With property prices continuing to rise, many of us are renting on a more long-term basis. Most landlords don’t allow permanent changes to their property, so how do you personalise your living space without risking your deposit?

Communicate with your landlord

It is worth looking at your rental contract to see what you are and aren’t allowed to do to the property. Some landlords will be happy with tenants painting rooms as long as the property is returned to its original state when they leave – but make sure you get this permission in writing so your deposit is protected.

Consider colour

Your landlord will likely have painted the property in a neutral colour like white, light grey or beige. Swapping your landlords curtains and cushions with some budget-friendly options can add a bold statement splash of colour and warmth.

You can buy removable wallpaper if you want to put your own stamp on the walls without getting permission to paint the property. It’s usually damage-free and with a ‘peel and stick’ action it can be removed and repositioned as often as you want.

Make your mark with furniture

If you choose multifunctional furniture you can save money and space and bring it to your next property. For example, a dining table in the kitchen could also be used as an area to work from home.

You don’t need to break the bank as there is a variety of charity and second-hand shops in Edinburgh, where you can pick up some bargains. Don’t forget you can also upcycle furniture to save money and personalise your living space.


If you are lucky, your rental property will have some outdoor space like a shared garden or private balcony. If not, houseplants can add personality to a space and make it feel like home. They can also provide health benefits such as cleaning the air you breathe and contributing to mental wellbeing.

You don’t need lots of space for house plants – a small windowsill, mantelpiece or an empty kitchen worktop can benefit from a plant, flower or even herbs and vegetables.

Hang up your artwork and photos

Artwork and personal photos will make a space feel like your own. If you don’t want to use nails and fill in the holes when you leave, there are plenty of options such as damage-free picture hanging hooks or strips.