12 Ways Students Can Decorate Their Rental for the Holidays

By Lorena Roberts on December 18, 2017

Sometimes living in a rental doesn’t really feel like home, especially at the holidays. So how can you help your student renters fix that empty feeling? Well, you can start by telling them these tips on how you they can decorate their home for the holidays. Maybe they’re a mini version of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” or maybe subtlety is more their style. Regardless, holiday decorating can go hundreds of different ways. If your student renters are looking for ways to decorate their rental for the holidays, here are twelve ideas:

via Pixabay

1. Electric window candles.

The easiest way to make a home look inviting is through some simple lights in the windows. This looks especially “home-y” at night, when the curtains are covering the windows — the “eyes” of the house. It’s the perfect way to make a home look like the holiday spirit is alive on the inside. Gaudy decor on the outside is unnecessary.

2. Christmas Comforters.

Instead of feeling like the entire place must be covered in Christmas decor, your residents can try switching out their comforters for something a little more… holiday-ish. Brightening up the room with holiday colors will make guests feel like they are a part of the family.

3. Simple front door wreath.

Hanging wreaths can go a bit overboard… at times. Some people are just really happy that Christmas has arrived. But if your student renter is in a rental and just wants to show they aren’t the Grinch, hang a simple green wreath.

4. Cinnamon scents.

If your renters want to make their homes seem 100% inviting, they can place cinnamon scented rags on the air vents. Soon, the place will be filled with the pleasant smell of Christmas. It might not be the decoration they were looking for, but it’s still a way to make their rental seem like home.

5. Pick the perfect-sized tree… whatever that may be.

Depending on the size of the rental, the residents may or may not have room for a twelve-footer. If they do, they should go for it, but if not, they shouldn’t feel bad. If the only tree they’re going to have in their rental is a small dining room table, not-decorated mini-evergreen, they shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Sometimes less is more. And during the holidays, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by decorations.

6. Table decorations

Adding simple red napkins to a dining room table can give their home a whole new look. It’s easy to spruce up a dining room with little touches here and there.

7. Candles

Not only will the scents lighten the mood, but the flickering of the light will cast a hue over everyone in attendance and suddenly everyone will be full of joy. There’s something calming about candles. Just encourage your renters to be careful– you don’t want them to burn your property down!

8. Strings of lights

Literally the fastest way to make a room feel like it’s Christmas is for strings of lights to be draped across the furniture. Definitely coming down the stairs! It’s the easiest way to make it look like the resident has got their place really in the holiday spirit.

9. Christmas movies!

If your residents keep a Christmas movie playing on their television while they’re reading a book or playing Sudoku, they’ll be more likely to feel cheery and bright. Cindy Lou Who would want them to know that Christmas is on its way!

10. Front door decorations

If your residents want to decorate their door, they can simply enter “Christmas front door decor” on pinterest.com to find more than enough ideas to keep their home looking cheery as soon as they enter. One of the cutest ones is decorating the front door like it’s wrapped as a present!


11. Christmas in a jar.

A simple way to decorate for Christmas is by creating a “Christmas in a jar.” Using pine cones, ornaments, and fake cranberries, your residents can add a little something-something to any room in a jiffy.


12. Ornament lanterns.

They’re easy to make and your residents will never have enough of them! Your renters can indulge a bit and make so many of these, there’s one in every room!


If you’re worried about renter decorations interfering with your rules…

Encourage your renters to be safe, not sorry and ask if they think their decor might infringe on what is and is not acceptable at your rental place.

Start a yearly tradition of sending your renters tips on how to decorate their rentals that’s approved by you, their property manager. It might be fun to see your rentals all nicely decorated for the holidays by your residents!

By Lorena Roberts

Uloop Writer
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Lorena graduated from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in Honors Psychology. She is currently interviewing for PhD School Psychology graduate programs across the country and hopes to research early math curriculum and instruction. Along with writing for Uloop, Lorena is a preschool teacher, K-12 substitute teacher, and math tutor. She enjoys taking her Whippet mix, Gio, to the dog park and drinking hot chocolate in front of Netflix. She's known for her strong opinions, busy schedule, and obsession with cute dogs. If you want to reach her, email her at grober18@vols.utk.edu

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