Renting is a fantastic option for professionals on the move, students at university and those who don’t quite have the finances to buy a home, but it can be difficult to make a rental property feel like your own.
If you want to make significant changes to the property, it’s always best that you speak with your landlord or Real Estate Agent to keep communication open and avoid any damage.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways to make your rental more comfortable without creating major change.
Here’s how to make your rental feel like home in 10 simple steps:
1. Work with what you’ve got
Living in a rental property means you have limited control over the aesthetic of your home, but this isn’t always a bad thing. Work with the natural feel of your rental, not against it.
If the property has a vintage vibe then weave your own style into this theme.
Likewise, if the rental is 1970s retro you can add accessories and statement pieces that modernise and blend well with the space.
It also offers a great opportunity to explore multiple interior styles and experiment with different types of décor before you purchase your own home. This can help shape your taste in the long term.
2. Cover areas you don’t like
If you simply cannot work with the style of your rental the best option is to cover it.
Think large rugs to cover worn carpet, curtains to hide outdated paint and artwork to conceal blemishes. These simple, cost-effective tricks can modernise the building and add a personal touch to the space.
For more, read our article ‘How to buy a rug that’s right for your home’.
3. Speak to your landlord
If you have an issue with your rental property that can’t be covered or ignored, speak to your landlord about it. It could be as simple as asking to repaint a wall or hang additional photo hooks. Your landlord may be thankful for your suggestion and allow you to make changes. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
4. Get the right lighting
Lighting has the potential to make or break a room. If the lighting is too harsh, the space can appear cold and uninviting. Warm globes and cosy lamps can have the opposite effect and make the space feel more relaxed.
Strategic placement of lighting can also direct attention to particular areas you like. For example, a trendy floor lamp can turn an otherwise boring corner space into something special.
5. Enhance your space
Adapting to a new home always requires a bit of creativity, especially if you are living in a small property. Mirrors can create the illusion of more space, making your rental feel much larger. Work with the angles of your room or place a mirror near a window to reflect the outdoor scenery.
Considering the reflection and lighting that will bounce off the mirror will help you get the most out of your home.
6. Make it personal
You may not own the property but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it feel like home. Adding personal photos and sentimental knickknacks will have a meaningful impact. Try a collage on a pin board or a frame that accommodates multiple memorable photos.
If your landlord doesn’t allow hooks or tape on the walls research removable alternatives or purchase standing frames that can be easily placed on bookcases or bedside tables.
7. Create a sense of cosiness
There’s a big difference between living in a place you simply rely on for necessity and living in a home. It sounds simple but creating a cosy space can change your entire perception of a rental property.
Design a space you’ll love coming home to on a cold afternoon or after a long day at work. Why not purchase a few plush cushions, a scented candle and a soft throw rug for your living room to make it more inviting.
8. Take your garden with you
It’s easy to create a garden you can keep when your rental lease ends. Plant flowers or vegetables in pots or raised garden beds so they can be easily moved from one property to another.
If you are lacking the outdoor space needed for this, a windowsill herb garden is a fantastic alternative. You can use the herbs in your cooking and they’ll add a lovely aroma to your dining area.
A vertical garden is ideal for those renting an apartment or townhouse. It won’t encroach on your balcony or courtyard space and will allow for multiple plants and herbs to grow in one spot.
If you have little to no outdoor space, hanging plant holders and tall plant stands are inexpensive and readily available. Purchase one or two to hold your greenery and freshen up your home. For more inspiration, read ‘small backyard ideas’.
9. Extend the lease
Three months is a relatively short amount of time to feel comfortable in a new space. Look for six to twelve-month leases where possible and if you love your current rental property ask your landlord for an extension.
A longer lease will give you the opportunity to feel truly comfortable in the rental and make it feel like home.
10. Get to know the area
Moving houses often means getting to know a new neighbourhood. Exploring your new surroundings and familiarising yourself with local shops and restaurants can make you feel more at home.
Meeting new neighbours is another great way to feel comfortable and establish a sense of belonging in your new home.