It is easy to decorate the house of our dreams because all the likelihood is that we actually own it. Who would want to spruce up a house or an apartment that isn’t theirs, right? The answer to this question is not simple, as we live in the present moment and it is perfectly OK to personalize even a rented property if we currently cannot afford to buy our own. The only thing we have to take care of is not to go too far and to consult the landlord regarding any major alterations, such as tearing down walls. In general, these are some of the improvements that you can make to your rental home.
Whether you’re a book lover or not, you have to admit that books in large number have the power to transform the appearance of any room. Since they are usually grouped together on shelves, they can be the perfect bedside addition or a decorative piece for the living room. If there aren’t enough bookshelves in your current place, you can install floating bookshelves instead of buying new bookcases. They are super easy to install, requiring two nuts or bolts each and they can be heavily customized by painting them the colour you like. If you are resourceful enough, you might end up doing this for free, as the wood needed for shelves can be salvaged from the backyard shed or from an old, disused cupboard.
Removable wallpaper instead of painting the walls
If we mention wallpapers, you’ll probably think we’re going to write about decorating your grandma’s house. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong because wallpaper never went out of fashion but only its design and quality changes significantly. The landlord might agree to paint the walls for health reasons like the prevention of mould but it is highly unlikely they will allow you to choose the colour, especially if you planning to suggest bold hues like light green or orange.
This is where removable wallpaper comes into play. With it, not only do you get to choose the colour of every individual wall but you can also introduce different patterns and even images of superheroes for the kids’ room; say, how cool is that! And the best thing about modern wallpapers is that you can peel them off and return the walls to their original state.
The windows treatment
When it comes to renting apartments, most of the real estate on the market is small in size and the housing units don’t get enough of light. That is why you need to accentuate the window area and get the maximum out of it. In order to make the whole space appear bigger, you have the option to raise the level of the curtain rod all the way to the ceiling and let the curtains freefall from a greater height. In fact, you can go shopping for extra-long silken curtains that will drop just a few inches short of the floor. Such a décor solution will introduce the feeling of stateliness inside your apartment, regardless of how small and cramped it is.
There isn’t a livelier interior décor improvement than the introduction of plants of all shapes, sizes, and colours into a living space. They are the most important factor in turning an apartment into a home because they require care and nurturement to grow. In addition, they are responsible for pumping in fresh air into our home and they present an ideal opportunity to express ourselves artistically by decorating their pots. Even children can be given watercolours and allowed to paint a flower pot and we can show off our organizational skill by choosing the right plant species and choosing where to position them. A bit of fern in the bathroom: some purple petunia on the balcony or a green wall inside the living room; the choice is yours.
Covering the floors
Playing with colours and shades is not only restricted to plant life inside your home. Seemingly unimportant features like rugs and mats can make a huge impact on the décor of any given room and they are the ideal canvas for expressing your personality. Starting from the doormat, you don’t have to buy stock mats, as nowadays there are custom indoor mats that you can design and order online. These customized mats are further divided according to the specific needs according to the room they are placed in. For instance, the mats intended for the kitchen and the bathroom are slip-resistant because they are likely to come into contact with liquids, such as water. There are even anti-fatigue mats that can be placed in rooms that lack a proper seating area, like the hallways.
Don’t replace but improve hardware
Presuming that the furniture inside the house belongs to the owner of the property, there is little you can do to alter it. Since getting rid of an old cupboard or a vanity unit is out of the question, you can accentuate the features on it and restore its former glory. Just think about it, every single piece of furniture and hardware inside the apartment or the house probably looked stunning when it arrived from the shop and you can bring back this look. Take care of places where the top layer of paint peeled off and polish all the handles and knobs to make the cabinets glitter once more.
Improve the storage units
One of the first requests tenants make to landlords is to increase the capacity of the storage unit. However, some apartments are just too small for a new wardrobe to be installed, so you are forced to work with what you have. A neat solution is to go upwards and place plastic or woven boxes on top of the existing closets all the way to the ceiling. This method can especially be effective in the kitchen, where the top of the cabinets is usually good for nothing more than collecting dust. Since you are the one who is adding this extra storage space, the design part is all up to you so you can choose the material and the colour of the extra storage unit to your liking without consulting the landlord.
One of the rooms that the owner of the real estate is least likely to renovate is the bathroom. This is because a complete bathroom makeover costs a lot of money and in general, any new fixture will be a great cost to them. You will literally have to use force to persuade them to install something as trivial as a towel warmer. Opening to any home improvement in the bathroom can be pricey, but there are certain steps you can take to make it more homely. First of all, you could change the shower curtain because they are affordable and come in different colours and patterns. As with handles on cupboards, you can polish all the metallic segments inside the bathroom to accentuate them. In general, changing the appearance of the bathroom is all about the details, such as the colour of the toilet paper, the shape of the liquid soap dispenser, the border of the mirror and similar stuff.
A spitting image
New wallpapers are not the only thing you can use to spruce up the wall. The ultimate personal detail are family photos that can be framed the way you like it. You can choose a rectangular or an oval frame and the colours can be wacky. Furthermore, you can take some old black and white photos to put forward the notion of tradition and the fact that although you don’t own a real estate of your own, you are not without roots. A person visiting your house will hardly ever guess that you are merely renting it because the picture will create the mental image of a real home.
In the end, it is all about careful management of details if you wish to personalize your rental home. You might not be allowed to make any major changes to the structure but think of it in a positive manner, that means investing less money in the housing unit than you would if you owned the place.
Emma Williams is an Australian writer with a master‘s degree in business administration, who has a passion for anything lifestyle and design related. She spends most of her time redecorating and participating in house projects. As a great nature lover, her biggest pleasure is spending time in a small cottage by the river.