With an increasing number of people opting to rent properties these days, personalising a temporary living space can help make it feel more like home. Permanent changes are often not allowed, so adding your own sense of style to a rental property needs to take the form of textiles, furniture and other removable accents.
We’ll provide helpful tips and ideas on how to inject colour, comfort and character into a space you’re renting, showing how a few simple yet effective touches can transform bland, neutral rental spaces into an interior that reflects your tastes.
Some tenants will find that their tenancy agreement prohibits them from making more permanent changes to their rental home, such as painting walls or ripping out floors and cabinets, so finding ways to personalise without making a lasting impact is essential. The rules of your rental will vary according to the terms of the tenancy agreement you have so it's always a good idea to check.
Luckily, there are solutions to this that even the strictest of landlords will be fine with. For example, you could use removable wallpaper, peel-away splashback tiles in place of traditional terracotta tiles or decals to easily create a fun accent wall that means you can go for bold prints, textures and the latest trendy colours to add interest to your new home. When it comes time to move out, all you need to do is carefully peel the wallpaper off the walls and it will be back to its original state. Peelable contact paper can also be used inside cupboards to add brightness and freshen up older kitchens without leaving lasting impact.
Lighting can make all the difference to how a room feels. Adding floor lamps, changing out shades and even swapping out harsh lightbulbs for a softer glow can change a room’s ambience instantly (and cheaply). Similarly, using area rugs to delineate zones in larger rooms, tying a space together with textured cushions and throws, plants, or adding a stylish pouf or footstool can help make a room feel more relaxing and inviting.
While there are certainly perks to renting a furnished home, it can sometimes feel difficult to settle in when you’re living amongst someone else’s design choices that may not match your own. Home furnishings can also transform a room in a temporary way whether you take guidance from décor experts or experiment using your own interior styling skills. Naturally, if you furnish the space yourself, you need to invest your own money into those key items. But being able to choose the sofa, bed or dining table you use every day can really help you feel more comfortable and at home.
When it comes to larger furniture items, you want to focus on portable pieces you can take with you when you move on, giving you the opportunity to invest in items you really love. Buying a comfortable sofa or colourful accent chair that fits your style can make a big difference in creating a cosy, welcoming space but it also makes the space feel more like your own.
Buying furniture doesn’t have to cost the earth, but it’s also worth spending the time hunting down items that really speak to you and that you’ll enjoy using while living in your new home. Consider the styles you’re drawn to, whether it’s sleek and modern, traditional or particular to a certain era such as mid-century styles, and opt for pieces that fit those qualities. This will help you create a cohesive look in your home and helps you build a collection of furniture pieces that you’ll treasure.
You might be surprised just how impactful small changes can be to making your rental quickly feel like home. Curtains, for example, can make windows appear larger, add privacy and warmth, and come in a wide range of styles to match your taste. Blackout curtains are ideal for bedrooms to add extra comfort at night. They’re easy to switch out and the old ones can be stored away and simply replaced when you move out.
Another alternative is to create a gallery wall of artwork, prints and photo displays which you can hang up with removable adhesive strips or leaning frames on shelves or mantels. This avoids the need to drill or hammer nails into the walls but still adds personality to your home.
Likewise, adding stylish flair to your bathroom with a fun shower curtain or bath mat that makes you smile when you see them every day can work wonders for freshening up a neutral space and making it unique to you. These are impermanent changes that add character and colour, but won’t cause any damage to your landlord’s property. The possibilities are endless for imaginatively making your mark through eye-catching yet impermanent decor touches. With some inventive ideas and decorative flair, you can transform a characterless rental into a space brimming with style and originality.
Lastly, don’t forget that the easiest way to make a place feel like home is to fill it with the items that you use and love. Whether it’s your clothing that brings out the best in you, your books or records that fill you with joy, or flourishing houseplants that add colour and visual interest, your hobbies are the best way to infuse a property with your sense of personality.
Find creative ways to showcase these treasured items around the home, such as on mantels, window sills or coffee tables for the perfect conversation starter when people pop by. Being able to see your belongings front and centre instead of tucked away in cupboards will make any rental feel instantly more like your own.
Customising a rental space with your own personal flair is easier than you may think. With some creative decor solutions and removable furnishings, you can add colour, comfort and character into any rental, whether you intend to be there just for a few months or you’re uncertain how long this will be home.
Since permanent changes are off limits, opt for inventive techniques like floating shelves, removable wallpaper, splashes of colour (if permitted) and rearranged furniture instead. Personalising a rental makes it more liveable and enjoyable during your stay. With the right decorative touches that speak to your style, you can make any rental feel like your own.
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