Over the past few years of consistently renting homes, I have gotten pretty good at adjusting my decor from place to place to make each new space work for me, and utilizing the space I am given (or compromising on the space I was NOT). Even for those who own their homes, making them feel comfortable and customized can be a challenge. The tips I've learned can help give warmth and life to any living situation, and will one day help me when I am finally ready to purchase a home of my own. So after all this practice, I'd like to share with you a few of the tips I've picked up to feeling at home in borrowed space.
Introduce Personal Elements:
Find Out Painting Limitations:Each lease agreement is different. You'll want to check with your landlord to find out what the policy is with painting. Then decide on what approach you are going to take based on their answer. Some landlords are completely okay with changes (I got lucky there), and you can paint to your heart's content. At about $20 a can, it is the easiest and most effective way to change the whole feel of a room.
|A simple coat of paint can drastically alter the look and feel of a room.|
If you want a more allover effect, gallery walls are great for filling up spaces, or if you are feeling ambitious, you could try something like this genius paint swatch wall (although I probably wouldn't recommend getting all of your swatches from the same store-I somehow don't think they'd appreciate that).
Bring the Outside In:
Bringing natural elements into the home automatically make it feel more alive. You can even look for inspiration in your own back yard. Flowers and plants instantly bring life into a room and brighten up any space. Plus studies show that people who keep plants are more psychologically healthy, positive, and productive. Score!
Give Yourself a Warm Welcome:
They say first impressions are everything. The same goes for your home. The first things you see when approaching or entering your home should be inviting. Whether it be a front porch, an entry way, or even just a welcome mat in front of your apartment door, invite yourself in! Wreaths are a simple and stylish (okay... most of the time) way to warm up a front door, and work well with limited space. Follow us to see our upcoming post on how to dress up wreaths to fit every season, and fun DIY wreath ideas.
Change The Little Things:
While you may not be able to do much about the more permanent fixtures in your home, there are a lot of small things that can be changed to personalize your home, that can be changed right back with minimal efforts. Light switch and outlet covers can be changed in seconds with a screwdriver. Knobs and handles on cabinets and drawers are also incredibly easy to change and come in a wide variety of colors and styles. It's amazing what small changes such as these can do to the overall appearance, and again, can be changed back in no time at all.
|Using the windowsill for storage is ALMOST enough to distract you from the hideousness of the window.|
Though it might not always be ideal, work with the space you have to make it work for you. Windowsills, counter tops, plant shelves, tops of cabinets; give these spaces purpose by using them to help enhance your decor.
Throw pillows and blankets are a great way to help you feel relaxed, and give the home an air of warmth and comfort. You can also bring comfort in your home with lighting. While lease agreements can limit the changing of light fixtures (although it's usually allowed if they can easily be changed back), it is important to be mindful of the light (both natural and artificial) in each room, and make adjustments accordingly. If you can, curtains are a wonderful way to both add style, and block out unwanted light, or when drawn, invite in natural light. If you can't hang fixtures such as curtains or blinds, make sure the lighting in each room is suitable by adding lamps. Temperature, color, and scents also have an effect on comfort levels, so be mindful of each of those on a day to day basis.
Most importantly, be sure that whatever it is you decide to do to your home, it is an inviting atmosphere for you. After all, it's where YOU live. What makes you feel most at home? Have you made any adjustments to your home to make it where you want to live? We'd love to hear tips or feedback from you!