Home decorating

Wall decor for rented flats

10:29 AM

A while back I wrote about what to expect when you rent a place in India, and the fact that some landlords will not let you do much alteration, and that painting the walls might not be ok. Hanging pictures is fine, but those living in rental properties often dream of colourful walls and treatments that would cost too much when you take the risk of leaving on short notice because of your work never to see the place again.

Fortunately a recent trend has fixed this problem once and for all: wall stickers. I never heard of them until 2-3 years ago, and they are now the big rage in online shopping, snap deal, first cry, baby oye, fashion and you….they all have them, a lot of them kid themed but many in more grown up designs as well. And while I am not quite sure about using them in my bedroom or living room because I love my own paintings, I took the plunge for Ishi’s room:


We never did anything for her room since she was born, we’ve moved too much to really have time to think of it, beside she started sleeping in our bed when she was 9 months old suddenly hating her crib with passion. But now both DH and I would love for her to start feeling at home in her own room and eventually sleep there.
Sure her bed and toys have been in there all along, we even tape her drawing to the wall, we go through a lot of sweat clearing toys almost every day to make it a nice pleasant space to look at, but in the end it’s pretty much just her stuff in there and no personal touch, nothing that makes her feel like this is a cosy space for her (our bedroom being all pretty with paintings and a colour theme now).
So I first painted an old table lamp for her which was one of our old bedside table lamp, one ended up in the living room still in its original avatar, the other one just got a fresh look this weekend:


But back to the stickers shall we? I just can’t believe I waited that long, they are sturdy, look nice, and provided you have a wall that has been painted correctly with a good paint will not leave marks (the old salmon pink walls in Bangalore might not have worked with them). Ishi already figured out she can peel off some of the elements and reposition them, and yesterday she even tried sleeping in her bed because she wanted to watch her pretty new wall (she didn’t make it the whole night though, but one step at a time works fine for me).
The only thing is that not all come cheap, some of these sets can be pretty expensive and set you nearly 4k. The one we bought is priced 1499 rupees, and is available at First Cry, the online kid and baby store, but you can also find it on other websites, some with a small discount, since I was registered at First Cry already and that the discount offered in some places was so small I didn’t feel like creating a new account somewhere else to get it, beside I know how reliable First Cry is which makes me want to stick with them.

Living in a rental property often mean putting with blah walls, or even cracked ones like it is the case in mine right now, and thinking of it, paying a few thousands for some wall stickers still comes much cheaper than having a paint job done in a place that you don’t own. Once you leave the place you loose only the stickers. If you stick to one place longer than a few years, you take the risk of getting bored with the same wall treatment too, and stickers are just what the doctor ordered, once you get bored with them, or they look worn out, you peel them off and put new ones on your wall, problem solved!


  1. It need not be large to be effective. Imagine various designs on your wall and the effect they would produce. 

  2. Agreed, but in my own bedroom and the living room, I have my own paintings on canevas. Stickers work well in my daughter's room because she is too little to treat canevas paintings well, if she end up damaging the stickers I don't mind, but I would feel bad seeing a work of art I painted putting so much thought in getting destroyed :)

  3. I got these 3M velcro adhesive strips from the US to hang things on our walls. It's too much trouble to put a hole in the wall for everything even if you own the house. They attach to the wall and whatever you're hanging and then when you want to take them off you pull the release tab and they come off clean without damaging paint. Those things work wonders! Another tip is using fabric starch like glue to put fabric on the wall (like wallpaper). When you leave, peel the fabric off the wall and wash the starch away.

  4. I like the starch tip, though I'm not sure putting fabric ont he walls here is a good idea, there is too much dust in India for it to remain clean long.
    I used to be a interior decorator/sofa maker back home. One of our service was cladding wall in fabric instead of wallpaper. Since it was a luxury thing, it was done in big houses and public offices like private banks, it was a labourious taks of drilling holes in the walls to set a wooden frame to it and then stretch the fabric on it. But in Switzerland things get dirty less fast because there is less pollution dust, and then when it is a bit dusty, a hand held vaccum cleaner was enough to do the job.


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