How to update your rental without losing your bond

Make your rental house a place you’ll love to come home to with easy upgrades that won’t threaten your bond!

Bunnings magazine, March 2020

Whether renting as a stop-gap solution or a long-term strategy, were all likely to find ourselves as tenants at one stage or another. But although the property is owned by someone else, it’s still your home – and it should feel that way.

With our 10 tips, you can stamp a house with your personal style and even fix some of the niggly bits that drive you nuts, to make a rental house your home sweet home.

Cover up

Is the flooring looking dated, worn or clashing with your furniture? “Rugs are a perfect solution to cover up tired floorboards, tiles or carpet, says Bunnings flooring buyer Natasha Ryan.

Even kitchen floors can be easily disguised – use a kitchen mat or an outdoor rug in easy-clean polypropylene. “Patterned rugs can be tricky, as they often draw the eye down to them, which can then also highlight the surrounding flooring,” says interiors stylist Emma Blomfield. “But a textured rug in a solid colour will just blend in and allow you to use artwork or funky scatter cushions to draw the eye up to a focal point away from the floor.

Watch it: How to choose a rug

Smarty pants

If you’re a tech whizz, becoming virtual master of your domain might be a shortcut to turning the roof over your head into your personal haven.

There are plenty of smart home gadgets that dont need to be hardwired, from security cameras and video doorbells to smart light bulbs that simply pop into an existing screw or bayonet fixing.

Watch it: How to create a smart home

Furniture storage solutions and smart home products to brighten up your rental home.
Shop our Marketlink footstool chest and coffee table. Check out stock availability on our smart bulb and security system.

What's in store

Lack of storage is a perennial problem for renters (and non-renters too) but one that can be alleviated by strategic furniture choices. Choosing coffee tables with shelving underneath, buffets with closed doors and drawers, bedsides with shelving, ottomans with lift-up storage or gas-lift beds that give you a tonne of storage for the bedroom all go a long way to helping fight the storage battle,” says Emma Blomfield. Best of all, these pieces are yours to take to the next place if you move on.

Hanging out

Removable picture hangers enable tenants to personalise their rented property with art – without causing wall damage. “Hang pictures of loved ones, holidays or just add some extra personality to your space, says Jen McDonnell.

Four sets of large Command picture hanging strips hold up to 7.2kg. Bigger pieces that require drilling into the walls may still be an option many landlords are accommodating if you promise to patch the wall before moving out.

Read it: The best way to hang pictures on a wall

Watch it: How to fix a hole in a plaster wall

Royal flush

Toilet seats in rental properties typically dont age well, but you dont need to put up with a substandard loo. Replacing a stained or broken toilet seat is a dead-simple DIY job and, as theyre so inexpensive to buy, theres no danger of overcapitalising on someone elses property. Check the measurements of the existing seats fastening bolts to be sure to buy the right one.

Watch it: How to replace a toilet seat

Window dressing

Updating existing daggy curtains is an easy fix, while installing new ones to a bare window or to disguise an ugly blind will require fitting a curtain rod. If working within a window embrasure, you can use adjustable fittings that don’t require any drilling, but a more permanent solution will be needed for a curtain pole on a flat wall.

Always check before drilling into walls, but curtains will usually get the thumbs up from a landlord. “If you’re doing it tastefully and only putting holes where necessary, your landlord should be grateful you’re helping add to the space!” says Emma.

Watch it: How to hang sheer curtains 

Everything in its place

Having dedicated spots for everything makes a house feel like a permanent home. Command general purpose hooks are fantastic for any item (up to 3.4kg) and can be easily removed. “There are hooks in all sizes for all different storage and organisational needs – for example, hanging keys, kitchen utensils, towels, bags, hats and other frequently used household items,” says Jen McDonnell, senior brand manager at 3M. “The broom gripper is especially handy to keep mops and brooms neat and tidy.”

Living room set with pale grey couch, featuring mint and pastel coloured cushions. Behind is a wicker desk that holds books on a bottom shelf and a vase with other ornaments on top.

On reflection

Oversized mirrors are an interior designer’s secret weapon, used to make a room feel bigger and brighter, or to reflect a view. Lean one against a wall and secure with a simple (and easily patched) bracket or child-safety anchor. As always, ask your landlord before fixing into walls.

Bright ideas

If your home’s lighting is leaving you fumbling in the dark or blinded by operating theatre glare, table and floor lamps will be your best friends, says Emma. “They’re not only functional but also provide you with an opportunity to add some colour and pattern to the room,” she says.

If you’re burdened with basic bulbs in the ceilings, it’s even easier to upgrade the look – without calling in an electrician! Recently available DIY pendant lights simply screw into an existing bayonet fixture, giving a room a fresh new look that you can update or reverse in minutes.

For bespoke task lighting, play around with a product like smart LED strip lights – stick them underneath a wall cabinet, around an office space or wherever you need extra light, then use a smart phone app to get the right colour and brightness.

Jungle fever

Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than potted greenery, and it’s such an easy fix for renters. Choose plants based on your personal taste and gardening confidence – succulents are on trend and low maintenance, or go with a lush looking black thumb favourite like monstera or devil’s ivy.

Watch it: How to grow and care for monstera

Watch it: How to grow and propagate devil’s ivy

Array of green plants in pots overlayed with with two featured pots for purchase. Check your nearest store for availability.
Click to shop our cream egg or grey patterned pots.

low water garden

Planning & Projects How to create a low-water garden ‘Dry’ or ‘low-water’ gardening is a real art and, when done right, will provide you with an inviting landscape that uses very little water.

Finished artificial green garden wall behind garden bench 02:05

Planning & Projects How to create a green wall using artificial hedge Green walls are all the rage at the moment, but buying and maintaining one can be costly. Why not have a go at creating your own using pieces of artificial hedge – it looks great and will last the distance. Here’s how.

reducing water

How To Save Water How to reduce water usage Whether indoor or outdoor, there are lots of ways to be smart about water usage. And there are some simple actions that can make a big difference to your water bill.

ring doorbell 01:53

Doors How to install a ring doorbell The Ring video doorbell is a wireless doorbell which allows you to see who is at your front door. Find out how to install the Ring video doorbell yourself.

a tree lit up with solar lights around it 01:46

Garden Lighting How to install solar lights in your garden Solar lights are a great way to illuminate your pathways and highlight your garden beds at night. Install them yourself with these easy steps.

how to organise your pantry 02:52

Shelving & Storage How to organise your pantry Create an organisational system in your pantry with these handy storage hints. Trust us – its life changing!

front door 01:31

How To Paint How to paint your front door Make an entrance every darn day of the week by painting your front door a bold, enticing colour!

how to hang pictures

Walls The best way to hang pictures on a wall Learn the tricks to hanging your wall decor so it looks good – and doesn’t damage the plasterboard. Create an effortless-looking display by taking the time to consider spacing, proportion, frame styles and colour palettes.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content