So your landlord says you can’t paint. Bummer. But don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to make your walls unique without painting (which is also useful if you’re a decor commitment-phobe). Here are a few ideas…

Temporary Wallpaper
Wallpaper can make a huge impact on a space, but it’s notoriously difficult to remove – not a great idea for a rental. The solution? Tempaper makes self-adhesive, re-positionable and completely removable wall decor.

Online stockists include Design Public and Amazon. Prices run around $70-$90 a roll (approx. 33′ x 20.5″). It’s not the cheapest solution, but it makes a big impact.

Make Your Own “Wallpaper” with Fancy Masking Tape
Happytape sells gorgeous Japanese washi paper tape from about $3 for a single 50′ roll – perfect for a tighter budget. Jenny at Pearl Street Interiors used their aqua masking tape to create a subtle diamond pattern in her entryway. Genius!

From here

I am thinking of using their gold leaf tape to add a little bit of bling to the stripy wall I recently painted in our master bedroom (I’ll post about that soon). Maybe I’ll also add a diamond pattern to the wall in our dining area – that would be fun.

A slight less renter-friendly option is to use ribbon and thumbtacks like Rita from Design Megillah did. You might be left with a lot of patching to do when you leave, but it sure is pretty!

From here

Use Contact Paper
If you have plaster walls (this method isn’t so great on drywall – it can be hard to remove), contact paper can provide an inexpensive starting point for more interesting walls. Stephanie at Sabbe Interior Design used white contact paper to create a chevron pattern in her rental.

See the tutorial here
Some of the designs are yummy enough to use as-is:

And if you’d rather not stick it on the walls, you can always use it to cover the back of a bookshelf or a china cabinet, like Jesyka at Visual Vocabulary did here:
You can buy contact paper online or at Target, Home Depot, ACE Hardware and many other retailers. It runs between $6-$15 a roll (18″x24′).
Wall Decals
If you have drywall in your place, or you aren’t interested in making your own decals, ready-made decals can be an equally affordable option. They range in price starting from as little as $10. I used one in my son’s room as a temporary solution to fill a big blank wall:
Good sites to search include Amazon, BlikAll Posters and Ferm Living. For kids’ rooms, check out Target, Land of Nod, Pottery Barn Kids and Toys R Us.
This would look perfect in my imaginary baby girl nursery.
And for more adult spaces:
Jazz Up A Kitchen or Bathroom with Tile Stickers
Got a boring back splash? Give it a custom look with tile tattoos from 2Jane ($18 for a set of six).
Starched Fabric Walls
Another alternative to wallpaper – take enough fabric to cover your wall, apply liquid starch with a roller, and stick the fabric to the wall like Kim Myles did here. When it’s time to move, dampen the fabric with a sponge and it’ll come right off again (so she says).
You could also use decorative thumb tacks to secure fabric to the wall for even easier removal.
There’s really no end to the options. You could also think about using a decorative light switch plate cover to add a pop to plain white walls. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to take a no-paint ban as encouragement rather than a deterrent to your creativity! Happy decorating!



I’ve been playing around with ideas for a baby girl’s nursery – hopefully one day I can make this a reality! We’d keep S’s crib, rocker, bookshelf and dresser (I purposely picked pieces that could… View Post