Making a rented property feel like home can be full of challenges. Not only have you got an extensive list of restrictions from your landlord and a tight budget, you’ve also got the dilemma of how much effort it’s worth when this isn’t your ‘forever home’. But just because you don’t own the property that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t feel like yours! As The Home of Homes, we thought we’d share some tips on how to decorate your rental to make it yours…
Pick Your Battles
Make your life a bit easier by considering any updates carefully. Make small changes that will have a big impact rather than jobs that require a lot of effort for not much reward.
While this may be your home for now, it probably isn’t your place long-term, so try not to paint any walls or drill holes unless you really have to. Unless your landlord is really relaxed, you’ll need to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in, and that means filling up all those holes and repainting before you leave. Not ideal when you’ve got to pack your life up too! Instead of reaching for the toolbox, use small home decor items like picture frames and vases to make it feel more like home. If details like wall colour are a deal breaker for you, consider it when picking your next rental. Look for versatile neutral flooring and walls, and make sure the fixtures and fittings are in a good condition to save the hassle of getting them replaced.
Wood or tiled floors are easier to keep clean which makes them ideal for landlords, but they can make living spaces feel bare and cold. Add warmth back into any room by investing in a large rug to cover the majority of the floor, or pick a few smaller rugs to cover key areas (like next to your bed). Rugs are also a great way to cover up flooring you don’t like or protecting carpet if you are clumsy! Cosiness doesn’t begin and end with rugs – add more warmth with bundles of blankets and throws. Keep them tidy (and freshen up your decor) by throwing them over the arm of a chair or the end of a bed, or by stacking them in a neat wicker basket.
Enhance What You Can’t Replace
Your rented property may have come furnished, and while it can be a great option to save a bit of cash, it can also mean you’re equipped with large pieces of furniture likes beds and sofas that you don’t love and can’t replace. Thankfully it’s easy to tailor these furniture pieces to your style by decorating old beds or sofas with pretty soft furnishings. A myriad of cushions and throws can be a really easy to way to add colour and texture to an otherwise boring rental. They are also pretty practical since throws and cushion covers can be put in the washing machine – unlike a sofa!
Turn Storage Into A Centrepiece
Storage is not only practical but also a fantastic way to create a focal point by making the most of what you’ve got. Instead of using shelves as a place to dump your clutter, spend a bit of extra time carefully placing your possessions to look their best.
- Arrange items attractively, mixing practical items like books and pencil pots with decorative and personal items like ornaments or picture frames.
- Create an interesting arrangement by using different heights and sizes.
- Experiment with depth by placing some objects in front of others, rather than in a straight line.
- Use colour to arrange your belongings rather than organising them by type.
- Turn your books around so the spine isn’t showing. While it isn’t practical if they are books you read often, it’s very ‘Pinterest’ and will give the varied shapes and sizes a coordinated look.
Mirrors are a must in any property, not just a rental. They are not only beautiful, but create the illusion of a bigger and brighter space by reflecting light around your home. Don’t worry if your landlord won’t let you drill any holes in the walls as there are other options out there. Full length mirrors can easily be placed against an empty wall, and look great in a bedroom or hallway. You can also get free-standing mirrors, mirrors that hang over your doors or dressing table mirrors that can be placed on top of other furniture. You can also get adhesive picture hanging strips that won’t damage your wall, so there are still plenty of options if you can’t hang your mirror in a traditional way.