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Eco-Friendly Interior Design Tips for Renters

Renting a property means you can’t initiate major upgrades to make your living space more eco-friendly - installing solar panels and energy-efficient cooling systems is mostly out of the question.


However, there are other ways to reduce your carbon emissions and be more environmentally conscious when decorating the interiors of your rental abode. You might have to spend, but it all pays off when you see decreased utility bill costs.


Our guide will give you a headstart on the top x interior design projects you can take on to make your home just a bit more eco-friendly!

Eco-Friendly Interior Design Tips for Renters

Things To Consider Before You Start Decorating

Before you dive head first into your home styling project, sit back, relax, and think about the following factors:


  1. Rental Agreement: In some cases, landlords may impose restrictions on making any permanent or temporary changes to the rental property, so read the terms of the agreement before starting. If you’re a long-term tenant, you have a better appeal to the landlord if the upgrades are mandatory.

  2. Duration of Your Stay: How long you’ll be living on the property determines how much you should invest in its interior design. If you plan on living there for years, you can consider significant upgrades, but understand that they’ll cost more. Choosing to extend your stay may require a renewal of terms, so account for any extended lease costs accordingly.

  3. Bearing Costs: When you make any changes, don’t expect the landlord to pay for them. Both parties are looking to save money, so at best, you can negotiate a deal where you and the landlord share the expenses. This way, you don’t end up bearing all the costs for upgrades you must leave behind.

  4. Ask Permission: This one’s basic and quite important despite what the agreement says. If you’re unsure whether you can change something, always ask the landlord and discuss it with them; this way, you avoid any future misunderstandings.

Eco-Friendly Interior Design Tips For Rental Homes

While there’s a plethora of options to refresh and redesign your home, rental properties only allow so much, so you have to work with what you get.


These are some options to consider for eco-friendly stylish upgrades.

Eco-Friendly Interior Design Tips for Renters

Light and Plumbing Fixtures

The electrical and water supply is one area where you can conserve the most energy with the right fixtures. Save water by installing low-flow showerheads and faucets or using water filters that connect to the faucet.


Replace outdated filament bulbs with LED lights, which consume less energy and are cost-effective. LEDs have an average life of 20,000 hours, while incandescent bulbs have only a thousand. Swapping to LED could reduce utility bills by £150-£200 annually.

Eco-Friendly Shopping

Sustainability and smart shopping go hand-in-hand. For rental properties, you can mix quality with frugality by being a little thrifty. Don’t shy away from making purchases at vintage, second-hand, or thrift stores.


Even when making new purchases, choose environmentally conscious brands and homeware. These may be slightly expensive, but they’re made from high-quality materials, and you can be assured that they’re sourced sustainably.

Indoor Garden

Apart from saving a couple of bucks on groceries, indoor gardening is an amazing skill and hobby for practising sustainable living. It allows you to grow the exact vegetables, fruits, or herbs you use most while also improving your home’s aesthetic and air quality.


You can beautify your living room by incorporating houseplants like ponytail palms, spider plants, ficus, etc. These can really bring life to boring corners. Take it a step further by installing a vertical garden grid, and you can grow an assortment of succulents.

Stylish Flooring

Suppose your budget allows it, and you’re a long-term tenant with all the permissions from your landlord; it’s good to invest in high-quality flooring, especially swapping moisture-ridden carpeting for sleek hardwood, laminate, or tiled floors.


Consider heated flooring or an underfoot heating system when you decide to replace it. It’s one of the most energy-efficient ways of heating your home in winter because it can reduce utility bills by up to 50 percent.


You can use your creativity and make decor from scratch, especially if you’re someone who’s good at arts and crafts. You can also recycle materials like plastic, metal, or glass to create decorative items for showcases and tables.


Another way to beautify your home is to “freshen” it up; you can achieve this by sanding down worn-out furniture and coating it with varnish or adding fresh paint to a stained, scribbled wall to bring it back to life.

Bottom Line

While renting a property can limit the extent to which you can change your living space, it doesn’t mean it entirely restricts you from practising sustainable living. You may not be allowed to replace window panes or add extra insulation to the walls, but the small changes we’ve mentioned are more than enough to get you started on your eco-friendly journey.



Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about interiors. She launched award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she gets creative by redecorating her own home.

Download her free bathroom renovation guide here.


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