8 Renter-friendly DIY Ideas for Home Rental

Because of the glaring fact that your rental agreement comes with restrictions on major changes - and that your stay is not permanent - it can be difficult to justify spending a great deal on transforming your house into a home. But it doesn’t take a full-scale renovation to tweak a place and transform it into a lively and personal crib. So here are some creative DIY ways to easily decorate your space without putting your security deposit at risk.

1. Kitchen backsplash

If there’s one element of your home that is a natural DIY canvas, it's the kitchen.

This easy and aesthetic DIY project will allow you to entirely transform the appearance of your home without damaging the walls. Just make sure to use self-adhesive only, where you do not need to glue it to the wall. To make a show-stopping backsplash, measure your area, pick a pattern you like and follow the steps shown in the video below.

The best part is that you can use this wall decal to dress up your kitchen counter as well. Even the refrigerator! When it's time to relocate (or when you become tired of it), simply remove it by saturating the fabric with water, remove it and the walls will look as good as new!

Where to get:

Price range: RM5 - RM35 (20x20cm)

Shopee

Check out how a plain looking kitchen is transformed into a fabulous look using a self-adhesive wallpaper, all without having to drill or glue the wall.

2. Blinds and curtains

Simply hang some lovely curtains or blinds to soften a space. We may be talking about some elegant translucent drapes or thick textured blockout curtains. When it comes to choosing the right shade, you can try to match it with the wall of the room. But if you’re not exactly sure what shade goes with your white walls (which usually cannot be repainted), we’ll say just stick to the neutral options. 

For curtains

Get a spring-loaded curtain rod from your local hardware shop if you don't want to put hooks into the wall. If a curtain pole isn't already in place, get an extensible one. RÄCKA rods from Ikea are quite affordable, feature a simple, classic appearance, come in black or white, and stretch from 120-210cm in length. You can use wall-mounted adhesive hooks that you can always remove later when you’re moving out! Watch the video below to see how you can install a curtain without drilling into the walls.

For blinds

If your rental home already has blinds, you may easily replace them with similar ones - whether you have a roller, vertical, or venetian blind, just retain the original fittings for when you move out. Bamboo blinds are a simple way to add a touch of boho flair to your house and they are a cheap alternative that can be personalised.

Where to get:

Price range: RM29 - RM299

IKEA

Price range: RM31 - RM564

Lazada

In this video, you can learn how to install curtains without drilling holes, and at a low cost using ceiling brackets and adhesive. 

3. Temporary wallpaper

There are a few types of apartment-friendly wallpapers available these days, but the most popular option for tenants is the peel-and-stick wallpaper. It's incredibly simple to install and remove without causing any damage to the surface. Showcase your DIY craftsmanship with adhesive accent walls since these types of simple self-adhesive wallpaper constitute a fast-growing sector in the interior design field.

The best thing about selecting a rental-friendly wallpaper is how simple it is to put up and take down. Installing peel-and-stick wallpaper does not necessitate the use of wallpaper paste or liquid (which will affect the surface). It's as simple as the name implies. It's also easy to remove, so you'll never have to fear losing your security deposit when you move out.

Where to get:

Price range: RM5 - RM86 (70x77cm)

Shopee

Here’s a step-by-step guide to installing a wallpaper in your home; all you need is a measuring tape and a box cutter!

4. Bathroom mirror

A bathroom mirror may give light and dimension to a room while also adding a stylish element to plain walls and establishing a focal point in a bland space. A bathroom mirror can also help to cover faults like cracks or paint stains that are commonly found in rental homes. An illuminated mirror adds a modern touch to a bathroom if you have the choice and a power source nearby. Mirrors with built-in LED illumination that cast a gentle, diffused light in the bathroom gives you an exclusive and animated look - almost as if it’s going to tell you “Thou, O Queen, art the fairest in the land!”

Durable adhesive hooks, strips, and hangers come in a variety of sizes to fit practically any frame or mirror. Velcro strips are a popular alternative for wall decor aficionados and people who want to spice up their bathroom mirror with fresh frames. You can always use self-adhesive nails or a thick double-sided sticky foam tape that can hold up a large mirror.

Where to get:

Price range: RM22 - RM1,063

Shopee

Price range: RM595 - RM1,295

Ikea

Hang your favorite wall mirror in the bathroom (or any room for that matter), and see how this guy decorates his space without having to drill into the wall; self-adhesive nails only!

5. Customize storage

Custom cabinetry isn’t really an option in a rental, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get creative with your storage! If you live in a studio, you may be looking for creative methods to separate the sleeping "room" from the living "room" without erecting a wall. While you're segregation the areas, stacking crates or even floating an open shelf unit can provide you more storage space. Since the storage is yours and can easily be dismantled or moved around, you don’t have to limit yourself with how you want to assemble the pieces together; paint, glue, you name it all!

You can also put away anything you don't want to be laying around in cute containers. Their purpose is more than just storing items. They’re also a great way to complement your existing home furnishings. With some DIY skills, you may personalise a simple, useful object like a storage box or basket with a variety of designs, colours and materials to choose from, or simply be creative with the placement of these storage containers!

