When you’re renting a home, you can be limited in what you can do to make the home really feel like your own.
If painting, wallpapering or renovating isn’t an option, you can still give a home a makeover without spending a fortune. Here are seven simple ways to bring a little style, and even some festive fun, to a rental property.
1. Switch the mood with lighting.
If you have a room that basks in the unflattering glow of a fluorescent tube or a harsh bulb, the right lighting can change the feeling instantly. A table or floor lamp is an inexpensive way to make a room more comfortable and inviting. Fairy lights and string lights bring a fun festive feeling, and in kids’ rooms can stay up all year.
2. Add colour with furnishings and prints.
Rooms in rental homes tend to be painted and furnished in neutral colours so that they appeal to a wider range of renters. If you love a bit of colour in your life, soft furnishings like cushions and throws can really make a room pop. Bold prints or painting can achieve the same effect. If you don’t have hooks or nails to hang them on, prop a big canvas up on a bookshelf or table and lean it against the wall.
3. Turn beige into beautiful with a rug.
Old carpets and drab floors can bring a room down. That’s where a rug (the bigger the better) can work wonders. A beautiful rug does two things - it lifts the room and protects the existing flooring from spills and wear.
4. Go green.
Indoor plants don’t just look good, they make us feel good too. As well as adding life to a sterile space, studies have shown that plants in a home will improve your mood, creativity and concentration. Plants also keep the air clean by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen. There are a number of plants that require very little care to thrive, like the Snake Plant (Sansevieria) and Aspidistra.
5. Hang on - what about curtains?
If the curtains in your rental home are a bit of an eyesore, buy some more. Curtains can be quite inexpensive, and you can take them with you when you move. Just remember to store the existing curtains somewhere safe so you can hang them back up before you leave.
6. Mirror, mirror against the wall.
A large mirror is a great investment because it can do so much for a room. It makes it feel bigger, it brings in more light, and it can be positioned to reflect an outside feature or view. A big mirror doesn’t even need to be on the wall - just place it on the floor, a table or bookshelf and lean it against the wall.
7. Christmas cheer, not dear.
Of course, decorating means something different in December. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune to bring the spirit of Christmas home. Fairy and string lights are an obvious way to bring the theme. But what about putting your leftover baubles in big glass jars or vases and wrapping them in fairy lights? You can also arrange little clusters of leftover decorations - plus miniature Christmas trees, snow globes, tealights and picture frames on free tabletops and shelves.