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Renting a Small Space: Top Tips to Make Your Rental Room Feel Like Home

Small room with multi-functional furniture

JAG Studio

There’s an undeniable allure about big cities, with their vibrant cultures and exciting job opportunities. However, embracing urban life often means having to adjust to smaller homes due to rent, location, or other factors. In bustling metropolises, many people settle for living spaces without the square footage of suburban homes. 

With that said, while your rented room might be compact, it doesn’t mean it can’t feel cozy and comfortable or reflect your unique personality.

Here’s the good news: you can transform any rental space, no matter how small, into a sanctuary that resonates with your style. Whether you’re renting in Boston, NYC, San Francisco, or anywhere else, these simple tips will help you get the most out of your room, turning it into a stylish sanctuary you’ll be proud to show off.

Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper: Temporary but Stylish

If you’re looking to personalize your living area, peel-and-stick wallpaper can turn an otherwise lifeless abode into a snazzy space. They’re not permanent and won’t damage the walls, making them perfect for renters adhering to a strict rental contract. With a variety of colors, bold patterns, or subtle designs, these wallpapers will immediately change the vibe of your room, making it edgy, stylish, or cozy, allowing you to flaunt your artistic flare.

Multifunctional Furniture is Key

When space is limited, multifunctional furniture becomes your best friend, offering storage solutions to transform your room into a stylish sanctuary. Keep an eye out for beds with drawers underneath, ottomans that can double as boxes, or tables that you can quickly fold away when they’re not in use. These pieces will help you maximize your space and keep your room looking clean and tidy.

Personalize with Textiles

Cushions, rugs, curtains, and throw blankets are sure to change the feel and ambiance of any living space. Not only can they infuse the room with your unique style thanks to the range of colors and patterns they come in, but they also don’t require any permanent alterations that fussy landlords may object to. Textiles can also make a room feel warmer and more inviting, helping you create a home you’ll be proud to show off.

Don’t Underestimate Lighting

Most rental spaces come with standard lighting fixtures, which can make your living area look boring and clinical. Consider investing in stylish lamps or even fairy lights. These additions can do wonders for the atmosphere of your living space, making those movie nights feel much cozier. 

A quick note: if you replace existing light fixtures, always keep the original ones to switch back when you move out. This will help you retain your deposit.

Small room with multi-functional furniture

Plants Breathe Life into Small Spaces

Whether you have a green thumb or not, plants will transform a room completely, brightening your urban living space up with a touch of nature. They also purify the air, which is perfect if you live in a small and, at times, stuffy apartment. 

If you’re concerned about taking care of your plants, plenty of low-maintenance options like succulents or snake plants don’t require you to water them as often.

Hang Art Without Holes

Personal artwork or prints can turn a bland wall into something that pops. But the last thing you want to do is lose your deposit because of damage to the walls. This is where adhesive hooks or strips come into play. These are specially designed for hanging artwork, mirrors, and picture frames. They don’t leave any marks when removed correctly, which is great news for your deposit. Decorate your walls until your heart’s content.

Create Zones in Open Spaces

Creating designated “zones” in studio apartments or open-plan rooms can help structure the space. Use rugs, curtains, or shelving units as dividers to separate your sleeping area from your living or work area. This not only creates the illusion of more room but also adds a touch of organization to open spaces.

Reflect More Light with Mirrors

Mirrors reflect light and create depth, making a small space feel much bigger. Whether you opt for one large statement mirror or an arrangement of smaller ones, you can add both function and style to your room with this popular technique.

Customize your Storage

Just because storage is necessary, it doesn’t mean it has to be dull. Decorative baskets, unique shelving, or painted crates can keep your belongings tidy in style. You could even think outside the box and repurpose items to serve as storage.

Always Showcase Personal Mementos

The quickest way to make any space feel like home is to fill it with memories. Photos, souvenirs from travels, or heirlooms can tell your story. These conversation starters will serve as daily reminders of cherished moments.


Renting a small room doesn’t mean sacrificing style or comfort. With a bit of creativity and some smart choices, any rental space can feel like a tailored haven. Remember, the essence of a home isn’t defined by its size or the ownership of space. It’s crafted by the people who live there and the memories they make.

Those on the hunt for a new apartment should explore the vibrant available rooms for rent in Boston and other cities. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, these design tips will help you transform your space into your own stylish sanctuary.