I have been meaning to do this post for so long now! I’m sorry to all of those who have requested this post & had to wait. As many of you know when we were in the process of moving from North Carolina to Michigan this past year we sold our home that we owned there & moved into a rental downtown for 6 months. Our rental was an amazing historic home downtown & that didn’t hurt at all. Anyways, the day we moved into our rental I started decorating our rental & making it our home. I wanted to share some tips & tricks with you guys on how to make your rental feel like home in some cheap & non-damaging ways so you can get that deposit back haha. Also, these are all pictures from our rental & it was an emotional rollercoaster looking through them, I do miss this house & all of the lovely memories we had here! Enjoy & I truly hope this helps some of you!
Like we did here in our dining room in our rental, one of the first things we did when we moved in was switch out the rental light for our light that we wanted. It instantly made it look like our home & not a “builder grade” light. It added a nice warm statement that was welcoming to us & our guests. Also adding lamps, and switching out other lights in the home is a great idea too! [see the full room here]
– Add statement furniture.
Furniture is one of those things that you can add to your rental that will be your focal point, doesn’t violate any rental rules, & that you can take with you when you go. This large card catalog was an amazing find of ours that we added to a hallway in our rental. It made the home feel like someone had been living there forever & not just passing through for 6 months. Couches, dressers, buffets, dining room tables, and the list goes on. Add it all & you can take it with you when you move again. [see more of our card catalog in our rental here]
– Liven up the white walls with accessories & plants.
Don’t be intimidated by all of the “builder white” walls. I mean, we all know I’m not scared of neutrals, but bring in the color with your accessories! Plants, pillows, art, rugs, curtains, & so on will help you bring color into your space. Also, all of these small details really add up & make the room feel cozy & styled like you want your home. [see more of this room in our rental [here]]
-Hang things on the walls.
There is this handy thing called 3m strips & if you haven’t used them before, where have you been? Seriously they are like magic. I hung stuff all over our rental with them & they work. Maybe you are allowed to put holes in your walls & that’s cool too, but I was more comfortable using 3M strips. By adding things to the walls it seriously made the house feel like home & a lot warmer than a house with empty walls.
– Add a bar or coffee cart.
By adding a surprise element like a bar or a coffee cart you automatically add that wow factor to the space & bring it to the next level. It’s also one of those things that makes the space feel more inviting to guests & makes you feel more at home. [see more of my coffee cart [here]]
– Have a statement headboard & linens.
For the bedroom we decided to utilize the large windows in the space as our headboard. Bringing in a lovely headboard & bed is a great way to have an amazing focal point in your rental bedroom. Also by adding lots of cozy linens, pillows, & rugs you cozy up the space instantly!
– Art doesn’t have to be hung.
By simply setting art on top of dressers, mantels, entryway tables, sofa tables, & more you get the effect of the art without the holes in the wall or the hassle of hanging it. A simple way to add a huge impact to a space in seconds. [see more of our master bedroom in our rental [here]]
Seriously add them. Add them in every room. I always go for a neutral rug because that’s what I love, but go bold if you love it & add some color, warmth, texture, & life to your spaces. A rug instantly defines your areas in your rental & instantly adds that feeling of home to your spaces. [see this coffee table makeover [here]]
Okay. So I got lucky on this one, our rental had huge amounts of storage. Like our office pictured here that had floor to ceiling bookshelves in all 4 corners. I know. Not all rentals come with this, I really got lucky. But seriously add bookshelves! Add dressers in rooms! Add closet organizers! I mean, utilize every square inch of your place & add as much storage as possible. For example: Right now in our current home we have a dresser by our front door that we keep shoes in, & a basket underneath that we keep shoes in as well because our coat closet by the door is really small. Add storage. It will make you happier. [See our office in our rental [here]]
– Add mirrors.
It’s textbook. Mirrors just make rooms look & feel bigger. & let’s face it not all rentals have large rooms to work with. I love adding mirrors to small spaces & it’s a great way to make a high impact with one simple object. I added these mirrors behind our daybed in what I called the “daybed room” but it was really just a large hallway to the downstairs & the bathroom. It made the space feel bigger & added a unique detail with the vintage painted pieces. You can add mirrors above couches, beds, have them sitting on dressers, in the entryway, & so many more places.
-Utilize the outdoor spaces.
Create an oasis outside your rental for you to enjoy as well. Whether it’s a deck, patio, porch, stoop, or whatever you have, just use what you have to create a space for you to enjoy. It’s a great way to get out of your rental & enjoy the evenings or even to use in the morning while you have your coffee. In our rental as seen above we had a brick patio out back that we added a grass rug to along with some patio furniture & some cozy pieces. It didn’t take long or a lot of money, but we created a place that we loved to hang out & it made us love our rental even more.
– Ask what you can do.
This one is huge! When I blogged that we made over our sunroom & our bathroom in our rental so many people were like “Are your landlords going to be mad?” “I bet you will be in trouble if you get caught!” “How are you able to do this in your rental?” Do you want to know the answer? I simply texted our landlord and asked if I could paint the bathroom & the sunroom & they said YES! Both rooms were not the best & honestly I bet they were thankful that someone was going to help them out a little. It doesn’t hurt to just ask. If you love making you house your home & it makes you happy than a few hours of painting is so worth doing. That sunroom turned from a place I was scared to sit in because of bugs under the carpet to a place that I loved sitting and having my coffee when all we did was rip the carpet up and throw it out & paint the walls & the door. So simple!