Make Your Rental Home Holiday Photo-Ready

Seasons change, and so do rental contracts and housing arrangements. If you’re leasing, you can still make your rental feel like home for the holidays with seasonal décor. These decorating tips won’t break the bank or your lease guidelines.

Invitation Homes Design Expert Meghan Giddens said, “When it comes to decorating, renters often feel limited by the temporary nature of their living arrangements. We believe people should be able to make their house a home, one they’re proud to share with loved ones in-person or on their social feeds, no matter how long or short the stay.”

A festive entrywayGreen door to a white house with a Christmas wreath on it

When friends and family come to visit, their first impressions start at the entryway. While festive touches are important, be careful not to overwhelm your guests. Think of your holiday decor as a series of unique moments, each designed to bring your guests joy or create an opportunity for a share-worthy photo.

A holiday staple is a creatively decorated wreath hanging on the front door. Start with a plain wreath and add some holiday flair by wrapping it with thin red ribbon and tucking pine cones into areas they will hold firmly. For added detail, weave in artificial cranberry twigs that won’t lose their eye-catching pops of red color in the winter weather. Then affix your wreath to the door with a removable hook, of course.

A small tree trimmed with white lights and miniature ornaments just inside the door is a welcoming touch for guests as they step inside your home. Just make sure it’s clear of the door and there’s still ample room for removing wet shoes and coats.

living_room_decorated_with_christmas_treeMagical holiday mantels

Nothing says “holiday” quite like a crackling fire adorned with festive decorations. In many homes, the mantel is already a focal point and the backdrop to many family photos, so it’s an opportunity to make a big impact in a relatively small space. Think of your mantel as a blank canvas to create your own holiday scene. You can remove your everyday decor and add seasonal accent pieces or introduce something completely new.

Greenery and garland add a festive look to your mantel. You can add seasonal blooms like poinsettia and items like pinecones, faux antlers, and berries for a nature-inspired look. Or opt for an oversized wire-edged ribbon to run across the mantle with gentle ripples and waves to add dimension. An easy DIY project like weighted boxes wrapped like gifts can lend extra visual appeal and festive color. Simply wrap unused shoe boxes or other cardboard boxes with holiday wrapping paper, tie a bow with ribbon, and stack like gifts.

Remember, the mantel is also an excellent place to display a holiday collection, such as nutcrackers or treasured figurines.

Talk of the neighborhood

There’s no reason to limit your seasonal celebrating to the indoors when you can create yard decor that’s the envy of the neighborhood. Holiday lights add instant holiday cheer, and there are a nearly endless number of low-profile, affordable clips available that allow you to hang lights without permanently fixing or stapling anything to your home’s exterior. Keep colors and patterns in mind, whether you’re planning to go all-out on different colored strings or simple white all around. Other options like illuminated figures, inflatables or projection lights let you get extra creative and show a little personality, too.

Although the impact on your lease is probably less of a concern outdoors, there are some important safety precautions you should take to protect the property. Be sure you’re aware of the home’s electric capacity and don’t overload the system. Use power cords and plug-ins designed for outdoor use and follow all the manufacturers’ safety guidelines to prevent fire risks.

Also, remember the details are what will make your outdoor design truly exceptional, so don’t overlook everyday features like the mailbox, which you can dress up for the season with a pretty bow.

Decorating your home in a temporary yet festive manner can be accomplished with these ideas and more. Find additional tips to make your house a home any season of the year on our blog.

Decorating Dos and Don’ts

When it comes to decorating, a DIY approach can be intimidating. Get started with these pro tips.

Do: mix textures

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to add more texture to your home’s decor. Mixing and matching textures can add depth and diversify the space. Fuzzy, festive throw pillows, colorful knit blankets, or a vibrant seasonal rug all bring a temporary sense of holiday spirit.

Don’t: be afraid to use color

For a season that is built around bright reds and greens, the holidays are the perfect time to play with bold colors. For optimal color balance, a common rule of thumb is to use three colors: one anchor and two accents. The anchor will be more neutral as it takes up most of the space. The two accents can be bright and contrasting, helping give the room character.

Do: layer lighting

Especially if you’ll be entertaining, don’t overlook the importance of lighting when planning your holiday decor. Many rooms are lit by a single overhead light. Although this ambient light typically gets the job done, the area is often left with a flat feel. Give the space dimension with varying, angled light from floor or table lamps. This will lend a warm glow that makes the room inviting while highlighting your favorite holiday decorations.

Don’t: sacrifice function

It’s easy to get carried away with filling your home with decorative pieces that really have no purpose except to look pretty. Too many showy items can lead to an overly cluttered area that looks more garish than great (and may prevent guests from fully enjoying all your hard work). Avoid holiday decorations that take up too much room or minimize seating.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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