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4 renter-friendly ways to hang curtains without drilling, according to both DIY and interior experts

 Bedroom with colourful bedding, bedside table, table lamp, and grey curtains.
Bedroom with colourful bedding, bedside table, table lamp, and grey curtains.

Whether you rent or own, everyone deserves the privilege of privacy in their home, which turns us to the go-to solution: curtains. However, if you live in a rented property that doesn't already have curtains installed, then you can often feel a tad restricted in the changes you're allowed to make.

That's why knowing how to put up curtains in a rented home is essential, both to ensure you don't lose your deposit at the end of your tenancy and also to lay a good foundation for the many curtain ideas you're buzzing to try out.

Curtains not only allow you the privilege of privacy and a dimmer room when you so desire but are also the finishing touch to a space that can more or less make or break your interiors. Therefore, being clued up on the many non-permanent ways you can put up curtains is easily one of the best ways to decorate a rented property and instantly make it feel cosier and look more stylish from the get-go.

Outdoor glazing with grey curtains
Outdoor glazing with grey curtains

How to put up curtains in a rented home

'Decorating a rental can feel like tiptoeing through a minefield – you want to make it feel like your cosy home, but you also don't want to get hit with charges for permanent changes when you move out,' begins Joy Aumann, licensed realtor, interior designer, and co-founder of La Jolla Life.

However, she assures that when it comes to window treatments, even those who rent can have their cake and eat it, too. 'There are loads of stylish, reversible solutions that let you zhuzh up those windows without leaving any damaging traces behind.'

That being said, here are 4 renter-approved curtain ideas to consider for your next decorating job.

1. Tension rods

Tension rods can be easily installed without any additional tools and are a dream for easily holding up curtains. We've seen tension rods used for DIY door garlands and the likes of organising a cleaning cupboard, long proving their usefulness within a home setting. It's no wonder they're everyone on Amazon.

'With a twist, they stretch across the window, providing strong but removable support. You can even decorate the ends for a more custom look,' suggests Keely Smith, lead interior designer at JD Elite Interiors.

If you're one to enjoy more elevated finishes, Joy suggests looking for tension rods with decorative finials, like a brushed nickel option, for a touch of polish. This is sure to make for an expensive-looking living room curtain idea. However, one thing to note with tension rods is that they're best for lightweight to medium-weight curtains and shouldn't be overloaded.

Grey velvet sofa with black and white cushions on a wooden floor with grey curtain beside window
Grey velvet sofa with black and white cushions on a wooden floor with grey curtain beside window

2. Twist-and-fit curtain rods

Twist-and-fit curtain rods are similar to tension rods. However, they don't actually need to be attached to the wall at all.

Tim Warren, DIY expert at Adkwik explains that these are instead 'secured across your window, and then adjusted to fit the window frame'. Generally, they're also a little bit cheaper than tension rods, coming in from £8 on Amazon. Depending on the rods used, these can hold lightweight to medium-weight curtains, with more expensive twist-and-fit rods being able to hold heavier curtains.

Door in bedroom with white curtains
Door in bedroom with white curtains

3. Command strips

Of course, it's not a renter-friendly decorating round-up if it doesn't include an option surrounding command strips. Considering command strips are a go-to for hanging pictures on a wall safely, the suitable kind can also be used to put up curtains in a rented home.

'Strategically placed, command strips can hold rods of various weights so you can enjoy thicker fabrics,' says Keely. 'Just be sure not to overload them, or your curtains might crash down in an embarrassing way.'

4. Self-adhesive curtain rod holders

Similar to command strips, if you're after a more substantial look for your bedroom curtain ideas, Joy recommends self-adhesive curtain rod holders – also known as no brill brackets. These handy brackets adhere to the wall using strong adhesive strips (yes, like command strips) and often come in a multi-pack like these on Amazon, allowing you to hang a traditional curtain rod.

Better yet, Tim adds that opting for this method will allow you to temporarily take the curtain rod down, without removing the brackets, if you need to clean the rod at any point in time.

'The key here is choosing the right adhesive,' explains Joy. 'Opt for brands known for their secure hold on walls but also ensure easy removal when you move out. Remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully for proper installation and weight limits.'

Bedroom with colourful bedding, bedside table, table lamp, and grey curtains
Bedroom with colourful bedding, bedside table, table lamp, and grey curtains

Irrespective of whichever route you go for putting up curtains in a rented home, Joy advises adding blackout lining behind your curtains. 'It adds insulation and blocks light brilliantly, but you can just peel it off before moving out, and they are ready for another use,' she assures.

While you're at it, Keely suggests getting creative with window treatments that don't require permanent changes, too, like faux Roman shades hung from the ceiling or no-drill blinds for ultimate flexibility.

Wherever you may be renting, it's always worth checking your lease for any fine print regarding curtains first. However, with a little creativity and DIY flair, you can make any rented house feel like a home and feel completely stylised to you.