Whether you are a student living in a dorm, a couple renting your first big city apartment, or a family settling into another new condo, the place you live will be your home. Even if you are renting and do not own your own place, home should still feel like home- which means, it should feel cozy, safe, and comfortable. It should be a place you come back to at the end of the day and know that you can relax. A place that reflects your tastes, hobbies, and personality.
A home is not just a shelter to inhabit, but is a way to tell your story and be wrapped in the things that bring you pleasure and contentment every day. The trouble is, if you are renting, there are often strict requirements and regulations on just how much you can adjust the interiors of your rental. So how can you make your rental feel like home without jeopardizing your landlord to tenant relationship, or putting your security deposit at risk?
Let’s take a look at three adaptable, creative, and adjustable ways to make your rental feel like your home.
1. Flex Your Green Thumb
House plants are the perfect way to liven up any interior space. Not only do they add liveliness and bright splashes of color to your apartment, they can also help to purify the air, cleansing your home atmosphere of any harmful toxins. For some people, gardening is an enjoyable hobby, a nice way to connect and foster the growth of another living thing.
For those of us blessed with a green thumb, you may want to try creating an indoor herb garden that can lend itself to sophisticated international cuisine culinary creations in the kitchen. Plant parsley, cilantro, spring onions, thyme, rosemary, mint, and any other herbs you like. You can set up your planter box by a window that lets in ample light indoors, or utilize a balcony, terrace, or patio. Bringing plants into your rental is a great way to customize and care for the space.
For those of us who may be intimidated by the notion of caring for plants, there are plenty of easy houseplants that are notorious for being hard to kill. Succulents, cheese plants, cacti, aloe vera, and spider plants are just a few types of houseplants that can resist even those of us without a shred of gardening capabilities. They need minimal water and care, so even if you forget to take an active role in watering them, these hardy houseplants can persevere and continue to enliven your apartment or condo.
2. Create a Home Cinema
Nothing says cozy like a home movie night. You can curl up on the sofa in your pajamas with friends, family, or your romantic partner, heat up some popcorn, scoop out some ice cream sundaes and press play. To enhance the experience, set up a temporary home cinema. The great thing about setting up a home cinema is that you don’t need to make any permanent adjustments to the furniture, or repaint the walls, making it a feasible option for customizing any rental, even one with the strictest of requirements.
One option for your home cinema is to hang a white sheet or fabric where you want to watch- but do make sure it doesn’t have any patterns, as this will be your screen. Any patterns on the screen will show through in the movie screening. Then buy or rent a projector, set up a bluetooth-enabled surround sound speaker system, and choose your movie. Make sure your rental has a fast internet connection- whether you decide you want to download movies or stream live television events, a speedy Wi-fi connection will ensure that your screening isn’t interrupted by glitches, blips, and interruptions.
Or, if you want a more immediate home cinema that doesn’t require you to set up and take down your situation each time you want to watch something, you can shop around for a large screen TV with high definition resolution. Hook that TV up to your surround sound and you will be immersed in whatever world you choose to watch.
3. Customize Your Furniture
Whether you frequently move from rental to rental, or whether you have been living in the same rental for many years, one feature that always makes a rental feel like home is the furniture. If you can, invest in chairs, tables, and sofas that will perfectly suit your taste. You can also include sentimental pieces; family heirlooms that have been passed down for generations, or vintage furniture pieces that you discovered with your spouse long ago.
Another great way to make your rental feel like home is to truly customize your furniture by painting it. Shop for some old but well made furniture pieces at thrift stores and garage sales- end tables, bureaus, mirrors, and chairs make good canvases. Then choose what kind of style you are interested in re-creating, acquire some paints that will stick on wood, metal, plastic, or glass, and sketch out your designs. Look online for decoration inspirations, from abstract patterns inspired by international travels to depictions of your favorite book and movie characters- an especially good idea for kids.
Painting furniture with custom patterns and colors will not only provide you with a strong sense of accomplishment, but will give your rental that extra special touch, so every time you arrive at home you really feel it is yours.
Whatever your style preference is, or however long you are planning to live in your current rental, there are plenty of creative ways to make that space feel like your own. The more careful thought and out of the box planning you put into designing your space, the more rewards you will reap. Your home, whether rented or owned, is a place you inhabit every single day. Put in the extra effort and take the time to make it feel like yours.