6 Ideas to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

6 Ideas to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

When buying is out of reach and staying with the folks is an even crazier notion, renting is the closest you can get to your fantasy home.  The tricky thing is, that your dream home has a Balinese spa for a bathroom and a dining and kitchen layout that looks like your favorite tapas bar in Spain.

You probably can’t, and don’t want to go about hacking down walls and changing the Feng Shui of your rented property, but that doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to an Ikea replica.

Wondering what you can do?

Here are some ideas that would make your rented pad feel almost like your fantasy home.

1. Lighting- the Make or Break Element

Best lighting for your apartment.

If you’re still in the midst of looking for a suitable apartment, make sure that you have lighting as one of the major points on your checklist. Natural light lifts the mood of the space, and ideally you’d want at least your living room to have good natural lighting.

As for lighting features, this is where it hardly makes a difference whether you’re a renting or not, for it isn’t hard to be creative without spending a fortune.  The easiest and most budget-friendly thing you can do is to invest in quality lamp shades, or statement pendant lighting that add a great dose of personality to your apartment.

Floor lamps can be placed to liven up dull corners and if you have a balcony, there are always garden lighting or fairy-lights that add a whole lot of charm to your home. Lights can make your apartment look like a Wong Kar Wai film set or police interrogation room.

Buy feature lamp shades for the ceiling lights. This will instantly create a lift to your rooms and the best part is that they can be rather inexpensive and you can take them when you leave.  Also, get some standing and table lamps for the cozy corners to add a warm glow to your home.

2. Walls- More than Just Paint

Wallpaper for Condo

Some renters leave the walls in whatever colour they come in, no matter how drab or lifeless they are.  The thought of painting may scare you, but there are enough online tutorials and Youtube videos that make the DIY task a lot easier and besides, it makes for a very good creative weekend.

If you really can’t stand the idea of doing it yourself, engage a professional or consider more contemporary alternatives. Self-adhesive wallpapers are perfect for those who can’t stand the mess of pain, but who are quite confident in their pasting skills.  They don’t come cheap, but it’s worth jazzing up a wall or two.

Etsy, for example;

Has really artsy self-adhesive wallpapers that can completely transform your living room into a brick cottage home or a beach house.  Besides being a lot easier than paint, designs on wallpapers are quite frankly, almost impossible to paint for the regular novice.

In addition to that, don’t hesitate to personalize your bare walls with wall decals, photography of your favorite travel moments, or even hang up a chalk board to draw your latest inspiring idea.

3. Mirror Mirror On the Wall

Mirror on Rented Apartment

Space is elusive, and so is money.  If you can’t bear the thought of paying more for a bigger space, then creating an illusion of space is the next best thing you can do.  Invest in an ornate, vintage mirror that you can take with you whenever and wherever you move.

Large, standing mirrors add a big touch of glamour to your living room or bedroom. Having a large mirror on the wall also helps to reflect light, which also makes a dark room seem lighter.

If the idea of drilling large holes in the wall doesn’t appeal to you or your landlord, there are adhesive mirrors that can do a decent job of reflecting, but don’t count on them for a very accurate reflection of images.

If you believe in Feng Shui, mirror placement is something that you’d need to inform yourself about.

4. Jazz Up the Built-Ins

Jazz up the built-ins

So your dream kitchen is a modern stainless steel piece of industrial art and what you’re seeing is worn-out, yellowish cabinets that have seen better days (or decades).

What should you do?

Very simple, get adhesive stickers that are specially made for furniture, or even tile stickers that can hide ugly, dated tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.  They are inexpensive and a breeze to remove when it’s time to leave.

5. Beautify the Floor

Carpet/ Floor mat

The floor of a rental apartment is something we can hardly change. Unfortunately, that means living with whatever there is and making the most of it.

Get a large, beautiful carpet or rug that takes attention to it and away from the less-than-perfect floor. You can take your carpets and rugs with you to wherever you move, and can instantly add some character to any place.

6. Showerheads


Yes, showerheads are the best pieces of luxe you can add to your rental, and you can take them with you.  Rain-showers, large round showerheads, 5-spray showers, or whatever floats your boat.  These things last most of the time, and designer ones not only give you a really good shower experience, but also look great.

However, before you do anything. Make sure to ask your property-owner. They would say no but some landlords would be very glad to receive a free renovation that could increase the value of the property.

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