Making Your Space Your Own: Renter-Friendly Ideas

Making Your Space Your Own: Renter-Friendly Ideas

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Owning a home isn’t the right fit for everyone – whether you prefer the flexibility of renting or are saving up for your dream home. Renting can be a great option, rental properties can vary massively in size and design, but they do usually prioritise functionality over aesthetics. Living in a rental often comes with restrictions when it comes to making changes to the interior, but that doesn't mean you can't make your space feel like home.

In this blog post, we'll delve into creative and renter-friendly home upgrade ideas to add style, functionality, and personality to your living quarters without breaking the lease agreement. Our list features completely reversible upgrades that you can take with you to your next home, ensuring no wasted budget. Infuse personality into your rented space and elevate even the most uninspired landlord décor choices.

1. Adjust your home layout

Let's start with the big picture, your home’s layout – this sets the stage for both comfort and functionality. Don’t feel constrained by your landlord’s arrangement. Just because they have arranged things in a certain way doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. Assess your space and contemplate rearranging furniture or repurposing rooms to better suit your needs.

A great way to make a rented space feel your own is to use non-permanent divisions to create distinct areas and separate your living space. There is a range of options when it comes to dividing your space. A great solution is modular, lightweight, multifunctional, room divider units. These provide division in your space whilst also providing additional storage (we all know this is always needed). Choose modular options that can be easily reconfigured and taken with you when you move out.

When adding furniture to your space, evaluate the necessity of each piece. If you are renting a studio apartment or small flat - as discussed in a previous blog - a great way to maximise space is to remove, and avoid, any bulky furniture especially near windows – this will avoid blocking any inflow of natural light and open up your living area, preventing it from feeling dark and compact.

2. Consider the lighting

As briefly touched on, it is crucial to consider lighting when upgrading your space. Lighting plays an important role in shaping the ambience of your space. More often than not, lighting isn’t at the top of a landlord's list of priorities - many rental properties feature standard, uninspiring ceiling lights and restricted natural light, resulting in gloomy interiors.

Lighting can provide an immediate improvement. In addition to maximising natural light, consider replacing lacklustre bulbs or harsh fluorescent lights with energy-efficient LEDs emitting a warm hue. These warmer tones create a more inviting atmosphere in your home. To maintain a cohesive look, ensure consistency by swapping both ceiling and lamp bulbs throughout your entire home.

3. Address window treatments

Following on the theme of lighting, turn your attention to the windows. Whatever the view from your home, be it beautiful scenic landscapes or a busy city, refreshing the window treatments is a guaranteed way to make the space feel your own. This process doesn’t have to be complex and certainly doesn’t require any drilling.

Enhance your windows with curtains or blinds – these might seem like an investment for a temporary space but don’t forget you can take them with you when you move! For rental properties already equipped with curtain poles, you have so many options to customise. Select fabrics that align with your décor and contemplate incorporating sheer curtains for added privacy, particularly beneficial for apartments or homes overlooking busy streets. Alternatively, if you have the problem of too much light (many of us are envious) install blackout roller blinds, for restful sleep and perfect uninterrupted lie-ins.

4. Add wall Décor

Plain, blank walls can make a space feel sterile and impersonal, but there are plenty of renter-friendly ways to add personality and style without leaving behind unsightly holes when you move out. Temporary wall décor options are abundant and can completely transform the look and feel of a room.

Command hooks are a renter's best friend. Use them to hang artwork, mirrors, or even lightweight shelving without damaging the walls. They come in various sizes and strengths, offering versatility for different items. Consider creating a gallery wall using removable adhesive hooks or picture-hanging strips. Mix and match frames in different sizes and colours to showcase your favourite artwork, photographs, or prints. Not only does a gallery wall add visual interest to your space, but it also allows you to express your unique personality and style.

5. Assess flooring

We are not all lucky enough to be blessed with a brand-new carpet in our rental home, and many of us are faced with a carpet that’s seen better days. While you may not have the freedom to rip out outdated carpets - other than getting carpets professionally cleaned - consider investing in a large rug to add warmth, texture, and colour to your floors.

Layering rugs can create visual interest and define areas within an open-concept space, this is a common interior design trick used to separate your home visually, especially if it’s a smaller rented place. Choose rugs with non-slip backings to prevent them from sliding around on smooth surfaces like wood or tiles. The great thing about rugs is they can be easily rolled up and taken with you when it's time to move.

6. Soft furnishings and fabrics

Soft furnishings and fabrics are excellent tools for adding warmth, texture, and personality to your rented space. Whether you're dealing with neutral furniture provided by your landlord or simply want to inject some colour and vibrancy into your home, throws and cushions are your best friends.

Let’s start with throws, whether draped over a sofa or neatly folded at the foot of your bed, throws are an easy way to add texture and colour to your home. Choose throws in bold colours, playful patterns, or chunky textures to make a statement and complement your existing décor. Let’s be honest, a nice throw always invites you to snuggle up and relax (especially when winter seems to be lasting so long!). From chunky knits to faux fur, there's a throw to suit every style and season.

Now, the easiest and most versatile way to update the look of your living areas – cushions. Mix and match cushions in different shapes, sizes, and fabrics to create an interesting and inviting space. Layering is useful when decorating a rented place, using throws and cushions to style up existing sofas, armchairs and beds is a really easy way to add personality to your place.

7. Personal Touches

Finally, don't underestimate the power of personal touches to make your rented space feel like home. Consider incorporating elements that hold sentimental value or remind you of your favourite places or experiences. Whether it's a collection of vintage postcards, a handmade pottery vase, or a framed photograph from a memorable trip, these personal touches can bring warmth and personality to your home.

In conclusion, while renting may come with limitations, there are plenty of creative and renter-friendly home upgrade ideas to make your space feel stylish, functional, and uniquely yours. From rearranging furniture and upgrading lighting to refreshing window treatments and adding personal touches, these temporary upgrades will ensure that your rented space feels like home sweet home.