Rental properties can be very dull: all cream walls, beige carpet, and not an ounce of personality in sight. This makes sense; rental properties have to appeal to the masses. And while some landlords will let you paint the walls, decorate and even make more significant changes, most won't. They want the property to remain the same, ready to welcome future tenants. Even if your landlord is happy for you to paint and make changes, you need to ask yourself if that's what you really want to do. Do you want to spend your money increasing the value of a home that isn't yours? Do you want to spend your time making changes to a property that you may not live in for that long? Probably not, and if you do, the changes you'll want to make will be minor and aesthetic.
But, more and more of us are renting. Even as we get married and start a family many of us simply can't raise the deposit or secure the mortgage needed to buy our own home. If you know you are going to be renting for a while, you'll want the house to feel like a home. A removalist can help you move quickly and with stress, but then once you get to your new rental property, there are things that you do to help it feel like your own.
Carpet is expensive, so you certainly won't want to spend your own money replacing the flooring in your rental, even if you were allowed. But, if the carpets are beige and dull, or tile and floorboards hard and uncomfortable, add rugs, in bold colours and patterns to soften underfoot. Your floors are a big part of your décor and one of the first things that people look at, and you'll always be able to take rugs with you if you move so this is an easy win. Kmart and Ikea are your friends for cheap and cheerful rugs.
Plain and neutral walls (scuffed adds to the charm, right?!) can be brightened up and disguised somewhat with framed photos and art prints. If you are working on a tight budget, framing posters, wrapping paper, magazine articles, old cards and postcards and wallpaper samples can look really cool. Hang wherever there are hooks, use 3M temporary hooks, or stack and lean on the floor or atop furniture for a cool, casual look. Wall stickers, removable wallpaper and tapestries are also great options, as is a DIY canvas and paint creation. Have fun and stand back to admire the genius distractor of artwork!
Plants are a brilliant way to make a house a home and work perfectly in rentals. They don't need to be expensive as you could even buy seeds and grow them yourself. Fiddle leaf figs, mother in laws tongue, lilies, succulents, ferns, palms, orchids and herbs are rental-friendly and pot friendly options to try. They (and their containers) add colour, style and personality and they can even improve the air quality of your home.
Small or modular pieces of furniture give you more options. Add chairs, coffee tables, small shelving units, bean bags and pouffes. Then, whenever you fancy a change, you can move them around. Opt for lighter fabrics and materials, or mirrored, metallic or transparent pieces to avoid extra small spaces from looking cramped. Larger pieces limit your placements so think slim for optimal practicality in this case.
There's not much that you can do with your main lights in a rental. You might be able to change shades, depending on the fittings, but you won't be able to move them or add dimmers. You can, however, give yourself more options. Arching floor lamps add an architectural element; quirky desk lamps add personality and practicality; and diffusers, salt lamps, neon lights and candles add mood lighting. Lighting is an excellent way of changing the atmosphere of a room so give yourself as many options as you can and layer until it feels just right.
How do you make your rental feel like home?
Let me in know in comments below.