There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than decorating your house! That can get a little tricky, however, if you’re in a rental home where you have to be careful about how you ‘deck the halls.’


When you’re searching for a home and getting ready to sign the lease, it’s important to work with an experienced, trustworthy agent, registered with the Estate Agency Board Of Kenya, who will make sure that you understand all the terms and what you can and cannot do in the home. Some rentals will allow you to put holes in the wall, for example, but many won’t.


Not to worry! Decorating your rental home for the holidays is definitely possible without making any permanent changes to the home. Read on for some of our top tips, and contact us if you’re looking for agents who will go the extra mile to make sure you get ideal lease terms and fully understand them!



The Tree

A Christmas tree is the perfect way to add some festive joy to your home! You can find beautiful potted Napier pine trees at many plant nurseries in Nairobi, which look great when put in kikapu! However, some lease terms may prohibit indoor plants, which if not tended to carefully can cause water damage or staining on the flooring, so be sure that a live tree would be permitted. A fake tree is also a great option, which can be used year after year. Add plenty of ornaments and even fairy lights to really brighten the space up!


Surface Level

Spread your decorating around with some table top, freestanding pieces. You can find cute décor items that are already made, or create your own. A wooden bowl with a set of bauble ornaments is a simple yet elegant way to dress up your coffee table. Candles, whether actual flame or electronic, wrapped in garland or tinsel look lovely as well. For a quick, affordable option, you can simply wrap some empty boxes in nice wrapping paper and add festive bows!


Lean In

There are some decorations that you’d typically hang which can be placed on a shelf or mantle place instead. A wreath, for example, can be stood up on the mantlepiece and lean against the wall behind it, rather than being hung from the wall. This also works for holiday-themed prints and artwork, or even children’s books. You can also simply drape garland over a mangle or lay it across a shelf to bring in some holiday greenery!


Wrap it Up

If your home has a staircase, wrapping the bannister in garland, tinsel, or lights is a great way to add some festive cheer without nailing any holes! Keep it simple, or combine different textures and colours by mixing greenery-style garland with beads or twine, and even adding small ornaments.


Fresh Look

We’re very lucky in Nairobi to have access to a gorgeous range of affordable fresh flowers, so consider getting some holiday bouquets to brighten your home! Working with a red and green colour scheme, there are plenty of flowers to choose from. Red hypericum can add a very festive touch, and eucalyptus leaves or rosemary sprigs are the perfect green colour. Add a ribbon or gift bow to your vase for that extra festive touch. If you prefer a potted plant, poinsettias are a Christmas classic.


Sweet Touch

Making a gingerbread house is both a fun holiday activity and a great décor piece! Pop on your favourite holiday film and get to work creating your masterpiece. Particularly fun with kids, a gingerbread house can be a colourful, fun explosion of holiday joy. Alternatively, you can opt for a super elegant minimal look by sticking with just white icing. If you’re up for a challenge, you can make everything from scratch, but Bbrood offers a fun kit with everything you need!


Set the Scene

Whether you’re hosing guests or just having a nice meal with family, your table settings can also be a great way to make your home look a bit more festive. Get a holiday runner for the table, and consider some special holiday platters, dishes or glassware.


Tape It Up

All of the above tips avoid hanging anything altogether, but if you do want to hang some decorations then tape and adhesive hooks can be good options. However, in either case you still need to be careful that it will not peel off paint in your home when you take them down. You can always do a test in a small, discreet area of your wall, to see if the adhesive is strong enough to cause damage.


Putting It Together

Now that you’ve got some ideas for decorating your rental home, we’ve also got recommendations for where you can pick up decorations!

At the Mall – Head to some of Nairobi’s malls for a range of shops and some festive cheer! From local craft shops to large supermarkets and furniture shops, you’ll be able to find a wide range of decorations in different styles, perfect for any budget. As a bonus, enjoy their gorgeous decorations, bring the little ones to visit Santa, and take in some fun holiday performances from local school groups and choirs on the weekends!

Maasai Markets – Visit the weekly Maasai Markets around Nairobi for some stunning local decorations. You can even combine a mall trip with a market trip:

  • Wednesdays: Capital Centre on Mombasa Road
  • Thursdays: The Junction
  • Fridays: Village Market
  • Sundays: Yaya Centre

You can also find a large market every Saturday in the CBD, in the High Court parking lot, found behind the Hilton.

House of Leather – These quirky shops are a great destination for Christmas décor on a budget, with a wide range of ornaments, trees, tinsel and much more.