Renting an apartment or a house is great. It gives you the freedom to move around, doesn’t have the same financial commitment as buying a property and the responsibility for repairs and maintenance rests with someone else.
While that’s all great, there are also a lot of things that renting somewhere doesn’t allow you to do. Most contracts will include clauses that limit how many ‘improvements’ can be made to the property, making it difficult to make your place feel like your own. It’s a struggle that you might be familiar with, but the good news is that all is not lost. There are plenty of things you can do to give your rental property a more personal touch.
Take a look at some of the following tips to learn how to make your rental property feel more like home.
Ask for crisp, white paint to give a more modern look
The subject of paint can be a difficult one when it comes to renting. Some landlords are happy for you to paint your property, whereas others might prefer to do it themselves. Ask if the walls can be painted white instead of the typical magnolia to help give your home a touch of modern luxe. As most homes come with a shade of cream as standard, this will already make your place feel more homely.
Buy in pairs
When you’re a student, it’s likely that you only needed (or only had space for) for one of everything, but now that you’re renting properly – it makes sense to buy household items in pairs. From having two bedside tables to two vases or table lamps, you’ll be surprised at the difference having two of things can make to your space. It’s easy to pick up affordable home furnishings today, so you don’t need to spend much money to give your interior a boost. It’s worth looking around for interior and home decor brands you might not have heard of, who offer quality pieces on a budget.
Search online to find inspiration
You can find a lot of inspiration for how to make your rented place feel more like home. Pinterest and Instagram, in particular, are great, but there might be other ways to get inspiration from others in your position. Online magazines are perfect for real-life home decor inspiration, while home blogs are of course another excellent source of ideas. If you’re looking for some good tutorials to learn to get crafty or how to accomplish different decor tasks, then YouTube is another good place to explore.
Find creative ways to hang photos and prints
Most landlords will say that putting nails in the walls is a big no-no. Fortunately, there are some creative ways to hang art, photographs and textiles that don’t require a single hole in the wall. Command Strips are great for securing items to the walls without leaving a mark, and you can always hang things from doors if that’s easier. Speak to your landlord about the possibility of installing some shelves that can allow you to find additional storage space, while also giving you another platform for some personalisation.
Fill your home with plants
Plants make a great addition to any property, giving the impression of somewhere that’s more homely and showing that you’re not just passing through. Your plants don’t have to be real to create the effect, and IKEA sells some great artificial plants that will do the job. If you would prefer to have the real deal, however, then choosing apartment-friendly plants can help ensure that you don’t lose them immediately due to low light or lack of outdoor space.
Get creative with storage
Adding a personal touch to your home decor can make a space look and feel more like your own. Get crafty and learn how to make some good things which look like you’ve bought them from a homeware store or from Etsy, but were actually made by you. Mason jars are a good example, and there are dozens of things you can do with mason jars to give your home a more personalised look.
Buy freestanding photo frames
Photos are one of the simplest ways to make a rental property feel more like home. They show memories and things that make you happy and help you form a connection to where you live. While you might not be able to hang many things on the walls, you can buy several freestanding photo frames to fill with your memories instead. A combination of photos and prints makes a great design feature, so start thinking about the things that best represent you.
Invest in luxury bedding
While you may not want to invest much in your furniture, your textiles could be a much more worthwhile investment. Finding the best bedding depends on a number of things, such as your colour scheme and what tog you like your duvet, but there are plenty of options out there for you to make sure you find good quality bedding. Feather and down make a bed look more expensive and luxurious, and when you feel comfortable in your bedroom you’ll feel much more relaxed in your home.
Embrace different textiles
It’s amazing what textiles can do to make a place feel more homely. Some throws and cushions on your sofa can add some colour or texture and make your place feel much more lived-in. Everyone likes to get cosy on a cold winter evening, so cuddling up under a blanket on your sofa can help you to embrace that ‘hygge’ feeling that will bring feelings of warmth. Primark and Matalan are great shops to pick up some luxury-looking textiles without breaking the bank, allowing you to switch up your look easily as you embrace different trends.
Make the most of your available space
One problem that many renters encounter is space. If you feel that your living space is too small, you might not want to bother trying to decorate it out of fear it will make it look too cluttered. Rather than giving up, take a look at some great design ideas for small spaces and apartments – you might be surprised at what you can do with the smallest of spaces. Storage solutions can be your secret weapon in a smaller rental property, helping you keep the clutter to a minimum and letting your decoration skills shine through.
Choosing renting over buying
Many people are choosing to rent their property instead of buying. The cost of living in a big city like London, for example, can mean that buying a property just isn’t something that’s realistic, while others don’t want to be tied down with the responsibility. It’s possible to find some affordable rental properties in the UK, and a comparison with the HDB rental price points you see in other countries shows that you might not be as worse-off as you might think. Renting can be a temporary arrangement while you save for a deposit from your own home, but it’s also stress-free and simple long-term living situation.
While you may not be living in your dream property, there are still plenty of ways to make your rental feel like home. Talk to your landlord about any adjustments you can make, offering to cover the cost yourself if they seem unwilling. Adding that personal touch is important, and whether you plan on being there for a few months or a few years – take the opportunity to put your own stamp on it. Home is where you make it after all.