Making a house feel like a home is seriously an art-form. The risk with living in a rental is that you can easily feel like you’re living in limbo, collecting boxes of possessions and waiting for your forever home.
We’ve been in our little rental now for over 6 months and it definitely feels like home to us! There are little tricks that we’ve learned that make the biggest differences. And none of them need to break the bank!
So do you wanna know what they are? Let’s do this!
1. Work with the aesthetic
Use what you have to your advantage! If you have a older style home, don’t try and go ultra modern. It will clash. We were lucky with our 70’s style home that had been recently painted and the kitchen and bathroom renovated in a more modern style. But if you have modern home, the use of antiques or older style furniture should be kept to a minimum.
2. Have a theme…
But don’t feel restricted by a colour theme, it could be a style theme or anything really. Just tie it all together. You don’t need to feel like every room has to be the same but make sure a room in itself has a theme. Like our bedroom… black, white and grey or the spare room which I took inspiration off the bed spread. Then use items throughout the house to connect the different rooms to your overall theme. All I can say is Pinterest Pinterest Pinterest!
3. Replace. The. Curtains.
You can thank me later. Yep changing the curtains can change your complete outlook and perspective haha. This was one of the first things I did to our place and it made the world of difference. The house came with these gaudy green and bright orange curtains that made the rooms look tacky and small. So as soon as we replaced them with white voile curtains immediately they softened and lit up the room. Psst Kmart and Big W the winner for cheap curtains!!! But make sure to check in store and don’t rely on the website.
4. Create cozy corners
Your home needs to be somewhere you can curl up and read a book. Or have a cuppa with a friend. So make sure you create little pockets or sanctuaries throughout the house that are welcoming and warm. I have an obsession with cushions (it’s okay, I feel I can admit it here). And I like having made up bed with a million cushions that connect everything together. Soft furnishings make a functional space turn into a functional yet inviting space.
5. Add some greenery
As soon as we started adding some greenery, the house came alive!!! If you are lucky enough to have a green thumb go for living plants but I’m not always so lucky so I’ve got a combination of them both. Although our fiddle fig and Groot basil plants have stayed alive this long, so maybe there is hope! The touches of greenery don’t need to be much. But there’s something about greenery that helps us to unwind and relax.
6. Hang things where you can
I know, I know… the rules with renting DON’T put any nails into the walls. Well two tips… use holes that are already there. Most of the time someone was a rebel before you. And 3M command hooks are our bestest friends!!! Seriously, half the stuff hanging in our house are on these things. Even some of our heavier art work. Just make sure you read the labels carefully on how much they can carry. If in doubt, add a second hook. They come off clean and help to make it your place and not inhabiting someone else’s.
7. Add some familiar favourites
Are there any framed photos or items that are full of memories for you? Don’t let them hide away in a box, use them to add a little taste of your style and personality to the house. Use them in your cozy corners. Show off snippets of your quirks! But don’t add too many, otherwise it begins to feel very cluttered, very quickly and the overall theme gets lost.
8. Use lighting effectively
Adding a lamp here or there can make a massive difference. Not only is it functional but can act as a feature for the entire room. For us this IKEA floor lamp is perfect for when we are working on the couch at night but also catches the eye to that corner. Also have a think about what colour bulbs you are using. Warmer bulbs feel much homier than white or fluorescent bulbs. We use white bulbs in the bathroom where we want to see every detail in the mirror, white bulbs in the home-office, and yellow bulbs in the lounge and living areas. We also use lamps on our bedside tables as the main source of light for our Master bedroom.
9. Functional storage pieces
Sometimes rentals have terrible storage! Half of my kitchen stuff is in the top of the spare room’s wardrobe. Add some functional storage pieces that can be versatile. Also think bigger than just the house you are currently in. You don’t want to have to sell every piece of furniture every time you move home.
10. Cover the floor with rugs
I’m not a big fan of the coloured tiles in our house. We got lucky with the rest of the place but the main tiles… urgh. But rugs have been a God-send!!! They can completely change a room and are cozy under the feet. Shops like Target and Kmart have rugs that are quite cheap and can fit a range of styles and spaces. I also use rugs to accent a feature colour in a room, like this grey one in our bedroom.
And there you have it, 10 simple, cost-effective tips to make any rental feel more like home.