Interior design can be a challenge when you live in an apartment or a rental home. Many landlords maintain strict rules against painting the walls, adding a backsplash, or hanging picture frames with nails. With so many restrictions, the possibility of anything beyond dorm-style posters may seem out of reach.

It’s easy to feel discouraged, but a little creativity can go a long way as you design a home that reflects your unique sense of style. Clever solutions abound, as evidenced by the home decor ideas we’ve highlighted below:

1. Temporary Wallpaper

If you like wallpaper but aren’t willing to commit to the expense and hassle of installing it, try the temporary version instead. Also known as peel-and-stick wallpaper or removable wallpaper, this approach allows you to do away with the usual prep work. It functions a lot like a giant sticker but covers the entire wall. It can be removed as soon as you’re ready without leaving residue.Display of temporary wallpaper decor in living room.

2. Removable Wall Murals

Large, vibrant, and decidedly eye-catching, removable murals are ideal when you want to make a statement without damaging vulnerable walls. These come in many unique designs and can even be customized to reflect your preferred aesthetic. They’re similar to temporary wallpaper but typically more detailed. Use them for an accent wall or to bring vibrant colors into your space.

Nature wall mural in a bed room.

3. Faux Wood Wall Panels

Budget-friendly wainscotting is possible if you’re willing to set aside some time for a DIY project. Although stick-and-peel faux wood is arguably best for a rental, multiple approaches are available. Sold both online and by an increasing number of brick-and-mortar stores, these panels can lay flat on drywall. They’re available in many finishes, so you should have no trouble finding something that fits your apartment’s color scheme.Display of faux wood paneling design.

4. Washi Tape

Constructed from Japanese rice paper, washi tape is often used in crafting but can also be integrated into rental decor. At first glance, it looks a bit like upscale masking tape. Its difference, however, lies in its temporary adhesive, which allows it to be removed without leaving residue behind. It’s available in many colors, patterns, and widths, so you’ll easily find a look you love.

Much of the appeal of washi tape lies in its versatility. It can be used to create patterns (such as diamonds, chevrons, or grids) on entire walls — or limited to Deco-style borders that former temporary picture frames. This isn’t the most sophisticated solution available, but it certainly makes decorating fun.Display of washi tape decor on wall.

5. Fabric Wallpaper

Constructed from various materials, fabric wallpaper can add much-needed texture and dimension to the walls of your favorite rooms. This is easily one of the most time-consuming and intricate renter-friendly wall coverings in this guide, but the extra effort can lead to stunning visuals that feel like a step up from conventional paint or wallpaper.

With this approach, the wallpaper is applied via liquid starch. Lightweight fabrics such as cotton are typically preferable, as liquid starch is insufficient to keep heavier materials up for long periods.

When determining whether this solution is appropriate for your home, keep in mind that fabric wallpaper is not suitable for all environments. High-moisture regions, in particular, are not ideal, as water exposure may dissolve the liquid starch. Some types of liquid starch may also tint fabrics yellow if exposed to heat. When in doubt, the living room is a preferable option for this type of temporary wall covering.

Display of fabric wallpaper design.

6. Accent Wall Art

Make a statement with an accent piece that gets visitors talking. Paintings can feel risky to mount to rental walls, but a simple strategy of leaning a framed image instead of hanging it may do the trick. Otherwise, wall art is also available in decal form. As with the murals mentioned previously, these can be removed as desired without worrying about residue.

7. Feature Wall Decals

If you prefer a subtle alternative to large-scale wall art or murals, try smaller, but equally impressive wall decals. Available as accents or in a variety of attractive patterns, these decals are fun to apply and easy to remove. They are also fully customizable, so you can create the exact aesthetic you desire.

Music themed wall decals in a bed room.

8. Curtain Backdrop

Whether used for windows or exclusively as backdrops, curtains can be downright gorgeous. They’re popular for photoshoots but can also be integrated into your home to bring a glamorous feel to everyday routines.

Feel free to embellish with ornate drapes or even foliage. Delicate lace curtains can add feminine appeal, while plaid or checkered are perfect for achieving that comfy, yet trendy farmhouse style.

9. Artsy Photographs

Add instant sophistication to your rental home or apartment with glamorous photos. Black-and-white snapshots are always a popular option, although there is something to be said for vibrant images that add life to your space.

Adhesive hangers or hook-and-loop tape allow you to hang these photos without causing significant damage. Otherwise, they can also be placed in frames and propped up on end tables, bookshelves, or counters.

Hang photos above my desk… *check* #photography #wemontage” by Jennifer Borget is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

10. Tasteful Tapestry

Tapestries can be tricky to hang without damaging walls, but a few viable options are available. Command hooks often work wonders, as does self-adhesive velcro. Heavier tapestries may require extra support from a baseboard. This can then be leaned against the wall to create an appealing Boho aesthetic.

11. Shiplap Wall Panels

Using shiplap wall panels as a wall-covering decor option is incredibly easy and convenient for renters. This wood paneling is designed to be DIY-friendly, making the process hassle-free and requiring minimal tools or expertise. 

Renters can simply measure the dimensions of their walls and purchase the appropriate amount of shiplap panels, which are readily available in various sizes and finishes. The panels can be easily installed with basic tools like a level, a saw, and a nail gun or adhesive, depending on the desired method. The tongue-and-groove design of shiplap panels allows for seamless interlocking, ensuring a smooth and professional-looking result. 

And, if the time comes to move out, removing the shiplap panels is as simple as reversing the installation process, leaving no lasting damage behind.

12. Faux Brick Wall Panels

Faux brick panels offer an effortless and versatile alternative for renters looking to add instant character to any space, from bedrooms to laundry rooms. The convenience of these panels lies in their user-friendly design and easy installation process. 

Renters can measure the desired area and select the appropriate number of panels, which come in a variety of sizes and finishes to suit different aesthetics. 

Installing these panels is a breeze, requiring minimal tools such as a level, adhesive, and utility knife. The lightweight nature of faux brick panels allows for easy handling and maneuverability, making it manageable for DIYers. 

Once installed, the panels provide an instant transformation, adding texture, depth, and a touch of rustic charm to the room. When it’s time to move out, they can be easily removed without causing damage to the walls, making them an ideal temporary solution.Display of faux brick wall paper design.

13. Wall Tile Decals

With wall tile decals, renters can effortlessly transform their walls into stunning focal points and enjoy the flexibility to change their decor as often as they desire. Using them is incredibly easy and requires no special skills or tools. 

Renters can choose from all sorts of neat tile designs, patterns, and colors to match their style. Think of them as giant stickers – applying them is as simple as peeling off the back and sticking them on the desired wall.

The self-adhesive of these decals is secure and long-lasting but won’t leave any sticky residue behind or damage the walls when it’s time to move out. This makes wall tile decals a terrific choice for renters who want to add a touch of elegance and personality to their space without making permanent changes.

Display of wall tile decal decor in living room. 

Upgrade Your Rental With Removable Wall Decals and Murals

There’s no excuse for living in a drab space. Yes, your makeover options as a renter may be somewhat limited, but there are still plenty of opportunities to add visual interest to your home or apartment. Best of all, you can either do an accent wall or an entire room with the wall-covering ideas we provided on a budget. And online home improvement tutorials make these easy DIY projects that much more feasible for the average renter. 

Decals and removable wall murals are a great option if you prioritize convenience, as these can easily be removed as soon as you’re ready.

Feel free to create your own wall decor with our help. This should feel true to your personality. Our team at Cardboard Cutout Standees can guide you every step of the way. Get in touch today to get started with our straightforward customization process.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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