15 Renter-Friendly Wall Decor Ideas

Posters in living room interior
KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

Wall decor is central to any apartment-decorating effort, and it's a large part of what makes your apartment look and feel like it's yours. Once you've got some good wall decor ideas, you're just a step away from making your place that much more attractive and welcoming.

More so than furniture, the items you choose for your walls, as well as their placement and arrangement, are unique to you and help you personalize your rental. For example, once you get a bedroom set delivered, your bedroom will probably become one of many with that same set. But once you finish decorating your walls, your apartment becomes unmistakably yours.

We know it can be hard to try and personalize your rented space fully when you have restrictions. However, there are plenty of stylish, non-destructive ways to decorate your walls. Check out 15 of our favorite ideas to get you started.

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    Reena Sotropa

    It might seem strange to start this list with "nothing." But this is to make an important point upfront: sometimes, adding nothing to a particular part of a wall is the best solution.

    With so many attractive options for wall decor out there, you may be tempted to choose what you think would be the best items to place on a particular part of your wall all the time.

    But it's always worthwhile to consider the total room decor when focusing on one spot. You may realize that the room has enough wall decor already or that adding wall decor to a certain part of your wall would unnecessarily clutter up that space.

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  • 02 of 15

    Gorgeous Paintings

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    Flat artwork, such as paintings, is what often first comes to mind when reading the words "wall decor," and for good reason. It's not uncommon to find at least some version of it on the walls of a standard apartment. Flat artwork is available in so many varieties that it suits just about every style. From colorful textured canvases to digital creations, flat artwork can enliven your walls.

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  • 03 of 15

    Family Photos and Other Personal Items

    photos of the family in various photo frames
    Ondrooo / Getty Images

    You might have tons of images on your computer or smartphone, but displaying your best photos on the walls of your apartment means keeping friends and family close. They serve as a happy reminder of your favorite people, fun vacations, and cherished memories.

    Aside from photos, you may choose to display family heirlooms, religious items, or other pieces that have sentimental value or unique meaning to you, such as an old license plate or a college banner.

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  • 04 of 15

    Mirrors, Clocks and Other Functional Items

    bar cart mirror wall

    Black and Blooms

    Certain items that we like to hang on our walls may be decorative but are also quite functional. One of the better-known examples of this is decorative mirrors. They can help you know you're looking good before you leave your apartment, and they can also serve to make an apartment look and feel bigger.

    Mirrors aren't your only functional decorative option, though. For example, a beautiful wall clock can serve as a piece of art and ensure you get to places on time. Other examples of functional wall decor include decorative coat racks, bulletin boards, wall-mounted televisions, and accent lighting.

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  • 05 of 15

    Diplomas, Awards, and Other Signs of Achievement

    Businesswoman reading paperwork with feet up on desk

    Paul Bradbury/Getty Images

    If you've got a home office in your apartment, displaying a diploma, certificate, or evidence of some professional achievement is a no-brainer. Aside from a home office, you may wish to show off your educational credentials by hanging your framed diploma on the wall. If you've got kids, you can even display evidence of your child's achievements proudly on your apartment walls (in addition to your fridge).

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  • 06 of 15

    Tapestries and Other Textile Art

    Indian tissues in apartment
    KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

    Printed or painted on heavy cloth and often hung by a decorative rod, tapestries add a touch of class to an apartment. Tapestries are harder to come by than other types of wall hangings, but if you can find one it's certainly worth the hassle. A well-placed tapestry or even an area rug can add warmth and variety to an apartment's decor.

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  • 07 of 15


    backwards books shelving

    Bespoke Only

    You can add shelving to your apartment walls on your own or with the help of a friend. Use shelves to store and display a range of items, from books and CDs to candles and knick-knacks. Shelves come in a variety of styles to match your apartment decor. Plus, if you hang multiple shelves on your walls, you can line them up vertically or place them in different ways to add some creativity to their arrangement.

    When buying shelving, be sure to measure the wall area to determine how long of a space you need. Also, don't overlook the width, which determines how much space you have between the wall and the edge of the shelf to store items. If you intend to include some books or larger items on your shelves, opt for a wider shelf, such as eight inches, or a corner shelf.

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  • 08 of 15

    Curios and Other Display Cases


    Home and Spirit / Instagram

    Hanging curio cabinets, in your apartment wall can be the perfect way to show off a collection of small, precious items while keeping them protected. You can, of course, use display cases to showcase anything you like. Swarovski crystals, Fabergé eggs, trinket boxes, porcelain figurines, your collection of interesting vases, and similar keepsakes are ideal candidates for curio cabinets and shelves.

    If you're an avid sports fan, you can display autographed baseballs, caps, and jerseys in specialty display cases that you can find online or at a sports memorabilia store.

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  • 09 of 15

    Sculptures and Other 3D Artwork

    bedroom reena sotropa

    Reena Sotropa

    A three-dimensional work of art on your wall can attract compliments and easily serve as the focal point of a room. Shadowboxes, metallic designs, embossed tiles, and more can be interesting in themselves while also adding variety to your wall decor.

    Sculptures and other three-dimensional works of art that are suitable for your wall can be found online as well as mixed in with paintings and other flat artwork at stores that carry home decor.

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    Wallpaper and Borders

    accent wall

    Erin Williamson Design

    Putting up removable wallpaper can bring patterns and add multiple colors to your wall that a typical paint job can't accomplish without the same level of hassle as applying regular wallpaper.

    If an entire wall still seems like a bit of a project to tackle, you can also add borders, like wallpaper but on a smaller scale. They can add a nice touch to a kitchen or bring cheer and a theme to a nursery.

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    Posters and Prints

    stylish white living room with plants, textured brown and red pillows, wall art print hanging on wall

    Maite Granda

    Artwork can be an expensive option, but there are money-saving alternatives you can turn to. Choosing posters or prints that match your decor or showcase your personality is a great way to fill the empty space on your walls. Whether your frame them or hang them up on their own, the use of command strips and other hanging solutions will give you the chance to decorate without fear of damage.

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  • 12 of 15

    Wall Decals

    wall decals nursery

    Calimia Home

    If you don't want to go all-in with removable wallpaper, wall decals might be an ideal choice to try instead. With so many choices between inspirational quotes, beautiful patterns, and unique shapes, you're bound to find something that will easily work in any room you choose. Plus, their easy-to-peel-off allows for easy repositioning so you can change things up whenever you need.

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    Simple Floral Touches

    colorful bedroom with teal midcentury modern dresser, pink flowers taped to wall

    KatarzynaBialasiewicz via Getty Images

    Adding plants and flowers to a room is always a favorite when decorating a space. Yet, rather than sticking to setting potted plants on shelves or the floor, try using them on your wall. Faux flowers taped and arranged can create stunning arrangements, or even using small test tubes to create a propagation wall to grow new plants are just a few of the routes you can take.

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    Gallery Wall

    gallery wall linving room

    Hannah Tyler Designs

    Hanging up one or two art pieces is lovely, but if you want to go a bit bigger with the concept, try a gallery wall. You can choose to arrange photos, paintings, or prints in a cohesive style, but this decor trend isn't limited to only paper artwork. You can arrange several personal items or other decor items in a similar fashion to create a maximalist effect.

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    Use Colorful Lighting

    living room with blue and purple LED lighting

    pozitivo via Getty Images

    Sometimes the simplest design ideas don't involve the standard home decor. Instead of trying to find something to fill the space, why not decorate with light instead? With a wide variety of multi-color LED lighting options, you can turn a basic white space into a colorful work of art. And if you want to change the mood, it simply takes a simple change of color. No nails or heavy-duty equipment necessary.