How to make your rental home feel like your own

rental home

A rental home is a cost-efficient solution that requires minimal commitment and zero upkeep. But it can be difficult to put your personal touch on a space that is essentially created to be generic. Luckily for us, a few companies have cottoned into this dilemma and have come up with some great solutions specifically tailored to the rental market. And we are of course also here to give you some clever and inexpensive tricks and tips to add personality to the interior of your rental home without worrying about not getting your security deposit back.

#1 Quick fixes

rental home

Architecture decor &  School House &  Style Files

If you want minimum effort with maximum visual effect, simply change cabinet handles to fit your personal style. It’s the easiest and most cost-effective upgrade that will make a huge difference.

Dated light fittings can be one the biggest of eyesores and also makes a big impact visually as they are the vertical focal points in a room. Replacing them is simple and you will be surprised at how big the change is.

Changing the standard light switches to dimmer switches allows you to regulate the mood of a room and it’s also a quick job with a screwdriver. While you are in the hardware store, have a look at the wide variety of light switch covers available and then choose a style that fits your desired look.

Have a good look around the house or apartment and see what you can unscrew and replace to personalize your space.

Just remember to keep all the fittings you remove somewhere safe so you can put them back before moving out.

#2 Windows and Curtains

rental home

Standard curtain rails can look very cheap and tacky, but as a tenant, you may not have the option to change them. Luckily, you can use a clip-on rod over your existing rails to personalize the look. These come in a variety of colours and finishes to suit your décor. They also have a selection of finials to finish off the ends.  Click here for a wide selection of clip-on rods from Finishing Touches.rental home

Another impermanent option for curtaining is the telescopic rod. It works especially well in kitchen and bathroom spaces that require privacy panels or any room that makes use of light-weight curtains. With no drilling required, the rod simply extends to size in the space that you need it. Available in black and white, these clever little telescopic rods can instantly soften your windows.

#3 Floors & Walls

rental home

Houzz  & Saatchi Art &  Daniella Witte

Some finishes like ugly flooring are very hard to work around as it takes up so much space in an interior. Soften the look with loose rugs that also add depth and anchor furniture groupings. If you are a bohemian at heart, you can even layer a few of them in interesting ways for an unexpected twist.

Another option is clip-in wooden tiles. They are readily available at hardware stores and look like a million bucks. They simply clip into each other so you might end up with gaps along the sides that you can mask with some clever furniture placements or plants. These wooden tiles look great on balconies especially because they mimic wooden decking.

once your floors are sorted, you most like still have boring, standard white walls with few or no hooks to hang things on. If your landlord had firm instructions not to make any holes in the walls, then we may have a few more options for you.

Have mirrors and framed artwork lean against a wall.

It’s a big trend at the moment and gives a casual feel to the interior while still breaking the expanse of white. You can even have a framed chalkboard stand up on a kitchen cabinet for a nice bistro feel.

There are some ways to hang things from hooks that won’t require permanent fixtures. Other homes may have picture rails that you can use to hang things from, and pelmet boards over curtains can also be used as a display area, provided the ceilings are high enough.

And then there is washi tape. The wondrous medium that won’t leave marks on the walls and allows you to stick prints to the walls or use just as is in interesting ways. My favorite examples are these tiny Swiss crosses to break a plain white wall. Let your imagination go wild!

#4 Styling tricks

rental home

Cosmopolitan & DIY Joy

For the most part, you will have to rely on styling your space pretty. Play with pops of colour in soft props like scatter cushions and throws, and remember to use different textures for visual interest.

Having fresh flowers is always a great way to make your space a happy place to live in. You can also introduce indoor plants for some trendy greenery and to soften hard lines.

Painting some of your furniture could inject a bit of energy or simply get all the elements in the room to tie up in a well-planned colour palette.

Stand back and have a good long look at your space. If the furniture is too big for the space, put some in storage. If the space is too big, look at arranging your pieces differently or buy some interesting extra ones from a thrift store.

Don’t feel like you have to make everything fit. Rather focus on creating good flow in the room.

#6 Multi-purpose and Multi-functional

rental home


Living in a temporary space will require you to be flexible. Invest in furniture pieces that are generic so that they could be used in different ways in your next home. Like a bookshelf that could work as extra kitchen shelving.

Having your furniture work hard is very important, so also look for multifunctional pieces like a coffee table with magazine storage or ottomans that could store extra bedding for guests. You could even put a storage box on wheels to slide in under the sofa or your bed.

One really cute idea is to play with ladders. Use them as towel storage or combine two with planks in between to create unusual shelving. Here’s how it’s done step by step in one of our previous DIY projects

Embrace the challenges that come with a rental space. It’s exactly these that force us to think up creative ways around tricky situations –  and it may just lead to a fantastic result!

This post is sponsored by Finishing Touches.

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