How to Make Your Rental Feel Like Your Home
If your landlord isn’t a fan of change, you can still put your personal stamp on your space and make it yours
You’ve decided that renting is the best option for you at this time in your life, and after checking out several possibilities, you finally found the perfect place to call your home! The only problem is, your landlord, as nice a guy as he may be, won’t let you make any changes to the property. Now, your home feels like anything but your home.
This situation is not uncommon. Many landlords and rental complexes do not allow tenants to make changes such as painting; switching out flooring or pulling up carpet; changing light fixtures and cabinet hardware, and using nails and screws to hang things like artwork and shelving on the walls. This doesn’t mean that you are stuck with a generic space to call home, it just means you need to get a little creative with how you add your personal touches to your new place.
So, if you’ve found the perfect rental, but your landlord is a stickler for white walls and keeping things “rentable,” then try out some of these tips to add your personal flair to your space:
A Clean, Fresh Start — It doesn’t matter if you rent or buy, no place is going to feel very welcoming if it’s a mess. The first thing you should do in your rental is to give it a good, deep clean. When your space is clean, it gives you a boost! In fact, people with clean houses are healthier and more active! So, get rid of all the dirt and dust from previous tenants and give your space (and you) a fresh start!
Your Four Walls — Sometimes, a landlord is okay with a tenant painting a rental space, but there are often a lot of rules and limits on what you can do, and the colors that you choose. If your landlord doesn’t want you to paint at all, and you decide to do it anyway, you could be out your security deposit. If white walls just aren’t your thing, don’t lose hope, there are options! You can use removable, adhesive hooks to hang colorful artwork, fabric or photographs. There are even removable wallpapers that can make quite the statement and come off very easily, although you will want to get your landlord’s permission before using it.
Another option is to create walls using furniture, such as a tall bookcase, or folding screens, that can serve as a room divider as well as a surface to hang artwork and other personal pieces. Another cool trick is to get some lightweight, large wood panels that you can cover with wallpaper, fabric or contact paper — the options are almost limitless — and prop them up against a wall for an instant wow factor.
Curtains Here, Curtains There — Curtains can make a big difference in a room. There are so many options out there of styles, colors, sizes, and textures, that you can create a variety of looks in no time at all! If your landlord already has curtains hanging, swap them out for some that are more your style, but make sure to store your landlord’s curtains in a safe place so you can put them back before you go.
Sure, hanging curtains might seem obvious, but what people often overlook is that curtains aren’t just for windows. You can use tension rods (no screws needed) to hang curtains across the underside of a vanity or open cabinet to add your personal style and hide extra storage. Curtains can also be used to add a splash of color to a wall or hang a curtain across a large bookshelf to create an instant closet.
Rugs Rule — If your rental has tile or wood floors, then you might have already considered getting a rug for your space. An area rug can make a huge impact on a room. However, a lot of times, people don’t think about getting a rug if they have carpet. Well, there is no rule that says you can only use a rug on hard surfaces. A large area rug placed over your rental’s generic, neutral carpet can add an immediate makeover that will transform a room into a whole new space.
Feeling Sentimental — Even if you are renting, for as long as you are living in the space, it is your home. Therefore, make sure to put the objects that mean the most to you out on display. Whether it is a family portrait or that funky, glass vase from your wild Aunt Sue, layer your home with items that mean something to you.
Fun with Furniture — People often associate renting with something that is not permanent. Therefore, it is natural to end up with a hodgepodge of furniture, lamps and other items that you acquire from relatives, yard sales or big box stores. This collection of hand me downs and bargains adds up to a space that is not really you. Even though you are renting, indulge in a few key pieces of nice, high-quality furniture that are your own style and that are chosen by you, personally.
Do That Thing That You Do — It’s important to create a space in which you can live your life, so when you are in your home, make it a point to do the things that you love to do. Cook a good meal, create a meditation or yoga space, invite friends over for a game night, or anything else that floats your boat. Doing the things that you enjoy while you are in your space, helps to make that space feel like it’s yours. Your home needs to be more than just the place you come and go from each day. It is more than just a landing pad, so do the things you love and fill your home with joy!
Let Your Light Shine — You might be stuck with whatever overhead lights and wall sconces that are in your rental, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make lighting a priority. A room’s lighting holds a lot of influence on the feel of the room and on the people in it. “The right lighting can lift your spirits and make you more relaxed and productive.” You can, of course, get lamps and task lighting to place around your space and add layers of warmth, but you can also make some slight changes to the existing fixtures. You might not be able to change out the fixture itself, but you could swap out the lightbulb for a different color or wattage, or change out globes and shades. You do need to clear this with your landlord first, and then make sure to store anything you remove in a safe place.
Overall, just because you are renting, doesn’t mean you can’t make your space feel like your home. It’s all about how creative you can be, making some compromises and doing the things that you love in your space. No matter where you decide to lay your head at night, your space needs to feel like your space — that’s what home is all about, the feeling that you belong there.
We hope these tips help you turn your rental into the home of your dreams, whether you’re there for a few months or years to come! If you’re still looking for the perfect place to hang your hat, then contact us today! We are ready to answer any questions that you may have about the area and can help you find the home that is the best fit for you!