Designing a Rental Home

Posted by BedfordBrooks in Design Tips on Jan 16th, 2015

Designing and decorating rental homes pose unique challenges for both the homeowners and the tenants. After all, the people who live and experience the place are different from the people who own and maintain it.

Rental Home Designing Tips


The challenge for homeowners is to design a home that will attract good tenets, be easy to maintain, and still fit within a budget.

  • Figure out what kind of tenants you are likely to attract and plan accordingly. If your property is near a university, then you are likely to have a high turnover of students.

    Students are typically not likely to take great care of their home, so installing expensive cabinetry in the kitchen or designer faucets in the bathroom won’t be a necessity. They’re also less likely to bring lots of furniture, so partially pre-furnishing the place may attract more people.

  • Conversely, a three-bedroom house in a residential neighbourhood will probably attract young families, or couples planning on children.

    They are more likely to have their own furniture, but they will definitely appreciate amenities like on-site laundry and extra storage space.

  • If your rental home is targeted towards vacationers staying for shorter periods of time, you’ll want to make it as fully furnished and decorated as possible. Extra amenities like a big screen TV and a hot tub are more likely to make a difference for a vacation rental than they would for long-term tenants.
  • Don’t be afraid to add a few of your own personal touches. You want the home to have a character of its own. If all of the design choices are as neutral and generic as possible, it will end up looking like a hotel room instead of a home. The furniture doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should feel nice and not like discarded leftovers.


The challenge for tenants is that you want to make the space feel like your own home, but you are limited with the amount of adjustments you can make. Obviously, if you are renting a vacation home temporarily your personalization options will be more limited than if you are renting for a long time.

  • Talk to your landlord about whether or not you are allowed to paint the walls and hang up artwork. These little touches go a long way towards making your home unique to you, and require minimal alterations to the underlying structure.

    Most of the time landlords will agree to let tenants decorate the walls as they please as long as they agree to return them to a neutral colour upon moving out.

  • Even though you may plan on moving on in the near future, don’t skimp on the furniture. Finding high-quality furnishings that you are comfortable with will make your rental feel like a home instead of a temporary stop.
  • Unique lighting fixtures are another simple (and easily reversible!) way of modifying an interior to your personal tastes.
  • Even if your landlord is OK with you making bigger alterations like built-in furniture or wallpaper, they might not be a good idea for you unless you are sure you will continue to rent there for years to come. After all, you can’t take those investments with you.