The only problem with the renter’s lifestyle is the feeling that you are never fully home. If you move a lot, or even if you are a long-term renter, you can end up feeling like you are just minding someone else’s property for them. This is a really common feeling but with a few homely touches, your rental can feel much more like your own home.
Renting is a great way to have a property without the long-term investment you are forced to make by having a mortgage. If you like to travel a lot or have a job that takes you around the world, renting is really the best option for you, wherever you end up.
In many cultures, renting is just the thing and very few people actually own the bricks and mortar that make up their home. This is especially true if you happen to live in a flat in the city. Many buildings are owned by investors who take a yearly income from the profit the building makes as a whole. Besides – finding a flat in a busy city is getting more and more expensive each year. So renting is probably the only way you can afford to live there!
As long as you are starting with a neutral foundation (such as cream or white walls with pale carpets or wooden floors) you should be able to inject your own personality using accessories and create a home for yourself. Making things as well as hunting them down in thrift stores is a great way to spend the weekend and the more time you take to nest, the more your rental will feel like home.
How To Make A Rental Feel Like Home
Incorporate Your Favourite Colours
Painting the walls isn’t the only way to introduce color into a room. There are plenty of accessories that will pop on a blank canvas. Scatter cushions and colorful throws as an obvious choice. They can be as eclectic as you like as long as you stick to a vague theme. They will also help to make your inherited sofa a little bit more comfortable! Try using a range of colors, shapes, and fabrics together to create a more relaxed, eclectic look.
Colored glass vases and jars are another way to bring in color but in a more delicate way. Creating a small display where they will catch the light is a lovely thing to do. The colors will be reflected on your bland walls in artful rainbows. Experiment with different heights and shapes to capture new and interesting effects. This kind of thing can usually be found in thrift stores or at flea markets so stay on the lookout for new vases to add to your collection.
Rugs are the best cheat to add color though. And they will also create zones in an open plan space. Not only will they hide the accidental red wine stain on the carpet that might have happened the day you moved in, they will also bring together the rest of the accessories in your room. Feel free to have multiple rugs layering over each other for a bohemian feel. This will add texture as well as color.
Make Your Own Art
You don’t have to be an amazing artist to create something to hang on the walls and add a personal touch to your home. This is a brilliant way to spend some time, even if you aren’t particularly artistic and can’t draw. Just grab a couple of blank canvases, some paints and let loose like Jackson Pollock. Don’t hold back on your ideas. Let your creativity flow and really get into your project.
If you’re feeling a little bit stuck, there are all sorts of great ideas for homemade art that looks amazing and requires very little effort. For example, if painting and drawing aren’t your thing, try stencils and cut-outs using different types of paper for a different approach. Whatever you do, let your artwork really show your personality. That is what makes your rental feel like a home.
Art that inspires you is also a good way to make your home feel homier. Buying a cheap print and framing it with a simple wooden frame is another perfect way to bring a little bit more personality to your rental. And when you are ready to move on, you can just roll up your prints in tissue for safe transportation. They won’t take up too much room.
Let There Be Lights
Nothing is worse than sitting in a room with one main light on and nothing else. It’s not just that it is intensely boring. It also feels like a waiting room and this is definitely not going to feel like home is it? There is, as ever, a simple solution that is also going to be fairly cheap: lamps.
Apart from bringing softer light that forms warm pools rather than a bright white glare, lamps also bring another opportunity to add your personal stamp to your space. There are so many different styles to choose from and even within those styles, the shades you could pick will make a difference too. If all the art making was just a warm-up act for you, try recovering an old lampshade for something that is unique.
Fairy lights and novelty lights are also very much in fashion now. While neither are fantastically effective at producing bright light, they are a quick way to create a warm atmosphere in a room. Try stringing fairy lights around the tops of your walls to create an even glow. Or bundle a smaller line into a big glass jar and set to slow glow for movement and interest.
Plant Your Roots
Houseplants are brilliant. They bring the outside in and improve the air inside as well. The bathroom might be the ideal spot for to grow orchids (which love the steamy atmosphere). Consider adding other plants around too. The kitchen window ledge could be home to a few small potted herbs and there’s no reason not to use hanging baskets inside either. Just check with your landlord before you drill any hooks into the wall!
Having a bunch of flowers on the dining table will make your rental home feel more homely too. You will have to change them every week, but choosing a new bunch to go with your groceries is always a nice treat to have at the weekend. If you have a garden, you could incorporate cuttings from your own plants into your flower arrangements. Foliage is especially good for adding volume and drama to even the most boring bunch.
If you are feeling bold, you could also try planting a few vegetables using pots on your balcony or near a source of light. Peas are an obvious choice as they are fairly easy to grow, but you could go a little bit wilder and grow your own ginger, asparagus, and watermelons. If you can’t homestead, you can always find something to grow, even in the tiniest of spaces!
Keep it Clean
If you don’t care about where you live, it is easy for it to get into a bit of a mess, making you care even less about the place. Don’t let yourself slip into the negative cycle. Instead, create a weekly cleaning routine to make sure that whenever you come home it is a place you really want to be. From strange smells to blocked drains, there are loads of easy cleaning hacks to get you through and make your life a lot more pleasurable.
The best cleaning hack though? Get a cleaner to come each week and do it for you!
There is definitely something about the smell of a place that makes it feel more or less like home though. Sometimes it isn’t simply down to cleaning. Try using scent diffusers in the hallway and bathroom (especially in a windowless ensuite) to bring in a smell that you actually like. This will cover the strange smells that just come with the rental. Scented candles are also a great idea. They will look pretty when lit too. But for the best way to bring in a more homely smell, baking has to take the crown. Who really needs an excuse to make a cake or bake some bread?
For however long your rental is going to be home, make the most of the space and your time there. Take care of it and add a personal stamp where you can. Home is such an important place. It will really make a difference to your health and wellbeing if it is clean and feels just right.
If you are moving about a lot, get into a routine to build up again each time. Give every rental a thorough clean before you unpack your stuff. Then spend a day or two figuring out the best layout and where to put everything. Your rental will feel like home in no time.