top of page

14 Tips for Decorating a Rental Home or Apartment to Reflect Your Personality

Renting your first apartment or home can be an exciting time. Maybe you’re living alone or with a roommate, whatever the situation may be, you can curate a space you’ll love. Whether you’re renting a patio home in the suburbs or a modern apartment in Chicago, IL, there are so many ways to put a stamp on your space that reflects your personality. From meaningful paintings to handmade pottery and custom art, you can find anything to make your place your own.

To help you find the right decor to personalize your apartment, we’ve reached out to artists for their creative advice. Read on to see what they had to say so you can make your apartment feel like home.

Pottery brings an organic element to your apartment or rental space

Pottery is a great way to make your space feel more personalized and unique to your style. I use ceramics to incorporate nature into my home. The earthiness of clay, organic shapes, and the tactile quality of handmade pottery all help to create a calming natural environment. - Amelia Johannsen

Opt for custom pieces

Curate your space with custom pieces you make yourself or find from local or independent artists. Try finding wall art or other decor items such as custom-sewn pillows and blankets from unique fabric. Having a custom statement piece made for you allows you to express your style, favorite colors, and mood, as well as a great conversation piece about where you found it, who made it, or the story behind it. These smaller decor pieces are perfect for people who like to mix it up often, but for those who love to go bold, try peel-and-stick removable wallpaper for an accent wall with a big personality and small commitment. - Ashley Beasley, Presutti Design

You can even create art from a voice pattern

Create your own artwork from your voice pattern. Just like a fingerprint, your voice is unique and creates a distinct pattern. Not only does it look cool and modern, but it is also playable with our mobile app. Simply scan the art with your phone and watch it come to life, it can even play video. Record a special message for your loved one, make one from an old voicemail, or even your child's heartbeat. - Mike LaTour, Creator of Soundwave Art

Consider how the art will complement your space

When choosing stained glass art, consider the pattern and colors that appeal to you, and how they will complement your furnishings. Earth tones and geometric shapes evoke a modern feel while bevels and curvy shapes lean more toward a traditional style. The ideal place to hang stained glass is in front of a window, but if your window space is limited, consider grouping one or more pieces together on a blank wall for a dramatic focal point. - Susi Bains, Owner and Artist of Owl Moon Studios

Don’t feel pressured to have the right art immediately

The most important thing to remember when choosing art for your home is that it takes time and patience. You never know when something will strike you. Whether it’s a painting at a street fair, a statue at a gallery, or an idea for a custom commission, keep the process organic to keep your space authentic. - Morgan McCue

An abstract painting can turn any house or apartment into a home

Bring your signature style into daily living by transforming your environment into something uniquely spectacular. Whether your home is midcentury, modern, or classic, contemporary paintings can shift your space and create a mood in which the noise of busy living goes into the background, as the paintings invite you into a world of solace and appreciation. Choosing a painting, or commissioning one, that gives a spark from the start is always a great investment for both the soul and heart, which is ultimately what makes your home a haven filled with peace and joy. - Randi Russo, Randi Russo Art + Music

Your home should reflect who you are

The art you fill your rental with should be strictly subjective. Any piece of art that you love is art that should be in your home and my only suggestion is to frame it in a way that compliments your decorating style. Art is subjective and no trend or fad should dictate what you have on your walls. Pick what speaks to you and make sure it's framed in a way that compliments your decor. I've seen amazing homes with gallery walls filled with their kids' Crayola drawings that were framed beautifully and each one looked like a Picasso. - Mark Montano, THEMARKMONTANO

Start with an element that unifies the space

Decorating a rental is a very intuitive thing, and you can start art-ifying your space by assigning a theme, style, or color for each room to have visual harmony. It has to be art that describes and sets the right vibe and tone for your personal space, reinforcing every feeling you want to evoke in the space while still communicating your style. If you have a large plain wall and don't know how to arrange the works, compact all the works side by side to create a balanced visual effect. - Kimberly Fabbri, Rocio Montiel, Dorian Shine, Senior Curators of Culturally Arts Collective

You can find truly original pottery that suits your personality and lifestyle

If you love nature, you might want a bowl inspired by the patterns and colors of seashells or a stoneware platter with impressions of ferns. A vase with wading birds, based on a petroglyph from the Dominican Republic might catch your eye if you appreciate indigenous cultures. For formal entertaining, you may be drawn to a porcelain dish with an abstract flower pattern and a brilliant blue glaze. To make people smile, you might choose a porcelain clock with whimsical cats or dogs. No matter where you live or travel, try to buy pottery made by regional artists. Shop at craft fairs, open studios, local gift shops, and artisans’ cooperatives like the Clever Hand. - Edie Allen member of Clever Hand Gallery, an artisans’ cooperative located in Wellesley, MA

Art is something that lasts forever

In addition to adding beauty to a room, art can create human connection and open meaningful conversations and become the centerpiece of a room. I create one-of-a-kind symbolic abstract paintings as keepsakes for life's milestones; love stories, the birth of a baby or as a memorial tribute for a loved one. My clients share their memories and thoughts and sentiments in their handwriting as the foundation of the painting, together we discover important symbols and colors and the completed painting becomes a treasured work of art for generations to come. - Kerry Lee, Artist & Art Educator, Kerry Lee Art

Have a custom-made piece that reflects you in your apartment

One way to personalize your home or apartment is to commission your favorite artist or creator to make a custom-made piece, showcasing a theme or motif that reflects your personality or interests. You could even choose your own color palette to match your decor or have it personalized with a name or monogram. For example, I create hand-embroidered name signs for children's rooms that feature the child's favorite animal. I also make personalized art with the customer's favorite quote. This thoughtful touch adds warmth and coziness to your home. - Cathy Pascual, Catchy Crafts

Go for a handpainted mural

Nothing says home personalization like a hand-painted mural. It’s affordable, accessible, and you can always paint over it if you mess up. Check out our book, Wonder Walls for plenty of ideas on how to paint up your space. - Phoebe Cornog, Pandr Design Co

Be original, buy original

When buying original artwork, you also get shipped a bit of the artist's soul. In return, you are contributing to the artist's dream and passion to fulfill their destiny, to create and bring joy to people's lives. The original piece of art is truly one of the kind. This contributes to forming a unique relationship between the collector, the space, and the artwork. Lastly, investing in the artwork you love, created by an emerging artist you appreciate, can represent an intelligent investment for the future. - Elleny Art

It’s always essential to stay in style

Abstract art won't look good with old antic furniture. However, choosing a classic school artwork will fit any exterior and furniture style you have. Usually, choosing commissioned art pieces is the best way to have an artwork you’ve deemed to have. Suppose you have an excellent imagination and can clearly describe what you want to be drawn or painted and what color scheme to use. In that case, an artist will translate to the canvas or paper that reflects your personality. It is crucial to consider the lighting when hanging a painting on the wall. The direction of light in the room must be coming from the same direction as you have on the objects in the artwork. This way, the painting will glow and bring you joy. - Maria Rabinky, Rabinky Art and Illustrated Maps

Originally published by Redfin

bottom of page