When renting an apartment or a house, you can sometimes feel stuck in someone else’s design. How much can you actually change, and more to the point – how much should you change, considering it’s not your own home, and you might move out one day?
Sure, investing in large pieces of furniture and appliances is not the best of options until you have your own space to furnish. But this doesn’t have to mean your hands are tied. Let’s look at seven ways you can take your rented property and add some proper appeal to it.
Switch out the detailing
If you can strike a deal with the owner of the property you’re renting, you might want to look at replacing the doorknobs, the light switches, the outlets, the cabinet knobs, and any other small detail that might be bothering you.
While this upgrade may end up costing very little – especially if you buy some of your pieces second-hand – it can be a bit of an effort. So if you get the green light, you can take the task on yourself, and just agree on how you’ll split the costs.
Look for something that will add to this space the touch you’re looking for – antique, modern, vintage, retro, whatever will make you feel more at home.
Add plenty of greenery
One of the best ways to make any space more appealing is to add some plants to it. These can be faux plants if there’s not enough sunlight in the space, or you can buy real ones (if you are ready to care for them properly).
The bathroom and the kitchen can especially use this kind of an upgrade: small fake plants can be placed on the shelves or counters, and just be given a regular dusting. You can also go for hanging plants in the living room and bedroom if you don’t want to clutter the shelving.
If you have the space and the right conditions, you can even grow your own herbs. This will also bring an extra delicious scent into your kitchen.
Choose your own mattress
One of the worst things about renting a property is not being able to choose your own mattress. But why shouldn’t you? A mattress is not that difficult to move from one apartment to another, and when you find one that you really like to sleep on, you can just make sure all future rentals have the same bed frame size.
Generally speaking, a queen size mattress is a good choice as it can easily fit into most rooms. Make sure to consider different factors before buying one though, like the fabric, firmness, and materials – and just note that you’ll likely have to move it with you when you leave.
Introduce some blinds or curtains
Another thing that is often a bit outdated in rentals: curtains. Since they pack down small but hold an immense power to transform a room, you can easily add a pair to each window, and instantly change the vibe of the room.
Blinds also work well, especially if you are looking to darken a room for the night. Anything from bamboo to fabric can do wonders.
Before you choose your curtains or blinds, make sure you take into account what else (if anything) you want to change in the room. Consider the fabrics, tones, and colors already there, and compare them to what you will be adding – cushions, blankets, or even accessories can all clash with your chosen curtains.
Anything you don’t really like looking at can be covered up fairly easily. Is there a nasty stain on the kitchen floor? Are there marks on the walls? If you can’t repaint the room (or if this won’t help), do your best to cover up the stains and marks.
Small carpets and rugs can help with the flooring (again, mind the colors and fabrics in the rest of the room), but you can also add some frames or use stickers and washi tape on the walls. You can even use an empty frame and frame the stain, creating some very unique art on your walls.
Add more storage
If you find there is simply not enough room for all your stuff, you can consider some under-bed storage, or even add a rail or a rack to a wall. On the other hand, you can buy one of those handy poufs that also double as storage space.
Tops of cupboards and closets, as well as the space under beds and sofas, are usually good places to keep things like luggage (that can be used to store anything you are not using at the moment) or boxes. Make sure you’re not just wasting space by having them sit empty, though.
Bring in some light
Nothing transforms a room as lighting does. If you find there is not enough light in your rented rooms, or that there is too much of it in certain places, even if it’s too cool for you, just switch out the bulbs. You can, of course, bring in completely new lamps or lampshades, but a customized bulb is the best way to easily and affordably change the feel of the room.
Bathrooms and kitchens usually benefit from cool and strong light, while warm and mild light works best for bedrooms and living rooms.
When renting, you don’t want to lug around a whole lot of décor and clutter. But you also don’t want to be living in sterile spaces that feel nothing like home. Find a nice medium between the two – opt for items you will want to take with you wherever you go, or even offer to leave them behind if you and the owner of the space can come to an agreement that suits you both. Shop at local garage sales instead of higher-end shops, and you’ll see how easy and fun it is to turn a rented space into your own.