For many of us, the first step on the housing ladder isn’t buying a home or apartment but instead, renting. There are lots of roadblocks in the way of buying your own place, not least of which is coming up with the deposit. But while a rental can often feel nothing more than a temporary stop along the way, there’s no reason why you can’t turn this empty shell into a warm and welcoming home, whether you’re living alone, with friends, with a partner, or with your family. Follow these simple steps to make a rented place feel like home.
1 This Time It’s Personal
2 Know Your Boundaries
Check the terms of your lease and find out if you are allowed to paint or wallpaper the room. You are unlikely to be allowed to tamper with fixed fixtures and fittings in the bathroom and kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own individual stamp on the appearance of these rooms.
3 Moving on a Makeover
Are you splashing the cash on paint or looking to redesign your living space using clever accessories and furnishings? Whatever you choose, set a budget that feels do-able but do allow yourself some leeway, especially if you spot a fabulous item you simply must have.
4 Space, the Final Frontier
De-cluttering is the first step, ridding yourself of things you no longer use or like. Fix a large, full-length mirror to a wall and choose furniture that opens out the space, such as armless chairs or couches. Light colors work best both on walls and in furnishings, while selecting a coffee table that can double up as a storage unit will save you space, and give your room a focal point.
5 Lighting the Way
Electric lighting will also add to the ambience of your room. Don’t use harsh central lighting, but place lamps strategically both to lighten and dress the room. Installing recessed lighting is probably an expense too far in a rental, but if such lighting is already in place, consider replacing ordinary bulbs with colored bulbs to provide a more vibrant, funky hue to your room.
6 Making a Splash
Wallpapers have made a welcome and long overdue return to home décor after years of banishment for crimes against fashion in the Seventies. Today’s wallpapers are sophisticated and daring, with innovative and funky designs to the fore. As with bold colors, the same warnings apply to the more “interesting” wallpaper designs – you’re going to have to live with this for a while so be certain you not only like it but love it.
7 Home Sweet Home
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