Getting The Most From Your Living Space in a Student Rental

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Last updated: 9th Feb 2021.

Whether you love living in your rental home or loathe it, there’s something to be said for really making the space your own. Getting the most from your living space can be difficult, particularly in a student rental shared with others. Fret not, here are some ideas to help.

How To Get The Most From Your Rented Space

Now we all know there are limitations to what you can feasibly do in a student rental space, and some landlords will be more agreeable than others, so it’s always best to check with them first before undertaking any painting or DIY.

With that said, this blog post is all about the different ways you can get the most out of your living space without so much as looking at a paintbrush or drill. Use this as a springboard to get your creative juices flowing and to discover different ways you can personalise your rental space – and then take with you when you move on!


A rug might seem like an obvious (somewhat dull choice) but don’t underestimate the power of good flooring.

When you get out of bed in the morning, do you immediately shiver when your feet touch the icy cold laminate?

Perhaps you have a carpeted room that’s seen better days (there may even be some stains that need covering up – ew), so a rug that you absolutely love will be money well spent.

Yellow neutral geometric rug on wooden floor, with matching desk, cushion and art frames.
Pictured rug from La Redoute.

You really can let your imagination run wild here: if you love neutral colours and want to hide a dingy carpet… go for it!

Alternatively, if you have a flair for colour and pattern, go wild. Your new rug can roll up and come with you wherever you go.

I love the selection of affordable rugs on Amazon, including my favourite recycled fabric rag rug that sits proudly in my living room!

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Since we’ve started with the flooring, we might as well work our way up to the walls. It doesn’t have to be expensive to decorate your walls, and can be a great method for getting the most from your living space!

Now obviously, you can’t paint or wallpaper, and you may not even be able to hang pictures – but fear not.

Lamp, framed prints and vase on a marble desk.
Photograph from Desenio.

There is a huge trend for layering pictures and resting them on top of furniture this season, which works to the renter’s advantage. You don’t even need to put them on the wall! Gather a few frames in various sizes then fill them with the artwork of your liking, or your own art if you’re creative.

The enormous collection of prints available from Desenio has something for everyone, and you’ll be able to pick whichever size you like. Alternatively, you could display your own artwork or some feminist art prints from Etsy on your gallery wall!

Almost every bedroom will have a dresser so stack your pictures on top in your preferred arrangement. Alternatively, another very simple option is to hang posters with bulldog clips on each corner.

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Related Post: Feminist Art Prints For An Empowering Gallery Wall.

Cushions and Throws

Adding scatter cushions to your space, whether it’s the bedroom or living room, is like putting a big sign up that says “welcome home…and relax”.

Getting the most from your living space: brightly coloured cushions, vase and candles on a dark shelf.

They’re a great way of introducing colour and pattern, and useful to rest a textbook on (or more likely, your bowl of popcorn when you’re watching Netflix or Disney Plus).

Textured cream and yellow cushions and tassled throw. Board with text reading "be kind, be calm, be safe, #spreadjoy".

To go with your soft furnishings, a throw is also an excellent way to introduce pattern, colour and texture, plus it’ll keep you warm when you’re having a hardcore study session. There are plenty of options from Arlo & Jacob, in a vast array of colours that will do the job wonderfully.

Adding a variety of cushions and throws to my student bedroom really helped make the space cosy. Make sure to check out my post on how to personalise your student bedroom for more ideas!

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Make sure your bedding matches too, it’ll help tie the whole room together. A great way to do this is to pick a colour scheme, then choose a variety of textures, fabrics or patterns in those colours. I like to have patterned bedding with a plain throw on top, with textured cushions!

Related post: where to find bedding for students.

Are you getting the most from your living space? Will you give any of these rental decor tips a try?

Thanks for reading,

- Emily

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