WorldExecutivesDigest.com | 7 Quick Ways to Update a Rental Home | Living in a rental home often presents a lot of limitations. You can’t make permanent changes such as painting the walls a different color or drilling new shelving and other fixtures.
Quite often, you can’t even fix a broken fence until the landlord gives the green light. Suffice it to say, living in a rental can be a bit frustrating at times for a creative person who wants a personalized space.
Professional home stylists say that even with the typical rules of renting a home, you can still make a rental feel like your real home.
There are ways by which you can work around the restrictions as long as you inform your landlord about your home improvement plans. A lot of landlords nowadays don’t mind a paint job as long as you stick to neutral hues, or using wallpaper as long as you’ll strip it off when your contract ends.
So, don’t let the rules cramp your creativity; there are still some changes that you can incorporate to make your home rental feel completely like your space.
Here are seven ideas for non-permanent decorating you can work with.
1. Refresh your furniture
Direct your attention toward the things that present no problem to change, such as your own furniture.
If you have couches or seats with sagging cushions, have them reupholstered so they not only feel like new but look new, as well. Shop for firm cushioning and high-quality fabric for upholstery — perhaps opt for a new fabric material or design for an entirely different appearance.
You can also take a can of paint, especially if you have a collection of decorative wooden items that clearly have seen better days. Sand them down, cover their dings with spackle, and paint them a fresh color.
2. Cover the floor with rugs
If you can’t change the flooring, cover it with carpet and area rugs. The moment you lay down an area rug, all the scratches, chipped and cracked tiles, or even the unattractive color of the floor will be out of sight.
Not only that, but area rugs and carpets can also give your home a different character and vibe that fits your style sensibilities better. So invest in a few that you can mix, match, layer, and move around the house as you like. And, don’t be afraid to splurge on these because these are items that you can easily move with you when you move to other houses in the future.
3. Create an accent wall
For this one, you need to get clearance from your landlord. If they have no issue with you creating an accent wall, start shopping for popping paint colors or wallpaper patterns.
If you gravitate more toward painting an accent wall, explore decorative finishes because these can make your accent wall look like entirely new material. There are wood finishes, stone finishes, and metallic finishes to choose from.
Aside from changing the paint or applying wallpaper, think about the decor that you can add to the accent wall, as well.
Framed prints or paintings are always a good idea. You can also add various designs of wall hangings such as macrame ones or even air plants. If you don’t want to create holes in the wall to hang anything, opt for those clear stick-on hooks that you can find in Japanese 100-yen stores or hobby shops.
4. Zone your rooms
According to interior designer Sharrah Stevens, creating zones in the different rooms in your rental home is a fantastic way to elevate its overall appearance. It defines the function of the room and also provides the opportunity to introduce new decor that makes sense in the grand scheme of interior design.
The easiest way to create zones is to use area rugs. These are much better than using room dividers such as foldable panels. Area rugs define the purpose of the zones, but they don’t break up space and make it feel cramped the way dividers do. Instead, they create a smooth shift, which is a crucial advantage if your rented home is a small one.
5. Use contact paper for unsightly countertops
A lot of affordable rental homes are guilty of dated and unattractive countertops that are surprisingly durable. You can’t replace them with modern ones in a rental, so the best solution is to cover them with contact paper.
Chelsea Fagan of The Financial Diet says that contact paper truly is a fantastic way to conceal the tacky materials comprising some rental homes. Contact paper is super-affordable, and it comes in a wide variety of designs, so you’re sure to find a print that fits your aesthetic requirements.
Best of all, you can just strip it off once you get tired of the design and want to try something new. Plus, contact paper is not just made for countertops, you can also use it to update cupboards, shelves — literally any surface that needs an upgrade.
6. Invest in better lighting
You’ll be surprised by how changing the lights can do so much in making your home interior brighter and cozier.
Opt for warm white light bulbs if your home doesn’t have a lot of windows. Invest in stylish lighting such as floor lamps, table lamps, twinkling lights, and downlights. You can easily remove these when your contract is up and use them in your new home.
7. Dress those windows
Another way to incorporate color to your space is to use blinds, drapes and curtains in the hues, patterns, and prints that you like.
Curtains and drapes are not that expensive, and you can switch them up as often as you please to suit your style moods. It’s worth noting, too, that the different sizes of window treatments you use can create the illusion of a bigger space or a higher ceiling.
So, there you have them: seven quick ways to make your rental home feel and look like your own true abode. With all these in place, you can start creating memories to make your rental the most comfortable spot in the world for you.
James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.