With property prices continuing to rise high, most of us are finding ourselves renting long-term, spending decades and even raising families in these borrowed properties. There’s plenty you can do to really personalise your space to make it feel like home – without spending loads of money or doing anything that might risk the terms of your rental. Whether you’re in a flat that needs some fancy flourishes or a house that could do with some charm, it’s worth taking some time to create a space that feels like home.
Even though the property is your landlord’s, it’s possible to add some simple additions to make it somewhere that belongs to you too. With some straightforward changes and a few easy updates, it will go from plain white box to your own space in no time.
For inspiration, here’s our top tips to help you enhance every room.
1. Add color with bold furnishings rather than décor
Color is an obvious way to personalize your home, but painting your walls in bright shades might not be an option if you’re renting. Consider adding vibrant hues with your furnishings instead- a neutral wall can offer the perfect backdrop for a dramatic armchair or a sideboard painted in bold sunshine yellow. If you’re a little wary, dip a toe into the look by sticking with neutral furnishings and adding color in less permanent ways, such as with a few statement cushions or a bright throw you can remove when you want a quick change-up.
2. Go green
Plants and flowers are a sure fire way to add character and personality to any space (a trick interior stylists know all too well, hence seeing them crop up so often in lifestyle imagery). Offering a lot of bang for your buck, house plants are officially trendy again (take a look at the proliferation of succulents and retro ferns, cheese plants and fiddle-leaf figs on Pinterest and check out our infographic on finding your ideal houseplant).
If you’ve got limited surface space in your rental, try out some equally on-trend macrame hanging planters instead, suspending them from a single nail, or edges of furniture or the ends of curtain poles if you don’t want to make any holes.
3.Bring in Mirrors
From long, freestanding ones to opulently-designed wall-mounted ones, mirrors add light and depth to the tiniest rooms. There are plenty of options to choose from, so this is your chance to add your own personality to the space. Whether you love all things bling or you’re a fan of geometric shapes, you can take some time to pick your favorites and add them to the space.
4.Light it up
Even the saddest little space can be transformed with the right light. Whether it’s a free-standing lamp, updating tired lampshades, replacing bulbs, or using candles, offering a variety of accent and ambient lighting will make your home a relaxing place to be. Be sure to include good light in rooms where you’ll need it, and in rooms with limited natural light – it will make spaces feel bigger.
5. Bring in art work
Art on walls is the ultimate finishing touch to a room, and will instantly make your space feel homely and ‘finished’. Some landlords, unfortunately, fail to see it that way, however, banning tenants from banging holes in walls, though there are several workarounds for this, Try eschewing frames altogether and get imaginative with how you hang your prints. Suspending them from a vintage wooden clothes hanger or bulldog clip only requires a small picture pin (see if there’s any already lurking in your walls).
6. Invest in good curtains
With the right fabric choices, you have the power to revitalize the room. Start by decking the windows with treatments that are custom-made rather than off-the-shelf, to create a tailored look, like a tuxedo for your drapery. Once you settle on the panels, pick fabrics depending on your taste and their function. Invest in drapery that complements your furniture, walls, and ceiling. Brightly colored curtains are ideal for spaces with neutral walls. In this room, the designer has coordinated the curtains’ color with the shade of the seater – a great option for anyone who likes minimal elegance.
7.Make it about you
The best way to make your space feel like home is to fill it with things that represent you. Items that have memories attached, fun magnets on the fridge, photographs of friends and family. Whilst designing your living space can be expensive and take a lot of thought, making it ‘you’ and choosing things that bring you joy will make it feel more like a home.