Like most of us millennials, I rent. It sucks as my parents and seemingly everyone’s parents had a mortgage by the time they were 22 whereas I don’t know if or when I’ll ever bloody have one! The thing I hate most about renting (besides practically throwing away hundreds of pounds every month) is the fact that you can’t do too much with the interior. I’d like to think I’m quite a seasoned renter, as I’ve been doing it since 2009 so I have almost 8 years in the game! Along the way I’ve picked up a few tricks to help make a rented house, a home.
1 – Liven up the walls without paint. More often than not, landlords would prefer you not to paint the walls. It sucks, but there are definitely ways to liven them up without using paint. If you have kids, a few quick and cheap ways to make their bedrooms a little more personalised is to use things such as good quality posters of their favourite characters, bunting and wall art. My daughter has some floral bunting above her window, My Little Pony and Frozen posters on one wall and by her bed has a gorgeous glittery wall sticker. My son isn’t as bothered, but he still has Paw Patrol and Thomas posters up. For the lounge/hallway I find that quirky, unique frames filled with pictures of your nearest and dearest really gives a homely feel. I also like to pick up cheap wall art, Next has a great range of affordable art.
2 – For the floors, which are usually cream carpets or laminate in my experience, a rug will really make a big difference. They help set the tone for the room and can really tie all the furniture together. I’m actually on the hunt for a rug myself, as we recently moved and had to throw our old one out. It was a beautiful black shaggy rug and it just made the room seem so much more cosy. Again for kids bedrooms, they’re so inexpensive and can make such a big difference.
3 – Lighting is one of those things that’s so easily forgotten but it really does make an enormous difference. Buy light shades for the big lights (is that a northern term?), it’s easy not to notice them, but when they’re not up you can really tell! At least I can anyway. I’m also a huge fan of lamps. If you don’t have many surfaces to leave a lamp, then a floor lamp is your best friend. IKEA have a huge range of floor lamps and so many of them are affordable. Candles too, my boyfriend constantly takes the piss out of me and says our lounge looks like a shrine to someone as I have candles lit all over, but I just don’t feel cosy on a night unless I have at least one candle lit. You can buy such pretty candle holders too (like these, that I definitely need to go out and buy) that’ll really make your lounge feel like your own.
4 – Now this bit will make me sound like a complete nan, but ornaments are your best friend. You don’t necessarily have to buy those dolphin or little girl ornaments that everyone’s nan seems to have. Shop around for little plant pots with succulents in, small dishes or figurines that maybe reflect your family. I absolutely love Buddha statues, I have one sitting in the window on my stairs, I just think they look so cool, even though I’m basic af.
5 – One of the cheapest and easiest ways to achieve a homely feel is fresh flowers and plants. You can get a gorgeous bouquet for £5-£10 while you’re doing the weekly shop, pop them in a stylish vase and you’re good to go!
There’s probably hundreds of ways to make a rented home your own, but these are my personal favourites. So my fellow renters, what do you do to make your home feel homely? Any suggestions to throw my way? I’d love to hear them!