Where to get:

Price range: RM5 - RM179

IKEA

Price range: RM30 - RM79

Ikea crates

If you plan on rearranging or creating a work of art using organizers/storage, draw some inspirations from these videos:
1) Rustic/vintage

2) Insane plant crate shelf

3) Functional nighstand

If you’re willing to go the extra mile...

Does your home come with a humble balcony, but want to make the most of it? Then check out how Engineer Your Space designed a small seating area that can accommodate a small company! 

To offer yourself even more storage options, you can convert the bench on the far side into a crate seat where you can store items.

6. Rug

The foundation of a room is the rug that spreads across it, which sets the tone for the entire space. It may be used to add colour, tie in accent colours or act as a contrast to allow other colours to stand out. It provides texture and warmth to a room, making it feel more welcoming and inviting. There is a general rule of thumb when finding a rug for different rooms.

Living room

The rug in the living room should be large enough for all of the furniture pieces to have at least their front legs on it. This will help to bring the area together and make the furnishings feel purposefully arranged. It will also protect the rug from rolling about, which is especially important if it is a lighter, flat-weave rug that moves readily around the floor as it can be hazardous.

Dining room

Ideally, the rug should be large enough that when you pull your chair back it doesn't come off the rug. This allows chairs to easily slide back in and out without getting stuck on the rug and dragging it up.

Allow roughly 70cm on each side from the dining table as a general guideline. For example, a regular 180cm × 90cm dining table will require a 1.6m x 2.5m rug. There’s no harm in going a little smaller, but as previously stated, make sure the chairs at least sit properly inside the rug when pushed in.

Bedroom

Think of your rug in this space as a warm and soft spot for your feet to land as soon as you get out of bed in the morning. Thus, the bedroom is an exception to the rule that furniture must have at least the front feet on the rug. Placing your rug in front of your nightstands is entirely appropriate. In this case, consider using a runner because it usually complements the layout of the nightstand and your bed.

Where to get:

Price range: RM19 - RM6,599

IKEA

Price range: RM39 - RM1,499

Hooga

Price range: RM90 - RM900

Spotlight

7. Plant

A home with lots of plants, in our opinion, is a happy home. There's no shortage of ways to incorporate plants into your design, whether it's a large leafy tree in the living room or a collection of low-light plants and cacti in your bathroom. There's no right or wrong way to fill your home with green, growing things (or even the fake ones because we understand that nurturing real plants may not be on everyone’s daily schedule).

Here are some of the popular plants that are known to bring your space to life:

Rubber plant

As the name implies, the 'Rubber plant' has waxy dark green leaves with undertones of red. It looks fantastic whether it's by itself or in a group of other flowers.

Where to get:

Price range: RM9 - RM55

Shopee

Swiss cheese plant

The rich green waxy leaves of this delectable plant, sometimes known as the 'Swiss cheese plant,' make it something of a Queen among indoor plants. This plant is a must-have if you're going for a botanical or jungle theme in your house. Put it in a pot with adequate drainage, and then put the pot in a wide woven basket to give it a jungle vibe.

Where to get:

Price range: RM11 - RM550

Shopee

Devil’s ivy

This is a gorgeous trailing plant with a low maintenance need. There are many different variegated shades of this trailing vine's green leaves, including white, yellow or light green. You should plant your devil’s ivy in a sunny, well-draining area away from direct sunshine. A sign that your plant is getting too much sun is if the leaves start to become a light green colour.

Where to get:

Price range: RM 2 - 204

Shopee

If you’re not into taking care of real plants, you can find a wide variety of artificial ones at IKEA (price range: RM2 - 349).

8. Personalize your space with arts

If you’re lucky, there will already be some strategically positioned nails or hooks on the wall that you may use. You can always use detachable hooks, strips, and tape if there aren't any. Invest in a magnificent piece of art that can be moved about and works with a wide range of colours. 

How do you define art? Well, however you do, one thing for sure - art doesn't necessarily have to be shown in a frame or on the wall. There are several out-of-the-box art alternatives and placements you can choose from, ranging from abstract wall hangings to a make-shift book stack platform. If you don't have enough wall space, lean your artwork against the wall, on top of bookcases and storage units, or even on the floor if it's a huge piece. 

Art is art, wherever your creative desire places it.

Where to get:

Price range: RM 4 - 500++

Etsy Malaysia

Price range: RM 2 - 131

SHEIN

Learn from the pro. Discover 8 interior design tricks, hacks and trends by Kristen McGowan to create a more cohesive and expensive looking home!

Embodying your creative side with these DIY ideas can be really exciting. But, before you can ‘Gogh’ crazy with your creativity, you will need one thing first - a home! At Instahome, you can find and view your dream home online by using a 360 virtual reality tour where you can inspect every inch and corner of the house. And if you find yourself staring at the home of your dreams, you can immediately book it online! Easy-peasy.

Check out our listed homes here.