Katy Beskow looks at ways that you can personalise a rental space and turn it into your home.
Space-saving storage solutions are not only useful to maximise small spaces, but in lieu of fitted wardrobes and units they are a cost-effective way to organise belongings. There are many space-saving hacks online and in magazines, where you can be creative with wall space, doors and removable radiator covers.
When buying a new bed, consider one with storage drawers, and make the most of your drawer space with cheap organisational boxes. Storage solutions will help you to organise your items and reduce clutter, helping you create a calm, relaxed environment.
Although you might be unable to change your bathroom tiles, or install the freestanding bath of your dreams, refreshing your bathroom will make it sparkle and shine. Replacing the toilet seat with a more luxurious version is a simple way to make it feel like yours.
Choose a new shower curtain with co-ordinating towels, and experiment with modern prints or simple plains to suit your personality. A luxury scented candle will allow you to relax and immerse yourself in your new bathroom, without breaking the bank.
Swap the layout
If the layout of the property doesn’t quite work for you, move furniture around and utilise the space to meet your needs. If you spend more time in the kitchen as a family, consider moving your sofa and coffee table into this area (space allowing). This will also free up your lounge if you wanted to swap your bedroom location, or create a beautiful dining room, or playroom for the kids.
If you’re happy with the function and purpose of each room, rearrange your furniture to personalise the space in a format that is easy for you to live in.
Check it out
Talk to your landlord or letting agent about what you are able to change, and get it in writing to avoid any confusion or conflict later on. Some landlords allow a change of wall paint within a certain colour palette, while some may request no permanent changes be made.
It’s good to have a clear understanding before you risk spending savings and/or risking your deposit. Choose vegan brands of paint, there’s plenty of resources available online.
Bringing in a selection of house plants will not only help to cleanse the air you breathe, but will decorate your home with textures, colour and unexpected touches of nature. Think about adding small plants to window ledges or fireplaces, hanging plants over shelves, and placing large leaf plants next to the sofa for an urban jungle vibe.
The plant pot or basket used is as important as the plant itself, so choose colours and designs that will complement your furnishings. What’s more, you can take your plants with you, should you move to another house.
If you’re contractually unable to drill into the walls, it doesn’t mean that your home will be without art. Whether you’re interested in one-off pieces, reproductions of classics, or a colourful movie poster, the most important step is to frame the piece accordingly, with a frame that both suits the art and your home décor.
Once the art is framed, you can get creative by standing it on a shelf, on the fireplace, or even on the floor against a plain wall. Consider how light surrounds the image, so the artwork is not distorted, and ensure that statement pieces are situated suitably for maximum impact. If artwork isn’t your thing, print off your favourite family photographs and display them in frames, or create photo magnets that can adorn your refrigerator and radiators!
So, you can’t change the colour of the walls, but you can add luxury soft furnishings such as cushions and throws to your lounge and bedrooms – and it won’t break the bank. Neutral walls are the perfect backdrop for experimental patterns, textures and colours, which look modern and fresh.
Don’t let the colours stop there, flow it into the kitchen with coloured glasses and cookware, and freshen up your dining table with a co-ordinating runner and chairs. For a minimal, up-to-date look, let the same colour palette of accessories and furnishings run throughout the house, for a look that is oh-so Insta-ready.
Many of us don’t consider the importance of lighting and the homely glow it can bring to a room. By simply switching lightshades, or adding a couple of lamps to the bedside or coffee table, you can alter the ambience and practicality of any room.
Have a couple of luxury scented candles for a relaxing candlelit glow, and don’t forget to add removable seasonal lighting in the form of fairy lights!
Maybe that patterned carpet just isn’t your thing, or you’d prefer something warmer underfoot than the laminate you’ve been allocated; but switching to a flooring of your choice in a rented property is often not that simple. Large or small rugs can transform a room, and are removable so you can switch them around.
Look out for vegan-friendly, non-wool rugs from homeware shops, and choose colours that are complementary to your room scheme. If you have children, or are prone to tripping or slipping, use gripper tape to secure the rug without damaging the flooring underneath.