Rental Decorating Hacks for Military Families



A career with the military can be an incredibly rewarding thing, but just like any other job, it has its pros and cons. Whether you’re living in base housing or renting an apartment in town, you know your living situation is temporary. You have no idea how long you’ll be stationed in this area or where you’ll go next, which can make it hard to get settled in at any given place.

So — why would you want to spend time and money decorating your military housing when you know your time there is limited? The truth is, everyone needs somewhere that feels like home. And one way to make your living space feel more inviting for you and your family is to personalize it a little. Stop waiting for the day when you finally have a permanent address and enjoy where you are right now. Don’t insist on perfection in design — just focus on cultivating a loving, happy environment for the people who matter most.

When you’re ready, let Interior Furniture Resources help you on this mission with some military housing hacks.

Paint If You Can

As you already know, many members of the military are only stationed at a certain location for a short period of time. As a result, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to buy the supplies and put forth the effort to paint your house, especially if you just have to go over it again before you relocate the next time.

The rules for off-base housing are always up to the landlord, but when it comes to on-base military housing, occupants can sometimes paint as they wish, provided they return the walls to their original color before vacating.

However, if you’re pretty sure you’ll be living in your housing for at least a couple of years, and if you’re allowed to paint the walls, you might as well go for it. It’s a surefire way to brighten up your days and make your house feel more like yours.

Painting the walls a solid color is the easiest route to take. To save yourself money in the future, paint the walls in a light, neutral shade so they won’t require as many coats to restore their previous color when you leave.

You could also keep it simple and just paint a statement wall. Solid, striped or covered with stenciling, an accent wall is a fantastic way to show your creativity without redesigning an entire room.


Anything Peel-and-Stick Is Your Friend

Contact paper and washi tape aren’t just for college students who want to dress up their dorm rooms. There are plenty of ways that peel-and-stick items can be utilized as military home decorations. Put up wall decals to display your favorite quotes, flowers, animals or sports team logos. Arrange adhesive whiteboards, calendars and chalkboards together for a family command center that will keep everyone organized.

Some peel-and-stick art supplies can even be used on furniture or tile to create faux marble countertops, faux stainless steel appliances and temporary backsplashes.

Temporary wallpaper has recently become quite the trend, and it’s not as complicated to work with as you might think. Such large swaths of colors or patterns are a great way to bring visual interest to otherwise bland walls. Just make sure you read the instructions carefully before you buy — that way, you know it can be applied on top of the specific type of paint on your walls.

Your walls should also be completely dry and clean before you attempt to stick on temporary wallpaper. When it comes time to move, the wallpaper should be easy to peel off and throw away.

Add Color Without Paint

It can be a struggle to decorate military housing with white walls. If you don’t have permission to paint or you don’t want to waste money on it, how can you work with such a boring backdrop? When you think about it, there are actually loads of inventive ways to distract from the fact that your walls are plain old white.

For instance, you could invest in a colorful set of dishes or other vibrant kitchen items to display on countertops and bring color to your space. Another example is hanging up your jewelry, scarves and miscellaneous accessories on removable hooks in your bedroom. Once you start brainstorming, your options are endless!

Houseplants are a great way to brighten up a space and infuse it with life. Eliminate the worry that you’ll forget to water them by purchasing fake plants instead of real ones, or you could opt for plants that are difficult to kill, like cacti or other succulents.

One area worth focusing your energy on is linens and textiles. Position patterned throw blankets on plush pieces of furniture or dress things up with decorative pillows. Switching out pillow covers every so often will keep a room feeling lively. Layering patterns and textures is both fun and visually appealing.

Splurge on Area Rugs

One way to accomplish the goal of introducing texture and pattern to a space is through area rugs. They’re an excellent way to instantly add warmth and color to a room, which is a godsend in cold climates or winter months. You could cover your hardwood floors, tile or linoleum with rugs to promote a cozy environment and make it feel more inviting.

In homes with open floor plans, area rugs are a way to define the space. They’re perfect for your living room, kitchen or entryways and will surely take your interior design to the next level. Not only that, but they’re also a reflection of your personal style. A bonus idea for area rugs is that you could hang them up on the wall. This lets them function as decoration and a way to deaden sound when you live somewhere with shared walls.

area rugs

Don’t Overlook Window Treatments

Curtains, drapes, shades and sheers are for more than just blocking or filtering the sunlight. Bright curtains are significant in your arsenal of military rental decorations because they’re a way to change the color scheme of your décor.

For example, floor-to-ceiling curtains can provide a vivid hue without the hassle of painting. Then, you can create cohesion with your curtains, area rugs and throw pillows. Feel free to try new things and mix it up with solid colors and patterns. Strive for a design that’s eye-catching and unique while still creating a flow from room to room.

If your windows have no accommodations for curtains, just adhere hooks on either side of a window to support a curtain rod and hang them up that way. To save money on curtains, you can use fabric or long tablecloths in their place. You’ll hardly be able to notice the difference!

However, it’s worth noting that both window treatments and area rugs are worth investing a bit of money in. When you find a color or pattern you really like, you can take it with you everywhere you go.

