Want Artwork in Your Home But Can’t Have Wall Hangings? Here’s a Way Around It

If you live in rented accommodation, you’ll know how stifling it is if you can’t inject your personality into your property. While some landlords are open to the idea of hanging up picture frames and quirky, precious pieces of art on the wall, many aren’t. Or, you may be in luck if the previous tenants have left a solitary nail in place to allow the odd arty display. When this happens, it’s easy to feel disheartened, and accept the fact you’ll have to stare at blank walls for the rest of your time in the property. Well, don’t give up just yet. There are plenty of ways you can personalize your home, even if you can’t hang anything on the wall.

The first thing you need to do is take full advantage of your solitary nail; get hold of a clipboard or corkboard and cover the board with your art, photos and trinkets. It is easy to secure and only need to be held up by one nail, and will create a wonderful focal point.


If you’re fed up of looking at blank walls, buy some giant plants to cover up some of the space. There are plenty of large – people-sized – plants that thrive in indoor environments. You’ll just need to make sure that you stay on top of insecticide sprays and watering them. Likewise, putting plants on available surfaces gives a bright, fun, fresh look to your room. It’s not quite as personal as using your own favorite art pieces, but it’s a close second.


Think that your lights are only good for functional reasons? Well, now that you’re thinking out of the box, you’ll see a whole new side to them. You could buy Nelson Bubble Lamps: these demure yet interesting lights are in a permanent collection in New York’s MoMA. They give off a great tone of light, but they’ll also bring that arty fix to your home.


Most landlords are open to the idea of home improvements, as long as you agree to rectifying any damages and employing a professional to carry out the works. So, if you can get your landlord to agree, see if you can put up shelves. Not only can you use them as extra storage, but you can frame your favorite prints and prop them up – bringing art to your home in another entirely different way.

The riskier option…

If you’re willing to take a chance on your security deposit, you could just go ahead and display your art. Nail holes are easy to cover up: you’ll just need a bit of filler and some paint. Or, you can try using wall-safe adhesives to secure your pieces of art. However, going against your landlord’s wishes can be incredibly risky: it’s not a good thing to do. If you reason with them rationally, and show a plan of action for how safe the attachment is, and how you’ll repair any damage, then they’re likely to change their decision.

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  1. Thank you for the great ideas. I’m moving again in 2 months (I’m still room-hunting though) and I hope I’m able to decorate my new room freely. It doesn’t feel like home if you have no control over the decor. 🙁