Making a rented property feel like home is not as difficult as you may think. Whilst many landlords may not permit tenants to redecorate the walls and woodwork or change other fixtures and fittings – especially if the interior is nicely maintained and presented already – there are many small, simple touches you can add to your rented property to personalise the space without making permanent changes. This is the case whether you’re renting a furnished or unfinished place.
If you are planning to stay in the property for a while or the decor is quite tired looking, there’s no harm in asking if you can repaint a room or even just one wall. As long as you agree beforehand on the colour you will use, your landlord may permit you to do so. You will, of course, have to ensure it is finished to a very good standard and you may be required to repaint it back to the original colour before you leave. However, if that’s not an option, here’s what you can do….
Soft furnishings like cushions, throws, rugs, curtains, table cloths, and bed and bathroom linen are essential for creating a comfortable, homely interior. You can choose according to your own taste, instantly transforming the aesthetic and feel of each room. There are no rules because you’re paying for these things yourself and they don’t alter or damage anything that belongs to your landlord – so you can go wild and choose whatever you like!
If you don’t like the sofa, chuck a big throw over it and add some lovely cushions. If the floorboards feel too bare, buy a big rug. If the windows are undressed and feel ‘cold’, hang some simple curtains to make the space cosy. These soft furnishings needn’t cost a fortune, either. You can pick up some great items at reasonable prices in stores like Next, Marks & Spencer, Dunelm, IKEA, B&Q, Tesco, Matalan, Home Bargains… the list is endless.
In addition to soft furnishings, accessorising the interior of a rented property can make a huge difference, especially if it’s already furnished by the landlord. Candles, lamps, vases, wall pictures and mirrors, framed personal photos, and other decorative objects that make you smile – all of these items allow you to inject your personality into the space, making it feel more like home and less like someone else’s property.
Lighting can also have a significant impact on the atmosphere of your interior space. Soft lighting is the best – avoid using bright ceiling lights (unless there’s a dimmer switch) and instead use occasional lamps that allow you to create ‘mood lighting’. If possible, you could also change the landlord’s lampshades for more stylish ones that reflect your personal taste. It’s amazing what a difference these seemingly insignificant things can make!
Whilst these may sound like every landlords nightmare, you can now buy wall stickers that are easy to apply and remove without causing damage to walls. They’re available in a lots of different designs and colours – you can get spots, birds, flowers, leaves, trees, fruit, full murals… Great in the kids’ rooms or to create a feature wall in the kitchen, hall, living room – anywhere really! A fantastic way to add a splash of colour or cool design. Then when you’re moving out, you simply peel them off and the walls are back to normal with no harm caused! Just make sure you explain to your landlord that they are removable in case he or she panics when popping over for an inspection!
Plants & Flowers
The moment you add plants and flowers to a room, it immediately feels more welcoming, homely, and colourful – you’re literally injecting more life into the room. Place a trailing plant on a shelf or on top of your mantelpiece, an orchid on a side table, vases of flowers on sideboards and the kitchen table, a planter at the front door filled with a hydrangea, flowering window boxes… There’s a lot of be said about bringing nature inside, and your house or flat will instantly feel more comfortable, cheerful, and inviting. Just remember to water them regularly so they don’t die!