It’s nearly time to deck the halls for Christmas — but for those of us who live in rented accommodation, decorating for the festive season can sometimes be less than straightforward. Landlords can be quick to crack down on tenants who make holes in the walls or otherwise damage their property, which can make it rather tricky to bring that Christmassy feeing into your home.
To help you out, we’ve shared 5 easy ways to bring a dash of festive cheer to your interiors, without upsetting your landlord or losing your damage deposit. Plus, most of the decorating tips we’ve shared here are great for smaller budgets, too.
Real tree or artificial?
Even if you live in a tiny rental flat, there’s no reason you can’t still have a beautifully dressed tree. But, before you head to the shops, you’ll need to think carefully about which sort of tree is going to be best for your home.
Artificial trees are great if you want a tree that you can use again and again, so they’re a good long-term investment. You also won’t need to worry about any it shedding pine needles, so they’re lower maintenance than a real tree. However, you’ll need to find a place to store your tree for the rest of the year, so it might not be the best option if you’re short on storage space.
On the other hand, a real tree smells beautifully festive, and picking it out can be a fun day out for you and your family or flatmates. You’ll need to be careful to hoover up any stray needles once the season is over, and they need regular watering, so they’re slightly higher maintenance than artificial versions. And, you won’t need to worry about your tree taking up space in the cupboard under the stairs once the season is over, as you can easily recycle your tree — take a look at Wyevale Garden Centre’s tree recycling and disposal guide to see just how easy it can be.
Whatever sort of tree you decide to go for, just remember to measure your front door before you go shopping: you don’t want to buy a tree only to find you can’t get it into the house.
Fill bare walls with colour
If you’re stuck in a rented property with blank magnolia-coloured walls, it can seem very bare — especially if your landlord won’t allow you to hang anything on the walls. But, it is possible to bring a touch of festive colour to blank painted walls, without causing any lasting damage.
This range of no-damage hooks from Command use a special type of adhesive, which is designed not to leave marks or damage the paintwork. This way, you can hang wreathes, garlands, and other festive pieces without making a single hole in the wall. How you decorate is up to you, but we like to hang up our Christmas cards using a length of gold or silver yarn, and small wooden craft pegs. Cheap as chips, but still beautifully festive.
Add ambience and warmth with fairy lights
Lighting in rental properties can sometimes be harsh and unforgiving, but you can give your home that inviting, cosy glow with a few strings of fairy lights. Whether it’s around the windows, across the walls, or wrapped around the bannisters of your staircase, a set of soft twinkling lights will instantly make almost any part of the home look festive.
If you’re trying to keep your utility bills to a minimum over Christmas, then you’ll want to make sure you go for LED lights, as these use less electricity. In fact, a string of 100 traditional incandescent bulbs costs 72p to run over the festive period, while modern LED lights will set you back just 14p, according to This Is Money.
Hang wreaths — without damage
It just doesn’t seem like Christmas without a jolly wreath welcoming you home. But, unless your landlord is seriously laid back, they’re probably not going to appreciate you hammering a nail into their front door anytime soon. So, if you want to hang a wreath this year, you’ll need to find a way to do it without making any holes. This easy wreath holder tutorial from DIY Inspired will show you how to hang your decorations without nails, and all you’ll need is an old coat hanger.
If you have a uPVC door, then you can also use a plastic hook with a suction cup to secure your wreath. Just make sure to tie your wreath onto the hanger with some gardening wire or twine to secure it on windy days.
Add colour with paper chains
If you’re on a seriously tight budget, you can still give your home a merry makeover by hanging paper chains in your windows, along the walls, or anywhere else you fancy. They’re quite lightweight, and so you should be able to hang them using sticky tack. Making paper chains is a fun festive activity, so if you have flatmates or children, get them involved.
You’ll need a few old books from a charity shop (sheet music also looks very elegant), a stapler, and some scissors. Cut the pages into strips 1.5 inches wide and 8 inches long, and then staple them into interlocking rings to create one long chain. If you’re feeling fancy, you could even spray one side of the paper strips gold or silver before making up the chain.
Thought you couldn’t deck the halls just because your house is rented? Think again. With these handy tips and tricks, you can create a beautifully festive interior that won’t harm your damage deposit.