Committing to a specific style or look in your home can be daunting. After all, what if you try something and realize you hate it? Or maybe you’re always falling for the latest trends and can’t make up your mind on how you want to design your home. And what about those who are living somewhere short-term and don’t want to go through the trouble of decorating their space? These struggles have caused many-a-person to stop the design process before they even begin.

You’re certainly not alone if you have a fear of commitment when it comes to home decor! But this doesn’t mean you have to live with the bare minimum amount of furniture and no decor until you finally decide how you want to approach the design of your home. Trust us—a decorated home is a much happier, more welcoming place to be.

Fortunately for all you commitment-phobes out there, there are simple and affordable decor ideas that can easily (and temporarily) make any place feel like yours. Whether you just like updating your home on the regular or just need temporary decor ideas for a rental, the trick is to find flexible design solutions that let you add and subtract to your heart’s desire.

We’ve rounded up 10 temporary decorating ideas that can help you create a home you love, without the commitment.

Is determining a budget holding you back from designing your space? Check out our new home skimp or splurge guide, which will help you figure out what to invest in right away and what can wait when designing your space!

Living Room decorated with a $20,000 budget in a casual coastal style

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1. Invest in Quality Foundations

Spaces that are easy to update at any time generally rely on strong foundational pieces. This means furniture that is neutral, versatile, and can go with anything. Think of these core pieces as basics that you can build on, that help each room function as it should.

Unless money is no object (in which case, congrats to you), you likely won’t swap out when the mood to redecorate strikes. Rather, you’ll change the room around these pieces—and your space will take on a whole new look, even with the same foundational pieces.

Need help figuring out the foundational pieces in each room? Check out our room-by-room furniture buying guide, which will walk you through the essentials in each room of the house! 

image of a living room with a leather sofa and different decor swapping in and out

Why invest if you’re still planning to change things?

Even the greatest commitment-phobes among us are probably not buying a new sofa every time the trend winds shift direction, right? For our budget and sanity’s sake, it’s worth investing in high-quality, versatile, and comfortable foundations. These pieces will be chameleons that can work with a range of styles. They can evolve with your style and help you get the most out of your budget in the long run.

Not sure where to start? Here are our must-have foundational pieces:

  • A leather or neutral-colored sofa (as long as it’s comfortable, it’ll go with anything)
  • A natural fiber rug (great for layering!)
  • A wood or metal bed frame
  • A wood dining table

2. Move Pieces from Room to Room

Want to redecorate without spending a ton of money? Shop your own home! Accents such as plants, ottomans, rugs, and art can easily rotate from room to room—giving your room a totally new look and feel. Not only that, but the piece you move will itself take on a new look and feel. See what a different vibe the area rug, pictured above, has in the living room versus the home office?

And consider this: the same piece in a different space can serve a totally different function! For example, a console table can live in your entryway, but that same piece could be moved behind your sofa as a sofa table or in your bedroom as a vanity.

bedroom with different popular paint colors swapping through

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3. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

If you’re up for more of a project, add a splash of color to your space by painting the walls—whether it’s an accent wall or the whole room! A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest (and inexpensive) temporary decor ideas. Just follow these painting tips for the best outcome when giving your wall a facelift!

Designer Tip: If you like to regularly change your room’s color palette, paint your walls a neutral paint color like a beige, taupe, or off-white, which will have a similar effect as your high-quality, neutral foundational furniture.


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4. Go Big With Removable Wallpaper

A slightly more involved decorating idea? Peel-and-stick wallpaper. It looks just as good as regular wallpaper, but it’s removable, so there’s no long-term commitment. Plus, it’s easy to apply and take off—and adds major visual impact. This has become a popular way to spruce up your home and is one of our favorite high-impact but temporary decor ideas for renters. With so many brands and styles out there today, you can find peel-and-stick wallpaper in both trendy and timeless prints.

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is one of our favorite decorating ideas to add a pop of color, pattern, and sometimes even texture to your space—whether you apply it to a whole room, an accent wall, or even just an alcove. It’s a great way to completely transform a space without breaking the bank or making a lasting commitment.

bedroom design with rustic decor, neutral colors, and two seagrass stools at the foot of the bed

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5. Swap Your Throw Pillow Covers and Bedding

Pillows and bedding can totally change a space without a ton of effort—which makes them one of our favorite temporary decor ideas. Throw pillows are relatively inexpensive for the impact they make, and can be swapped out whenever you want a fresh look.

