How to make a rented home your own

They call us ‘Generation Rent’ and although I don’t like the term I can’t help but think its true! I constantly hear stories about friends or friends of friends, who despite saving for a while and having very healthy salaries, are unable to get a mortgage for a flat in London.

So if you’re renting, now or for the foreseeable future, here are five tips on how to make a rented home your own!

Paint it all white

I would suggest you do this whether you’re renting or you own. Painting all the walls white, instantly gives a space a clean and fresh feel. It also allows you to take your time to get to know the space before you decide on any specific colours. A space always changes as you live in it and begin to see how it works for you.

I also love all white walls because it allows you to introduce colour into your home in other less obvious ways. You can play around with bright cushions, art, rugs and any other thing without worrying that you’re going to make a major decorating mistake. If after a while you fancy a change or no longer like it then you can easily change it up.

Speak to your landlord before you move in to see whether they are happy for you to paint all the walls white (they’re crazy if they say no!) or better still ask them to get a decorator in to paint them all white before you move in. A lot of landlords are actually willing to do a little work on their properties between tenants so it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Hang up some art

One of the things that makes a place feel ‘temporary’ is when there is nothing on the walls. No photos of family and friends or any kind of art. You don’t have to be hanging expensive pieces of art but I do think it’s important to surround yourself with things that you like and make you smile.

If you don’t have anything to hang on your wall have a look at two of my previous posts on cheap ways to create art for your home (Easy Art and Lovely Free Printables), or go through all your photos from old holidays and see whether you’ve captured anything worth getting blown up and printed.

REMEMBER to check with your landlord first before you start putting any nails in the walls. Although most are usually quite relaxed, some can be quite funny about that kind of thing. Teri from The Lovely Drawer told me her previous landlord only allowed two items to be hung in each room…crazy!

Get some green in your home

Plants breathe life into any home, quite literally! Although I am not green fingered at all I continue to try and keep a variety of plants alive in our flat. Not only does it feel like you’re investing in a space when you start to incorporate plants into your home but there is also something really satisfying about seeing a plant grow and not die!

Try Ikea, Columbia Road Flower Market or the N1 Garden Centre to pick up some green beauties to bring your home to life.

Don’t be afraid to invest in your own furniture

Although you might be renting it doesn’t mean you can’t begin to get pieces of furniture that are your own. Ask the landlord to take away anything you don’t need or want so you have space for your own pieces and don’t end up living surrounded by stuff you don’t like.

To find some real bargains try looking on ebay for potential projects that you can upscale and make-over. Some of the best pieces in our flat have come from eBay for £20. And again the ‘paint it white’ rule usually works on old furniture too!

Experiment with cushions and throws

If you don’t want to commit to buying furniture then treat yourself to some cushions or throws. Beautiful, bright throws and cushions can transform any old drab sofa of chair so that you forget about the horrible fabric lurking underneath.

Try H&M Home, Zara Home or the Hackney Draper for some beautiful fabrics and cushions to cover up ugly sofas.


So those are my top 5 tips for making a rented home your own. I hope you found it helpful and it’s encouraged you to start creating your own space!


Rebecca X


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