Rented homes can often come with furnishings and features which are not to our own personal tastes and preferences, which can be tricky if you are living in a property for a long period of time. It’s essential that the space you live in feels comfortable and homely, and luckily, there are lots of things that you can do to update the space and make the house feel like your own. Here I have put together a list of 10 things that you can do to make sure that your rented home feels more like your own home.
Hang your own artwork and prints
Furnished rental properties can often come with unsightly pictures already hung on the walls. You can take down the artwork that has come with the house, hide it in the back of a wardrobe or under the stairs, and hang up your own pieces that you love. If you are thinking of buying some new artwork, try Etsy for beautiful and unique prints and posters- most of which are hugely affordable. Charity shops are great for finding quality picture frames at affordable prices (just remember to take your picture measurements and measuring tape with you to ensure a good fit!) If your rented home does not have any picture hooks already in the walls, you can use strong command hooks as a substitute. These hooks claim to leave no trace once it’s time for you to move house which means you’ll get that full deposit back! Failing that, you could put your own hooks into the walls and at the end of the tenancy fill them in with Polyfilla and repaint over them. This could be slightly risky as if the wall is painted any other colour than white, it will be hard to match the paint (top tip: be sure to match the paint finish e.g. matte or satin).
Get a new shower head and shower curtain
Lots of rented properties have tiny shower heads with no function to adjust the pressure- making showering more of a chore than something that should be relaxing. You can change the shower head in your rented property so easily to something like this one that offers increased water pressure, and adjustable settings such as “rainfall,” “massage” and “jetting.” This shower head also has inbuilt ionic filters which removes traces of chlorine from the water, meaning that you get a spa-like experience each and every time you shower at home. Another great way to update your rented bathroom is to replace that plain shower curtain with something that is more suited to your tastes. H&M and Ikea have some great ones with fun prints and patterns that will brighten up the room.
Buy some house plants or fresh flowers
Beautiful green house plants are a great way to inject some colour into your rental home, and they look lovely placed on fireplaces, shelves and window sills. Plants can bring life to any room of the house- why not try your favourite herbs in the kitchen, trailing ivy on the mantelpiece and some succulents in the bathroom? You’ll even save money by growing your own fresh herbs instead of buying them from the supermarket. You can personalise your space even more by choosing some plant pots and hangers for them to sit in, these could be porcelain to match an existing colour scheme, or you could add some texture to the space with some raffia or wicker pots. Fresh flowers are also a great way to add some colour to a room, flowers can be expensive but get them fresh from a local market to get the best prices, or simply display some daffodils which usually cost one pound and last for around a week.
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Use soft furnishings to create a colour scheme
Cushions, throws and rugs all help to make a space feel cosier and are a brilliant way to create your desired colour scheme in a rented home. Using a variety of textured fabrics will certainly bring some charm to every room, you could experiment with velvet cushions and a deep pile rug to make the space come to life as your own. If your property is already furnished, it is likely to come with sets of curtains- which again, may not be to your own taste. You can take these curtains down and store them away in a cupboard and replace them with something more fitting with the colour scheme that you have created.
Ask the landlord whether you can make permanent changes to the property
If you want to make a more permanent change to your rental property, ask the landlord and see if they would be willing to let you paint the walls or add some permanent shelving. Check your tenancy agreement to see if there is anything to suggest that the landlord may be open to the tenant making some changes to the décor. More often than not, they will be happy to let you make some improvements to the property, as long as the change won’t put off other tenants in the future. They are likely to want to agree some ground rules- perhaps the colour of the paint, and rules ensuring that no furniture or carpets get damaged whilst the decorating is taking place. Most landlords would be happy to keep hold of good tenants for a number of years and agree to some decorative changes to make them feel more at home.
Upcycle second hand furniture
Displaying your own handiwork in your rental will certainly make the property feel more like home. There is something very rewarding about repainting a piece of furniture and making it your own, great quality second hand furniture can be found in abundance in charity shops, local free-cycle schemes and gumtree. You can transform a bed side table or chest of drawers with some paint and some new drawer knobs, giving it a new lease of life and a new home.
Put up photos and personal mementos
Nothing feels more like home than having your own personal mementos and photographs on the shelves. If your property doesn’t come with shelves, you could always invest in some free standing shelving that you can take with you when your tenancy comes to an end. Put your holiday souvenirs, trinkets, books and photos of your loved ones on display and you can guarantee that the space will soon start to feel like your own.
Use tile decals in the bathroom and kitchen
Just one look at Pinterest will tell you that patterned tiles are seriously popular at the moment, they can transform a room into something that wouldn’t look out of place in a Spanish villa. The trouble is, for renters, changing your tiles is a home improvement that just isn’t going to fly with your landlord- not to mention an expensive way to redecorate. However, patterned tile decals are now widely available online and they are a great way to update the plain tiles in your rented bathroom or kitchen. Tile stickers are usually made from vinyl and are super easy to apply, and easy to remove without any residue left behind meaning that you can have the bathroom of your dreams without breaking the bank OR your tenancy agreement.
Use innovative storage solutions
Storage can be tricky in rented homes, if your home is already furnished this will usually include the bare minimum in terms of storage items like a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. If you rent a small flat in a city, you will have to get a little creative if you have little space and a lot of things to store. Under bed storage in roll out boxes is an amazing space-saver, you would be surprised at how much you can fit neatly under the bed! This will help you feel more at home, as you will still be able to keep hold of your possessions, without your home becoming cluttered and chaotic. Woven baskets are also a great way to store things in every room, from toilet rolls in the bathroom to blankets in the lounge. You can find woven basket inspiration everywhere online, they are a budget-friendly storage solution that look expensive and on trend.
Create ambiance with lighting and candles
The right lighting can instantly transform a house into a home, you can add lamps to bedrooms and living areas to create a soft ambiance instead of using harsh over-head lighting. Choosing your own table lamps and standing lights are a great way to introduce more of your own taste into a rented house. Candles are another cost-effective way to change the atmosphere of a room, place several candles on a coffee table and mantelpiece to create pockets of warm light and a relaxing mood. You can intensify the light that the candles give out by placing them on top of a mirrored surface, such as a mirrored tray.