Renting? You Can Still Get Creative With Color

Add color and interest to your white walls without jeopardizing your security deposit.

A freshly painted apartment with white walls is a clarion call for new beginnings. It’s also a deafening reminder that you’re a renter, not an owner. Because if you owned the place, you would be doing some serious color slinging to offset that clean (almost institutional) look of your newly leased property. You needn’t fly over the cuckoo’s nest, not with these five solutions for livening up your rental.

Framed Colorblocks

Here’s a great idea from the renovation blog Young House Love. Look at how stark those white walls were when they moved into their most recent renovation project. Using framed colorblock posters, the room was completely transformed.

Another option is painting large pieces of wood or canvases the Pantone shade of your dreams, as per this clipping from Elle Décor.


Street artists often tag buildings with a special type of goo called “wheat paste.” Do not put that on your own walls. Portal stickers, screen prints and posters from the art collective called Wheatpaste (in homage only): yes.

Rocking Vinyl Art

A London-based company of the same name sells album frames for displaying record covers as art.


Exposed Circuitry

Globs of plugs and wires bunched up around power outlets is another giveaway that you’re leasing, not owning, because if you did you would put the necessary resources into de-uglifying that mess. Compliment exposed circuitry with these abstract information giclée prints from Brooklyn-based graphic designer Eric Frommelt.  

Traditional Prints

Dwight Hwang of Fishing for Gyotaku creates original and reproduced prints from rice paper rubbings of fish, most of which he caught himself. His technique is based on the traditional art of Japanese fish printing, the fisherman’s way of memorializing his (or her) best catch without taxidermy. His prints can be had for a decent price, and add a touch of intentional Japanese minimalism.

Images: Al&KokoMichael Cuffe

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.