Courtney Craig
wall coverings

Adding some color to your apartment can be tough when you can’t paint, hang wallpaper, or re-tile. How do you make a place feel like yours when you’re limited to temporary décor? Use really big temporary décor — temporary wall coverings!

There are some ultra-cool products out there that can make your rental feel like home sweet home — without doing any permanent damage. Here are a few that we love:

1. Temporary wallpaper

While all wallpaper can theoretically be removed, there are some types, usually called strippable or peelable, made specifically to come off the wall without leaving residue behind. The adhesive is about as strong as a Post-It.

You can buy temporary wallpaper at big-box home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot, paint stores like Sherwin-Williams, or online. Just realize that it’s expensive: expect to pay around $100 for each 8-foot-tall, 25-inch-wide panel. But you can cut down on the cost by papering accent walls instead of an entire room.


2. Peel-and-Stick Backsplash Tiles

Peel-and-stick tiles are one option to add some temporary color to your kitchen.

Don’t like your apartment’s kitchen backsplash? Cover it up with peel-and-stick tiles or panels, available in a wide variety of styles at home improvement stores. Cut them to fit your space with scissors or a utility knife and clean them with a soft cloth. They’ll peel off the wall easily, leaving no residue when you move out or redecorate.

An 18-by-24-inch panel will cost you around $20.

Read more: A Guide to Creating a Focal Point in Your Space  

3. Wall Decals

Similar to the backsplash tiles, these are basically large stickers that go up on the wall. You can find them in just about any design you can think of, so look around and see what you can find. A good decal placed on the wall can do a great job of decorating, and the variety out there means you can always find one that matches your personality and desired decorative theme.

4. Fabric

You have two options here: You can stretch your fabric tightly over the wall, then secure it using thumbtacks or small nails, or you can buy inexpensive foam boards that are as tall as your walls, cover them with fabric, then attach the boards to the wall. Either way, this well add a splash of color and texture to any wall without changing anything permanently.

Costs will vary depending on the size of your apartment, how many walls you cover, and what kind of fabric you use.

Read more: Apartment Guide’s Top 9 Decor Trends

5. Curtains

No one has to know there’s not a window behind it! Attach an ordinary curtain rod to your wall, near the ceiling, and hang some cool fabric that reaches all the way down to the floor. Again, how much you’ll spend depends on how big the wall is and what kind of fabric you choose.

Read more: Grow Up! How to Transform Your Dorm-Style Apartment Into a Sweet Suite

6. Decorative/masking tape

You can create your own wallpaper-like designs with a steady hand and a lot of tape. Put up colored masking tape to make whatever pattern of lines you want, and it’ll come off easily when you have to move out.

7. Scrapbook or wrapping paper

These are one of the cheapest options, but also a fragile one. Get some large rolls of wrapping paper and put double-sided tape on the back to stick it to the wall. This works best for somewhere like the back of a closet or walls behind something like your refrigerator – they will easily tear and get worn down, so keep it to the less trafficked areas.

8. Art

Time to get creative! Buy some big canvasses and create your own paintings, or shop thrift stores for some inexpensive pictures and make a collage on your wall. It’s a surefire way to make your apartment décor one-of-a-kind. Just be sure to hang heavy objects on a stud, not the drywall, and spackle the holes when it’s time to move out.



About The Author

Courtney Craig is a writer and contributor for the Apartment Guide Blog. She rented apartments for 12 years in 4 cities before buying her first house in Atlanta.