Create a Gallery Wall

When you have to be away from your family for a while, it can be comforting to see their faces. Filling your home with pictures of your loved ones will soothe your soul, and it’s an easy way to cover an empty wall. That blank space in the living room or the wall beside the staircase is ideal for this. If you’re restricted from creating holes in the walls or you’re unsure if it’s allowed, you can play it safe and find adhesive hooks or frame hangers for your gallery.

Make sure you map out your desired layout before you start hanging things up, or just arrange everything on the floor to get a general feel for what you want. Display some of your favorite photos you’ve taken, pictures of your family and friends or images of your hometown. Integrate monogram lettering and other décor pieces to make your house feel even more like home.

Shelves Are Your Friends

When you can’t add nail holes in the wall, shelves enable you to create a gallery feel without any disruption. Some floating shelves out there can be put up without wall damage, but a much simpler solution is to style a bookcase.

First, dress up the inside and back of the shelves with paint, fabric or wallpaper. Pick a color or pattern that will accentuate the collection you plan to showcase. While you’re waiting for the paint to dry, you can figure out how you want to arrange your items.

There are all sorts of things you can display on a bookcase besides books. Your family photos, smaller pieces of artwork or treasured knickknacks will feel right at home on the shelves. You can utilize your bookcase solely for these objects or strike a visual balance between books and other items on the shelf.

Draw attention by changing up the way you stack your books or organizing them by color. You could even mix in something practical, like storage baskets. Just try not to do too much at once and make it appear cluttered. Also, remember the “rule of threes” when grouping objects: odd-numbered groups, such as three or five, are more visually appealing.

add shelves to decorate a military rental

Use Every Organization Hack You Can

Home organization for military families is of the utmost importance. You never know how many square feet you’ll be working with, but you have to make everything fit somehow. Don’t rely on storage units for all of your odds and ends — there are ways to use every nook and cranny in your house to your advantage.

As soon as you start thinking in terms of organization, every spare bit of space becomes somewhere you could store something. There are empty areas over the toilet, under the stairs and above the kitchen cabinets. Don’t ignore these weird little spaces — instead, put them to good use!

For instance, if you’re short on cabinet space, you could put your cleaning supplies in a hanging organizer on the back of a door and make room in your cabinets for other things. Another practical way to conserve storage space is to hang your pots and pans on the wall. This could add to your décor, as well.

In terms of renting furniture, be on the lookout for beds that are up off the floor or able to be put on risers. The space under the bed is prime real estate for storage. You could also rent furniture that will fit snugly into corners so floor space can be adequately utilized.

For your closets, you should invest in a bunch of clear storage bins instead of settling for cardboard boxes. Even splurging on cute baskets can work against you, because then there’s no easy way to see what’s inside. Decrease the chance of anything getting lost by choosing see-through tubs for your home organization.

Take Advantage of Changeable Items

When it comes to thinking outside the box, this goes right along with the previous item about innovative storage. You can add little bits of personality and comfort through avenues you might not expect. The simplest way is to purchase practical pieces that also happen to be stylish. You could invest in table lamps, but then buy affordable shades that can be swapped out whenever the mood strikes you.

The lighting in any room of the house could be updated to suit your fancy. Bring in light fixtures you’re used to, or install lightbulbs that are easy on your eyes. And what about the preexisting hardware throughout your home? The cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom have handles that could easily be repainted or replaced for a new look.

It’s fun to update your interior design from something that might be a bit outdated, and it’s a way to integrate items you’re sentimentally attached to. Just be sure to talk to your landlord first to see if you have permission to make these alterations.

Rent Furniture Instead of Buying

It’s understandable to grow attached to an attractive couch or a table that’s been with you through life’s milestones. Exceptions can always be made, but you don’t have to drag around an entire furniture set with you move after move. You should seriously consider renting most of the furniture pieces you need.

When you rent, you can switch up the furniture you use every time you move. Your tastes may change over time, or you may just want something new. Plus, it will save you a lot of hassle to rent furniture, since you don’t have to move it with you to your next place!

Attractive, neutral furniture will go great with the accessories you already own. If possible, try to opt for furniture that’s versatile in other ways as well, like a couch that turns into a daybed or an ottoman with storage inside. Then, you can justify bringing along your sentimental furnishings or a piece of accent furniture in a bold color or design.

renting furniture military families

Decorating Military Housing Can Be Easy

The trick to decorating your military housing, as with interior design in any home, is to emphasize the good aspects of the space and work around the bad. Put a bit of money toward the items that really fit your style and offer convenience, such as window treatments and light fixtures. When you’re faced with limited options for decorating, color will be your number one ally.

Pick a main color, for a single room or the whole house if you want, and then add a handful of secondary colors that coordinate. Afterward, you can introduce points of interest that showcase your personality.

Ultimately, this is about more than just temporary military housing decoration ideas. It’s about creating a comfortable space for every member of your family. That goes beyond putting together a reading corner or carving out a place where you can participate in your hobbies. A spot to drink coffee and look at the morning paper means much more if your kitchen contains the cookware you love, the colors you’re drawn to and storage solutions that aren’t hectic or cluttered.

Fill your living room and the rest of your house with beautiful, rented furniture through Interior Furniture Resources. When you turn to IFR, we’ll help make the transition of moving go as smoothly as possible. Feel free to browse our website or contact us for more information today.