Many tenants are cautious of decorating because they see their own comfort as less important than ensuring their entire bond is returned with a happy landlord at the end of their rental tenancy.
But, just because you’re renting, it doesn’t mean you can’t decorate to suit your style and taste. With a little due diligence in checking your rental agreement, you can get the best of both worlds — we think it’s essential, for your own happiness, to add personal touches and create a space that relaxes, comforts and inspires you every time you come home.
Here are our top tips to quickly and easily make your home into a space you’re proud of without upsetting your property manager.
- Spice up your light: swap shades and add table lamps.
Nothing gives the impression of a despondent home like bad lighting. Luckily, there are fast and cheap ways to make a big difference. Most landlords will restrict you from making fixture changes, but that’s okay. Choose a fun or thematic lightshade for your main light and build your collection of table lamps – brightening up dark corners and having multiple lighting options for different moods (especially in the living room) will make your rental feel way more homey. And make sure you’re using energy saving lightbulbs to save on bills.
- Add rugs for a quick underfoot improvement.
Not a fan of that brown carpet in your living room or outdated linoleum in the bathroom? There’s a quick and oft-neglected fix — get some rugs. Choose colours that make you smile and textures that feel great. There are plenty of cheap options available which you can use for the length of your tenancy, and they double as great carpet protection if you’re partial to red wine. If you splash out on something more expensive, choose neutral colours: you can style them into your next home, too.
- Make temporary changes to the kitchen cabinetry
The kitchen is the one room that many tenants feel is off-limits when it comes to personalisation. Sure, you don’t want to do anything major, but how about wheeling in a kitchen “island” for that extra countertop space? And, if the cabinetry is old, rest rustic chopping boards on top and replace the handles with your own jazzy alternatives (just tuck the originals away safely to put back when you leave).
- Add plants for an all-important injection of life
The best-presented properties all have one thing in common – plants take centre stage in the interior styling. Invoking a feeling of freshness and invigoration like nothing else, you’ll love looking after them and feel happier for it too.
- Improve window coverage
Old curtains or boring blinds? Most landlords won’t mind if you stash theirs away in the laundry cupboard and replace with your own. You can get cool curtains and roll blinds at a cheap price — just the fact that they’re new and fresh usually improves the look tenfold.
- Add extra pieces that you love!
Cushions, linen, artwork, mirrors, ornaments — find colours, patterns and textures that you can’t get enough of and add them into the mix to create a space that’s truly personalised. The added bonus? You can take these with you and style them into your next home.
The wonderful thing about renting is that you can make small, temporary changes to your décor without contemplating larger alterations or having to spend lots of money. Plus, we usually find that landlords see tenants’ additions and amendments as signs that they value and appreciate the property, and that you’re taking great care of the space. So go for it!