When making any cosmetic changes to your rental, make sure you consider the landlord wishes. Depending on your landlord, you may not be able to paint anything at all, or may be restricted to certain colors. You should get the landlords written permission prior to painting anything. For increased chance of getting approval to paint, try choosing neutral colors or pastels.
Choose the mood you want to convey for each room. A relaxed mood is often desired for a bedroom, den, or living room which can be achieved by utilizing cool colors like shades of beige, blue, or green. A more entergetic mood can be accomplished by using shades of white, yellow, or orange and is often used in the kitchen, bathrooms and dining area. If painting is not an option, or you don't want to deal with the mess, consider utilizing furniture and artwork to create the desired look and feel.
Keep in mind that lighter, brighter colors make a room seem larger, which is often a key consideration if you rental property is small. While darker colors make the room seem a bit smaller, it also creates a more relaxing atmosphere.
Big savings on furnishings can be had by shopping classified ads, thrift shops and yard sales. Many people will sell nice furniture for pretty cheap when they replace it. Even if you find furniture that is scratched or discolored, you can make it look new again by refinishing it with paint or stain. If you want to add a functional piece of furniture consider a futon, not only does it give a modern feel, it doubles as an additional sleeping area.
Now that you've picked out your color palette and furniture, it's time to add a splash of your unique personality. This can be accomplished by adding inexpensive accessories to the room. Items such as throw pillows and blankets, vases, lamps, and other items are easily personalized and will add a great deal of character. They can also be used to cover any slight damaged areas on second hand furniture.
Since most landlords prefer to keep walls white or off white, color can alternatively be added without painting. Decorate your walls with inexpensive artwork and frames, CD covers, colorful fabrics, groupings of favorite collection pieces, etc to add eye-catching splashes of personality to the walls. Search online for wall stickers, they come in various shapes and styles, and can add a unique touch to your home.
It doesn't take much money or effort to turn a newly rented space into a warm, inviting home. Be creative and search online for inspiration, there are tons of articles and websites devoted to design.
As you just read, there are many different option to make your rental feel more like a home. It's important that you're comfortable in your own home, and nice to feel pround of where you live. Invite your friends over and have a get together when you're done. You could even find out who your real friends are and invite them over to help you paint!