When you live in an apartment, it can be very hard to do much with the décor. Typically, there are restrictions about what you can or cannot do regarding painting, putting up hooks or even just hanging pictures. Add to that restrictions on space, and you might find yourself stuck for ideas.

The good news is that even in small spaces you can bring nature into your home in ways that create a soothing and restful haven and won’t get you in trouble with your landlord. Try these tips:

1 – Use Plants

Plants add a splash of green to what might be an otherwise dull color palette. Even in small spaces, it’s easy to set up tiny gardens that involve anything from herbs to cacti. The herbs are particularly nice because they add a gentle aroma to the room that’s very soothing.

What’s even better, you can improve your air quality by doing so. The simple rule of (a green) thumb? Use one plant for every 100 square feet to erase your carbon footprint.

2 – Try Essential Oils

Speaking of scents, have you considered essential oils? Using a small diffuser adds a natural smell to the air that also gives added health benefits. You can find scents for a variety of welcoming smells that will range from invigorating you in the morning to relaxing you when you come home at night.

3 – Tune into Nature

Try a recording of nature sounds playing in the background. Use a sound machine, put up a long-playing YouTube video, or even find an app on your phone to give a gentle ambiance of everything from thunderstorms to ocean surf.

4 – Redecorate

By using natural fibers and fabrics in your home, such as wooden furniture and coverings made with plant fibers, you give your home a more organic feel and a restful vibe. Adding bits of nature around the room – an interesting piece of driftwood and a handful of seashells for example – can give a peaceful reminder of a favorite place you like to visit to get back to nature.

5 – How About a Pet?

Finally, if your lease allows for it, get a pet. An aquarium can add to the restful and natural feel to your apartment. Or if you don’t mind paying the pet deposit, how about a cat or dog? Animals do more than bring nature into your home, they have been proven to lengthen your life.

Bringing nature into a rented space doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember, if you’re ever unclear about what your lease allows, it never hurts to ask for clarification. After all, your landlord wants a happy and healthy tenant who takes care of their property. A little mutual respect goes a long way.