Are you a member of generation rent?
Around the world, millions of people are choosing to rent instead of buy, whether because of rising property prices, unstable economies or simply because they want the freedom to see where life takes them. Some 100 million Americans are renters, and cities like New York, Boston and Oakland are crowded with those who don’t own their own homes.
As renters, it can be hard to make your temporary place feel like a forever home, even when it isn’t. But follow these 10 hacks and the task couldn’t be more simple.
1. Nice sheets
Okay, okay. We know. We have a vested interest in recommending you bed linen. But the fact of the matter is that if your bed is pimped out then your bedroom is going to feel ten times more luxurious than if it wasn’t. And when we say pimped out we mean the whole shebang: matching sheets, throw pillows, a decorative blanket, maybe even a runner or two.
You also have to make your bed every time you get out of it. This is non negotiable. Your place is never going to feel elevated if your bed is messy. Besides, if you invest in a set of high quality linen sheets, don’t you want them to look their best?
2. Hang some art
Nothing says rental like bare walls. And though we’re not telling you drill nails into the wall, you should investigate non-property tampering ways to inject some art into your space. If you have runners, then you can hang plastic wires along them upon which you can string paintings. You can also prop paintings up against the wall on the top of cabinets or even on the floor.
Art opens up a space, adding colour and vibrancy and life into your house. If you want to make your rental feel special, this is a quick way to do it.
3. Rugs are your friend
You won’t be able to make any permanent changes to your rental, no matter how much you hate the ugly carpet or how many dings the flooring has. What you can do, though, is buy a rug.
A rug can cover all manner of sins, which means you can hide any unsightly stains or weird-covered carpets. But they’re also a way of adding a non-permanent design element to a room.
4. Plants, glorious plants
Nothing spruces up a rental like some house plants, and the more the merrier. If you’ve got a green thumb, go wild, and even if you don’t there are cactuses and succulents that even the worst gardener will find hard to kill. Plants will fill your rental with life, which is how you can get over the transience of it all and make it feel like home.
5. Soft furnishings galore
You might not be able to wallpaper any surfaces or reupholster the couch, but if you’re desperate to add splashes of colour and print to a room consider some soft furnishings. We’re talking curtains, throw blankets, the aforementioned rugs, towels of all shapes and sizes and even a shower curtain.
Let your creativity shine through as you go about picking the colours, patterns and styles that you want to adorn your rooms. Who cares if you can’t make major changes to your rental. A well-chosen throw blanket can be just as good.
6. Moveable feasts
Size doesn’t matter, especially when it comes to small pieces of furniture and decoration in a rental. We’re talking about lamps, racks, carts and other bits and pieces of storage. They might seem small and insignificant, but each little piece will go a long way in helping your rental feel like a personal space for you.
If you’re renting, the big pieces of furniture often matter far less than the smaller pieces. Focus on light fixtures and chic storage solutions that can be easily moved from rental to rental, upgraded whenever you see fit.
7. Think about a headboard
Remember what we said before about the sheets? Well, the same goes for a headboard. It can be easy to go without one as you go between rentals but just think about how much better a bed looks with one, and how much more cosy your bedroom will feel as a result.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy headboard. In fact, a simple, light one that can be easily moved will do the trick perfectly. Lean it against the wall and call it a day.
8. Screen time
If you’ve got an open plan space on your hand, take a leaf out of the Scandinavian book. The Scandis know that the best way to make a multi-purpose room feel intimate is to subtly divide it up. Think about furniture placement, like how you can use a side table to split up the lounge and dining areas of an open plan living room, or invest in a screen to separate a big area into individual spaces.
9. Burn, baby burn
Have you got a scent that you love? Or is there an essential oil you love to burn, aromatherapy-style? One very easy and simple way to make a rental feel like a warm space all of your own is to fill it with a scent that you love.
Stock up on those candles or that oil and keep burning them whenever you’re in the house. Pretty soon, you’ll associate that scent with your personal space and whenever you smell it, it will make you feel like home.
10. Let there be light
The lighting systems in rentals are often basic and run-of-the-mill, but updating them can be both simple and affordable. New light fixtures will quite literally brighten up a room, as will the addition of floor and table lamps. Also consider candles, tea lights and other ways of bringing light into a space, as they’ll make it all feel even cosier.
Loved this? If you’re interested, these are the top design trends for 2019, according to Pinterest.