The dream of home ownership is one that is swiftly becoming unattainable for many Australians, leaving them with no option but to rent. Although technically your place of residence, renting can sometimes mean living in a space that never really feels like home, especially if you’re struggling with an incredibly outdated space that’s in desperate need of a makeover. Here’s a few tips to get you started on making your rental feel like home, without risking your bond.
Work with what you’ve got
Once you get into your new place, take stock of the visual situation. What colour are the walls? What kind of flooring do you have? Is there plenty of natural light? Once you know what you’ve got, spend some time researching interior trends and see which one your current property most lends itself to. If you’re lucky enough to end up with white walls and timber floors, the world is your oyster. If you’ve been left with a sea of cream, beige and brown, a monochromatic modern style might suit your space. Or, you can brighten it up with complementary shades such as dusty pink. Working with a retro palette? Go with the flow and employ a bohemian vibe.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Don’t be afraid to put questions to your landlord, the worst they can say is no. Ask about installing a couple of shelves, using adhesive wall hooks or even painting a wall here or there. You can negotiate by agreeing to return it to the original colour at the end of your tenancy, or find a colour palette you and the property owner can agree on.
Maximise every space available to you
Just because you can’t have hooks in the walls doesn’t mean you can’t have mirrors or art works around your space. Large floor mirrors that can be propped against walls or stand freely are a great option for creating the illusion of space. Utilise existing shelves, mantelpieces or picture railings to lean or hang mirrors and art from.
Make it personal
If you have a couple of big bookshelves with enough space to style up little scenes with your trinkets and treasures, now it the best time to do it. It’ll put things you love on display, speak to your personality and make the space feel lived-in.
Rethink the flooring
If you’re unfortunate enough to end up with threadbare carpet straight from the eighties, an entirely tiled floor or draughty floorboards, pick up some large rugs to disguise the eye-sore or reduce the coldness of the space, visually and physically.
Experiment with lighting
Most rentals have the most basic, lacklustre downlights possible. Create some ambience with good-looking lighting like statement floor lamps, desk lamps, candles and other ambient lighting options.
Use your greenthumb
Just because you don’t own the place doesn’t mean you can’t have a garden. Pick up some hardy indoor plants or start your own portable garden bed on your balcony. If space is lacking, try window sill-sized gardens for herbs.
Dress those windows
Dreadful curtains are one of the easiest things to replace, yet they seem to remain attached through endless tenancies. If you end up with some drab window-wear head over to Ikea, Spotlight or Lincraft and pick yourself up some simple, neutral coloured curtains in a shade that will elevate the space.