Renting has a lot of freedoms — you don’t have to learn to fix things when they malfunction, you don’t have to pay the taxes or insurance on the property, and if you want to move, all you have to do is give notice to your landlord. But one huge downside is the fact that renters often feel like they can’t make decorative changes to their spaces. This is especially frustrating when you’ve lived in a rental for a long period of time and are tired of looking at white walls, the builder-grade cabinets in the kitchen, and an outdated bathroom.
Although you might not be able to permanently change anything in your rental (unless you have an especially lenient landlord), you can still add touches of personality and color throughout thanks to the increasing availability of temporary wallpaper.
Wallpaper may have been unfashionable for a while there, but now it’s back and bigger and bolder than ever before. Temporary wallpaper comes in just about every shade, pattern, aesthetic, and size you can imagine. The adhesive on the back of it is durable but easy to remove once you’re getting ready to move out. It’s the renter solution that we’ve all been waiting for, and best of all — it’s available all over the place. From big-box stores like Target and Home Depot to home decor shops like Anthropologie and West Elm, temporary wallpaper is extremely easy to find.
Here are a few ways to make it work in your home:
Use It to Create a Focal Point
Color is a great way to liven up otherwise drab and uninspired spaces. Of course, slapping temporary wallpaper on every single wall in your home might be a little too much, but using it to create an accent wall in your living room, bedroom, or bathroom is sure to break the boring up a bit and breathe some much-needed life into your apartment.
Bold prints and colors are also great if you don’t have a lot of artwork up just yet but are tired of staring at a bunch of white or neutral walls.
Use It to Cover Up Something Ugly
Rentals come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some of them even house a few particularly hideous features (a terrible mural in the entryway or bedroom, a horrible color scheme, and ugly and outdated cabinetry in the kitchen, to name a few). Temporary wallpaper is a great way to fix these less-than-desirable design choices without violating your lease.
You can use temporary wallpaper to not only cover walls up, but also to cover cabinet doors that you dislike and closet and bedroom doors that have seen better days.
Use It to Distract from Ugly Flooring
If there’s one thing that rentals all over the country seem to have in common, it’s ugly flooring. Whether you’re dealing with laminate, vinyl, or outdated green or blue carpeting from the 1950s, it can sometimes take all your strength just to keep you from ripping it out with your bare hands.
If you happen to be one of the lucky ones with ugly flooring in your rental, you should definitely consider putting some really bold temporary wallpaper up behind it (in addition to buying a large area rug to cover it up).
Hear us out: you might think that adding in more bold colors and patterns would only draw more attention to your not-so-cute flooring, but it actually has the opposite effect. Because the bold wallpaper draws your eyes upward, you’re less likely to look at that ugly floor you hate so much. When you get handed a design “lemon” (like an ugly floor), the best thing to do is to lean into it and make it look as purposeful as possible.
Use it If You Can’t Make Up Your Mind
Some people are known to change their minds a lot — especially when it comes to design. If you’re constantly rearranging your furniture and your artwork, temporary wallpaper might just be the design solution you’re looking for. Because it’s so easy to install and uninstall, it’s not that big of a deal if you decide you don’t like the way it looks after six months (this is also why temporary wallpaper is not only a great solution for fickle renters, but also for homeowners).
Try Before You Buy
Although temporary wallpaper has been tested by many renters and typically doesn’t leave any marks or spots behind, you still want to be sure to try it out on a small section of your wall before committing to covering the whole thing with it. It would really be unfortunate if you found out that you left behind some minor damage right as you’re trying to clean things up before moving out. For that reason, many companies offer small samples of their wallpaper prints for you to try out beforehand.