I’ve grown up in renovated houses pretty much my whole life. It’s what happens when your mum is an interior designer but it also means being faced with a rented space you’re not allowed to start from scratch with can be frustrating to say the least.
I’ve only lived in my current flat for a little over 4 months but in that time myself and my flatmate have been able to turn it into a place we’re both happy to call home, despite its quirks. If you’re looking to do the same, here’s my advice.
Accept the imperfections
I’m a perfectionist. It’s also no secret that I’m more obsessed than most with all things monochrome. Those were both things I had to loosen the reigns on when I started renting.
Accepting it was never going to look exactly like the Pinterest boards I’ve been working on for years wasn’t the easiest thing to do but it’s had the biggest impact. The fireplace is green, the floorboards are more orange than I’d like and I personally wouldn’t have gone for blue and pink kitchen tiles. They’re all things I can’t change though so I started focusing on what I could put my stamp on when it came to making home.
Accessories, accessorise, accessorise
For me, the decorations have made all the difference. Prints, plants and soft furnishings are all things I love shopping for. Now that I’ve got a fair few of them in place at the flat, it feels much more like mine. That’s the beauty of them – they can be so personal to you. It was costly buying these things at first but I know I’ll use them for years to come. Sostrene Grene, H&M Home and IKEA are my go-to shops for affordable accessories.
Find your fragrance
Fragrance is another thing that’s helped make our rented flat feel like home. I’m a big Neom fan and making sure I’m stocked up on my favourite candles and diffusers has definitely brought a sense of familiarity to the place that it didn’t have before.
Speak to your landlord
Blue Tac marks might have meant giving up your deposit as a student but some landlords are far less harsh. We’re lucky with ours that they were happy for us to hang things up and redecorate in neutral colours. Both of these things have helped us make home and we wouldn’t have been able to do them unless we’d asked.
Adjusting to new surroundings takes time. Even once you’ve done all the above, chances are you’re still likely to need some time to get used to your new home. That’s normal. A few months in, I definitely feel more settled than ever before.
Do you live in rented accommodation? How do you make it feel more like home?