10 tips for making your rental feel like home:
With home ownership becoming a distant dream for many Indians, renting property can sometimes be a permanent alternative. And while living in someone else’s property can feel impersonal. There are ways to make it your own without compromising our lease agreement. Don’t wait until after signing the mortgage contract to unleash your personal style. With these tips, you can turn your rental property into the home of your dreams.
1. Work with – not against – the existing aesthetic:
So, you’re renting a mid-century home with fixtures and fittings that haven’t been updated for 30 years. Embrace it. Style your décor with retro items that fit the structure and appearance of the home – whether it’s 60s, 70s or even 80s. Don’t go ultra modern if you’re home isn’t – it will look like mutton dressed up as lamb. Equally, if you’ve got a modern apartment don’t dress it up like a Victorian cottage, no matter how badly you wish it were one. Styling for a rental home is about working with what you’ve got, not building a vision from scratch.
2. Experiment with lighting:
Lighting is an extremely important feature of any home. It can dictate the way a space feels and functions. Renters can’t always replace light fittings, add dimmers, down lights or skylights, which are great ways to add accent and drama. But as a renter, there are less structural ways to improve the lighting. An eye-catching floor lamp can change the whole feel of a room, and turn a bland space into something special. A pop of graphic pattern-a little wallaper goes a long way! Family room design. copper living room, large floor lamp.
3. Free-standing furniture is your friend:
There are always going to be storage restrictions in a rental. You can’t remove walls or insert custom cabinets. But there are alternatives. In areas where you always need more storage space, like the kitchen, consider bench carts, trolleys, tables and bookshelves to give the space both style and increased function. In the bedroom, the clean lines of built-in wardrobes are ideal, but if your rental lacks them, free-standing wardrobes come in all shapes and sizes. Because these items are not designed to blend in, this can be an opportunity to express your style – you could purchase an old wardrobe from an op-shop and turn it into a weekend upcycling project.
4. Ask your landlord:
Can I renovate & restore? They can only say no. Some landlords would be thrilled to get a free renovation that could potentially increase the value of the property. Some may be opposed to the idea and it can be an area fraught with contention – if you make changes to the property that they don’t agree with, it could end up costing more in the long run. If you agree to keep changes purely cosmetic (e.g painting walls) and restore everything to original condition when you leave, they may be more flexible. If you think it will improve both the property and your quality of life, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
5. Create a garden that can move with you :
Plants are such an easy way to bring life and colour into a space. You can sit your plants in pots on a book shelf, in floor stands or hang them from the ceilings in macramé hangers (provided you have permission to add the hooks). It causes minimal damage to walls and makes use of wasted space. If your rental has a verandah, you can hang plants from the rafters which won’t leave any marks at all, and your garden can move with you.
6. Create impact with bedding:
When floor-to-ceiling renovations are not an option, look to everyday items to help express your personal style. Bed covers and throws instantly change the look and feel of a room. Mixing up styles and patterns can create an eclectic look that will easily distract attention away from cracked walls or a peeling paint job.
7. Invest in a magic carpet or 10 :
If your landlord’s taste in carpets is stuck in the 70s, then hide the evidence with your own rugs. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on pure-wool Persians – look for inexpensive colorful cotton rugs with unique shapes or patterns. A sizeable rug will provide plenty of floor cover and instantly warm up a space. Plus it saves you worrying about potential damage from your cat or a precarious glass of red wine.
8. Line up for a curtain .What is the only good thing about shabby curtains?
They can be removed in moments. Replace dusty curtains with something fresh and bright for an instant uplift. You can stick with sheer white, but patterns can also add interest to a neutral scheme for minimal cost. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can even select the fabric and hem the edges for a fraction of the price of ready-made curtains.
9. Mix & match furniture:
If you’re renting with friends, mixing and matching your different collections of furniture will happen by default. Don’t stress about your clashing styles, own it. Having odd chairs, particularly around a dining table, is very on trend. It creates a no-fuss look that makes people feel relaxed.
10. Add art without destroying the walls:
Nothing says home like walls covered in art you’ve picked up over the years from friends, family and travels. Avoid drilling holes by using what you have to rest your art – a fireplace mantle, existing shelving or a freestanding cabinet.