In a living room, when you have a neutral-colored sofa, you can swap in new pillows when you get bored of the current color and styles—and it will give your seating area a whole new look! The same goes with a neutral bedspread. Just add new pillows, and a throw at the end of the bed, and your bed has a whole new vibe. (Want a bigger impact? Swap out your duvet cover and sheets.)

When it comes to throw pillows, you can either bring in totally new pillows or just put a new cover on an existing pillow. Love dabbling in trends but have a tight budget? Trying on a trendy color, material, or pattern with a throw pillow cover is one of our favorite cheap room decor ideas.

image of a wood console table with some decor and art against a dark green wall

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6. Lean Your Art

Hanging items with nails can feel very permanent—and can damage walls if done improperly (or at the very least require spackling over the holes!). If you don’t want to put nails in the wall (or if you’re in a rental and your landlord won’t allow it), consider leaning art on the wall. You can do this either by setting a larger piece on the floor or by leaning small and medium-sized art on the surface of a console, dresser, or shelf. This gives your art a more casual vibe, and you can also layer art and decor for a more curated look. But here’s the best part: it’s super easy to move these pieces around and swap them out if you don’t like it anymore or are just ready for something new!

image of a credenza with books and decor and a small gallery wall with 3 pieces of art
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7. Think Small With Art

Speaking of art—if you have trouble committing to your home’s decor, steer clear of investing in one large piece of art. Large art pieces make a statement and become a focal point in your space. On the other hand, smaller pieces of art are easier to rearrange and swap out when you’re ready for something new.

With a collection of smaller art pieces, you can create gallery walls, hang single pieces, move them from room to room—the options are endless! You’ll have a lot more flexibility with a smaller collection of art than with a few large pieces that can only really work in one spot.

L-shaped living room layout

8. Change Your Layout

One of the best decorating ideas for when you want to change the look of your space (without spending money)? Switch up the layout! Play around with moving furniture in your space, and don’t be afraid to get creative with furniture placement. Remember—sofas don’t always need to be pushed against a wall; you can happily float furniture in the middle of the room when anchored by a rug!

Once you land on a new layout, move your decor around to switch up surface styling. And consider giving new life to existing items in your space! Turn a stool into a side table or an antique chest into a coffee table. Giving furniture new purposes, along with reconfiguring your layout, can help freshen up the space and change the flow without buying or removing anything.

orange stools blue living room

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9. Skip Wall-Mounted Furniture

Wall-mounted furniture is pretty permanent and not easily moved—so we recommend skipping it altogether if you like to change up your layout and design often. (Drilling holes in the wall is a good thing to avoid for chronic rearrangers!) However, if you like the idea of floating shelves or a wall-mounted bar, opt for a freestanding bookcase or bar cart instead.

12x12 Living Room Layout with sofa bed and neutral decor scheme

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10. Choose Pieces With Flexible Designs

One of our favorite versatile decorating ideas are easy-to-assemble (and disassemble) modular pieces. Flexible by nature, pieces like a modular sofa or sectional, with a chaise that can go on the left or right side offers maximum versatility. It’s as easy to change as your decor tastes!

You could also opt for an upholstered sofa with a removable slipcover. This lets you swap out the cover for one in a new material and/or color whenever you want a change! You could have a few on seasonal rotation, or have them at the ready whenever you’re ready for a new look.

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12 replies
  1. Megan Alder, says:

    I like that you recommend starting to invest in quality basics, basically, something that is neutral, versatile, and can go with anything. My husband and I have been planning to buy or rent an apartment, and I’m looking for advice to decorate it. I will make sure my husband knows that we need to start buying basic furniture, and decorations to make it look good but simple.

  2. Rebecca Gardner says:

    I love your suggestion to get decor that we can rotate to any room such as plants and benches. My husband and I are looking for a rental apartment nearby to the branch of his work he’ll be transferring to this May. It’s been a while since we’ve had to decorate a rental space, so the tips you shared here will be really helpful!

  3. Lakshit says:

    Modsy, I thoroughly agree with you on this. It is a great challenge to decorate your home properly when it is a rental home. I also really appreciate the suggestions you have put forward for versatile and modular furniture. A house can become a home when you invest in quality.

    • Modsy says:

      Hi natalie, thanks for asking. The first leather one is from West Elm, the modular one is from Burrow, and the last two are both from CB2. Happy styling!


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