How to Decorate Your Apartment Without Damaging it: 10 Ideas

apartment decorating ideas

When you own a house, you have the liberty to customize it to your preferences, whether it’s painting, putting up decorations, or even undertaking renovations. But when you rent, there might be more rules about what you can do to make your home feel like yours. Some places don’t allow painting or making holes in walls, which might leave you wondering how to decorate without causing damage. 

But there is nothing to worry about! You don’t have to settle for boring walls. Even with these rules, there are plenty of ways to make your rental feel like home. In this guide, we will discuss decorating an apartment without harming the walls or needing to paint, so you can add your own style to any space. 

How to Decorate Apartment Walls 

Changing the simple walls in your apartment can make it look amazing. Use these ways as apartment wall decor and make your walls look unique and stylish: 

1. Removable Wall Stickers 

You will find removable wall stickers in various styles and sizes, from vibrant designs for kids’ rooms to elegant ones. If you are looking to style up a rental/temporary apartment with minimal effort, wall stickers are the perfect choice. Simply peel them off the walls before you move out. 

2. Mirrors 

A big mirror reflects light and makes a small apartment seem bigger. A unique-framed mirror can also be like artwork, while a mix of small mirrors of various sizes can make the wall look stylish. Whether you have one mirror or many, you can hang them: 

  1. Over a sofa to create a spacious feel in the living area 
  2. At the end of a hallway to extend its appearance 
  3. Above a low dresser for both function and style 

These larger decor pieces can really change up your apartment, but it’s important to know how to hang them without causing wall damage. 

3. Fabrics and Curtains 

If you want easy decorating ideas, consider using fabric or curtains on your walls. To make a small bedroom window look bigger, hang long curtains from ceiling to floor on each side. Opting for curtains that are taller and wider than the window creates the illusion of a larger window hidden behind them. 

You can choose a pattern you like and use curtain rods or hooks to hang fabric on walls for a textured focal point.  

You can place it: 

  1. Behind the bed 
  2. On a blank wall to create a standout feature 
  3. Behind a desk to define the workspace 
  4. Behind a couch for a cozy atmosphere 

Using fabric and curtains is an easy way to decorate a rental without painting. Fabric offers a variety of colors, textures, and patterns to personalize your space. Additionally, hanging fabric can help reduce echoes in empty rooms. 

4. Faux Wallpaper 

Looking to decorate your rental with wallpaper? Instead of using traditional, permanent wallpaper, try pasting wallpaper onto thin plywood or room dividers. You can then hang these pieces or lean them against the wall. Another option is to frame a large section of wallpaper using molding. Display the framed wallpaper as a single focal point or arrange multiple frames for a unique look. 

List of Apartment Decorating Ideas 

Living in a rented place often means you can’t damage walls to decorate your them. 

But there are plenty of other ways to add your personal touch without risking your security deposit. Here are 10 ideas on how to hang things without damaging walls or decorate apartment walls without using nails: 

1. Hang curtains using damage-free brackets 

Window coverings are a must for any living space. Curtains offer privacy and a way to block out the early morning light when you want to sleep in. 

To hang curtains in your apartment without nails, try a simple, budget-friendly solution that doesn’t require drills, screws or nails. Once you are ready to move, just take down the no-drill curtain rod brackets and leave your walls free of any damage! 

2. Lean objects against the wall 

If you have got some empty space, think about putting a big mirror or picture against the wall. Leaning it means you can move it around whenever you want. Also, look at leaning ladders or shelves. They are perfect for showing off accessories, books, or small things. 

3. Use cork boards or grid wire boards 

Things like cork boards and grid wire decorations aren’t just for looks – they are useful too! You can hang up reminders, photos, and other special things on them. You can switch things around whenever you want, depending on how you are feeling or what time of year it is. 

Grid wire boards are popular because they look stylish, and you can do a lot with them. You can hang heavy things on them or wrap battery-powered string lights around them for a cozy vibe. 

4. Use wall-safe adhesive strips and hooks 

When it comes to decorating apartment walls without using nails, removable adhesive is the perfect solution. It is an inexpensive and easy method for hanging posters and photo collages without causing any harm to your walls. 

5. Apply poster putty 

You might recall poster putty from your school days, but it is handy for decorating apartment walls without using nails. It is great for lightweight stuff like picture frames. Just stick some putty on the back of your art and press it onto the wall. 

Be careful though, poster putty is only meant for light things. Also, it is perfect for temporary decorations too, like hanging party decorations! 

6. Use hook-and-loop fasteners 

You can also consider using hook-and-loop fasteners. These strips function like Velcro: one side has small hooks while the other has loops. When you press them together, they form a sturdy bond. Hook-and-loop fasteners are ideal for hanging heavier items such as mirrors or large photo frames. 

7. Decorate with washi tape 

Washi tape comes in many colors, sizes, and patterns, making it a simple way to add decoration to your walls without drilling them. It is easy to take off, so you can switch up your wall decor whenever you like. 

Use washi tape to make colorful frames around your photos for a fun touch. 

8. Hang ceiling-mounted planters 

If your home has traditional or textured ceilings, you might still be able to hang decorations from them. 

Plants are awesome for adding color and vitality to your home, and you can switch up their appearance with various pots and hanging straps. You could even make a special plant hanger using macrame rope. Just ensure your planters aren’t too heavy for a ceiling hook. 

9. Mount a frameless photo collage 

Collages without frames are a breakthrough for gallery walls. You can get a collage that sticks to the wall safely. You can take it off and use it again whenever you like. It is available online as well as offline. 

10. Make DIY wall art 

Make unique artwork for your home with light canvases. Have a craft night with your loved ones to create wall art without causing damage. 

Once your artwork is done, use safe adhesive strips to hang it on your wall. 


At BFPM, we know apartment living inside out. Our property managers know what makes renting comfortable and convenient. Whether it’s decorating your place, handling roommate issues, or exploring your rental home, our experts have lots of tips to share. 

You can reach out to us at BFPM for even more handy apartment living advice. We are here to help you turn your space into your dream home. 

Trevor Henson

Trevor Henson is an experienced entrepreneur (10+ highly-successful start-ups) and property investor with a demonstrated history of building and leading teams in investment property management environments, maximizing returns for property owners, and optimizing properties through construction management and re-positioning. He…
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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

You can use removable adhesive hooks or putty that won't leave marks. Command strips are also great for hanging lightweight items. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully for proper application and removal to avoid damaging the paint.

To hang heavy items in an apartment, use sturdy wall anchors or toggle bolts to ensure secure attachment without damaging the walls. Alternatively, consider utilizing adhesive hooks designed for heavier loads. Always consult your landlord or lease agreement for any specific guidelines regarding wall fixtures.

To hang things without wall damage, use removable adhesive hooks or picture hanging strips. Ensure surfaces are clean and dry before applying. For heavier items, consider wall-friendly anchors or leaning decor against walls instead. Always follow product instructions for the best results.