent chair you really love. One chair is plenty for a small apartment living room, but one with a cool design or color can really add impact to your space. Last but not least, hang one big piece of quality framed art over your sofa. It can be of just about whatever you want, but a nice frame and matting will help elevate it, and give your space a finished, grown-up feel (and only a couple extra nail holes!).

Get the Look: Sofa, rug, table, lamp, chair, art, pillow

Checklist For A Personalized Space

Whether you plan to copycat an exsting look or pull off one on your own, the most important rule of decorating a rental is: don't be afraid to be bold (by Sun Soul Style Interiors)
Whether you plan to copycat an existing look or pull off one on your own, the most important rule of decorating a rental is: don’t be afraid to be bold (by Sun Soul Style Interiors)

I especially love this formula because, unlike many of these get-the-look copycat posts, you don’t need to follow it exactly to get a look that works. In fact, despite sharing the same flooring and wall paint, all three living rooms have a totally unique sense of style and a very different vibe. Instead off following all these looks to a T (which, of course, you can!), you can also shop for individual items that speak to YOU and YOUR sense of style, and bring them together into a space that can really feel like home.

Get the Look: Sofa, rug, table, lamp, chair, art, pillow

Whether you want a carbon copy of one of these hip living rooms or just an opportunity to let your inner interior designer out to play, focusing on a few significant-but-mostly-small-ticket items can help you build a magazine-worthy living room on a budget – without leaving a mark, and ready to go with you if and when you decide to move!