Landlord-Friendly Tips to Transform Your Student Accommodation, According to an Expert

Even the high-end, luxury student accommodation can sometimes look cold and uninviting, as most are made with efficiency and practicality – rather than beauty in mind. However, if you’re away from home for weeks or months – especially for the first time, it’s important to make it as homely and cosy as possible.

But suppose you’re renting a property as a student. In that case, it can be difficult to make it feel like home – with rules here, restrictions there and landlord inspections looming, and many worry about losing their deposits if they make any changes. Especially if you don’t have a big budget.

Nicole Lambert, marketing manager at HelloCanvas, explains how you can transform your rented student accommodation to make it feel more homely and inviting without annoying your landlord, losing your security deposit or spending a fortune.

Check with your landlord

Before you start making any changes to your rented accommodation, it’s worth speaking to your landlord about any big changes you wish to make. Sometimes, they can be open to it and may let you make more significant changes if you’re upfront and honest with them. Having this conversation first helps protect both of you should anything go wrong and avoid mistakes from assumptions.

It’s also worth getting their approval in writing to cover your own back and prevent any potential disagreements in the future – particularly when you’re moving out.

Get creative 

Some landlords are understandably wary about allowing you to paint, particularly if it’s a garish colour, in case it goes wrong or they’re left having to paint over everything at their own cost when you move out. Also, students don’t tend to stick around for longer than a year, so landlords don’t want to spend every year redecorating; it can be particularly time-consuming if they have several properties.

If you’re fed up with your blank walls, get creative and add some colour and personality with some wall decor – this way, you won’t have to repaint before you leave or ask for permission to paint entire walls. One large picture or a bigger gallery wall can transform any space and turn a dull wall into a work of art, making your memories the talking point of any living space.

If you’d prefer to leave the wall alone, pick up some shelves and lean your art against the wall to avoid nail damage. If you’re away from home and missing friends and family, create a wall full of your treasured photos to help keep homesickness at bay.

A gallery wall can be an innovative way to transform a blank wall without painting. If you want to create a beautifully unique gallery wall, these landlord-friendly CusttomShapes have a free smart magnetic hanging system that is simple to use, so there’s no need to use a drill. The shapes are also easily rearranged or replaced with this magnetic system if you move to a new place, move back home or want to rearrange any of the photos.

For a sustainable choice, opt for Felt Letters made from recycled plastic bottles; they don’t need a drill and can be easily stuck to the wall. They also come with a free spirit level to keep those letters straight. Pair Felt Letters with a selection of CusttomShapes for a beautiful gallery wall – ideal for shared spaces.

Another idea is to choose some high-quality CusttomFrames featuring your treasured photos to spruce up a large plain wall. Super easy to put up and suitable for all wall types, each frame has a free space for installation and a free magnetic hanging system so there’s no need to drill any holes.

Get sticky with it

Some landlords won’t appreciate you hammering a nail into the wall to hang up wall decor, so check with them beforehand. If they’d prefer you not to leave holes, you can pick up temporary “nail-free” products to help put up pictures without leaving a trace.

These will have special sticky tape on both sides, which can stick to the wall and the back of the frame or picture, preventing damage to the wall. Make sure to clean the surface before you hang your picture so they stays stuck to the wall effectively.

However, make sure it’s strong enough to hold the frame or picture; otherwise, you could cause damage to the wall if it falls down.

Cover it up 

Your landlord may allow you to hang pictures with nails or screws, but they may not appreciate lots of holes in the walls when you’ve moved out. If you decide to go ahead with a hammer or drill, you need to make sure it’s done correctly, with the right type of nail and plug, to ensure it’s strong and doesn’t cause any unnecessary damage. When it’s time to move out, the plug can be removed, filled in, and repainted easily to avoid losing your deposit.

A general tip when removing a nail and plug is to be gentle. Pull it out slowly to avoid damaging the wall or chipping the paint and apply wall filler to the hole with a putty knife, smoothing it over to fill the hole. (If you don’t have a putty knife, a kitchen knife or ruler will do).

Remove any excess paste with a clean putty knife and repeat this until the surface looks even, leaving it to dry for at least one hour. Once dry, rub a piece of sandpaper or a sanding block over the hole until it looks even and wipe the dust away with a damp cloth. Once the hole has gone, paint over it using the same colour as the rest of the wall, ensuring it looks the same as when you moved in.