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Sprucing up your rental apartment walls

Thursday July 12 2018

A small living room with a partly finished mural of Africa and Rwanda on the wall.

A small living room with a partly finished mural of Africa and Rwanda on the wall. 

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Living in rental apartments comes with some restrictions and one of them could be lack of freedom to repaint your living room walls.

However, you don’t have to live with bare walls that you don’t like. You can spruce them to match your personality or accentuate the beauty of your house. There’s no shortage of temporary solutions that can transform your walls:

Collage of old windows

There are many ways to display a collage of old windows on your walls. You can choose to have them on their found state, repurposed or refinished.

Whatever way you use them, old windows can instantly add life to your room. With the use of dividing panes, you can turn it into a work of art by framing objects like botanical prints, family photos, dried flowers or vintage prints. It can also serve as a background for painting on quotes or stencilling. If you decide to use them on their found state, ensure you wipe off the dirt and make any repairs that need to be done. Hang it on the entry wall, above a console table.

Room-sized mural


Do you have images of lush forests, city scrapes or even wildlife? With a little touch, you can make an arresting feature on your living room wall. Most designers prefer using mural because it is more defined than wallpaper and definitely more appealing than a coat of paint.

Another good thing about using mural to decorate your wall is the fact that you don’t have to cover the entire wall. You can choose to split it into panels or have the image printed on a small canvas.

Elegant plates on the wall

This is one of the most inexpensive ways to bring elegance into your house. You can use what you have in your kitchen or get them at thrift stores. Decorative plates are versatile in that they can be used in traditional, ultra-traditional, contemporary or anything in between. You can also opt for vintage décor plates which are available in most vintage shops in the country.

A good reason to use décor plates is the fact that there is no an outlined specific way to hang them on the wall. You can make a randomly organised monochromatic plate walls, colourful plate wall with overlapping plates of a free-form colourful plate wall.

Gallery wall

In most homes, you are likely to find photos of family members hanged on the wall. But, go an extra mile and come up with a gallery wall that is not only striking but also unique. You can mix match different mounting options for a luxe look and while at it, consider colour, proportions and frame styles to ensure that you make a perfect array.

Although in most rental apartments you are not allowed to drill holes on your walls, this should not deter you. There are other various ways of creating a gallery wall you could use double-sided tapes or use a bulletin board. Have you ever thought of paper clips?

Old ladder as an accent

Are you wondering what to do with space over your sofa and have a ladder that is lying around? Well, you could use it to make bring life unto your bare wall.

Like with décor plates, ladders are versatile because you can change the décor or photos as often as you want. You can even choose to make it a books storage shelf.

It is recommended that you only hang lightweight ladders and even so, when hanging, ensure that it is well fitted.

Decorative mirrors

Whether you decide to make an oversized floor mirror or a statement mirror at the centre of your living room, use of decorative mirrors is a great way to liven up your house. To make the wall more appealing, you can use mirrors either plain or decorated and made of different sizes, shapes and materials. While some people use only mirrors on the walls, there are others who incorporate other décor ideas such as photo galleries. There are unlimited possibilities!

Pallet planks

Do you have a favourite quote or lyrics that you keep humming? You can bring them to life by use of pallet planks. Pallets are readily available in different sizes and shapes in markets such as Gikomba. Pallets planks bring about versatility because you can also turn them into wall shelves. When buying pallets, ensure they are treated with non-harmful chemicals.