How to decorate your rental property

Gracie Allum : 24th Feb 2017


Shelley Ferguson, editor-in-chief of Your Home & Garden magazine and co-host of The Block NZ, sat down for a Facebook Live Q&A with

Sarah from Tauranga asked Shelley about decorating a rental property so it feels like your own – while keeping the landlord happy and the walls free of nails.



Shelley’s three top tips:


  • Do some detective work on yourself

What kind of interior are you looking to create? Are you inspired by nature, by Scandinavian style or by the white and blue colours of Santorini? Find out what kind of look feels like “home” to you and plan from there.

Shelley explains: “What too many of us do is we don’t plan. We go shopping, we see something we love and think ‘great, that’d be perfect for my lounge’. We get it home and think ‘ugh, why doesn’t it work?’ It’s because it was with something different, with other colours, in a different space in the shop”.

Before you hit the mall, be sure about the kind of look you are trying to achieve. Be conscious of how new purchases will blend in with your home’s current décor.


Shelley's tips for renters


  • Choose neutral pieces to start with

When thinking about a big investment piece like a couch, consider a more neutral style. If you’re renting, you may find yourself moving from one place to another. It’s important that your key pieces work in different homes.   

Shelley says: “You may be moving this furniture around, so essentially what you want to create is a kitset that you can pick up and move anywhere. You want to keep the big investment pieces that are going to last for years. If you go buying a bright pink couch, yes you may absolutely love it, but you may find that it doesn’t work in your next place.”

Shelley's tips for renters


  • It’s about you

“What makes a room stand out are your special touches. It’s the homewares and the accessories and the colours. Things that you’ve collected that tell a story about you,” Shelley explains.

Choose light artwork or canvases that can be hung using only 3M or Command hooks which won’t damage your walls. Use colour, shapes and texture in rugs, cushions, throws and plants to add your personal touch to a room.

“Honestly sometimes you feel like you’ve got a whole new room if you just do a cushion makeover.”

Watch the video to hear all of Shelley’s advice.