Tips for tenants: How to make your house a home

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Living in a rented apartment doesn’t mean you can’t make your living space your own. There are many ways in which you can make your rented property feel more like home, and it all begins with adding a bit of your own individuality and character to the aesthetics of your home.

Switch out a light fixture

Chances are that you’re not the first tenant to live in the property you’re renting. That means that many of the fixtures and decorative aspects of the property was put in place with someone else’s style in mind. So, if objects such as light fixtures clash with your redecorating, it may be time to have a sit down with your landlord and find out if you can add some of your own flair. Something as small as a new light fixture can go a long way to making your home feel brand new. Just be sure to have professionals help you and you may even be increasing the value of the property while you’re at it.

Position furniture strategically

Furniture placement tends to lean towards the functional for most, but this often makes a room look boring and lifeless. By rearranging your furniture more creatively, and even adding a few key pieces of furniture in open spaces, you can add dimensions to your home you never knew existed. This is especially useful for open plan apartments, where the repositioning of furniture can create the sense of an additional room without losing the accessibility of an open plan living space.

Accessorise your walls

The go-to for most decoration endeavours is pictures — this can range from portraits to family photos to pop culture posters. These images not only bring colour and life into a room, but also adds a bit of your own personality to it, making you feel like the space is truly yours. Items such as Funko Pops and statues (remember those meditating Buddhas you always walk past at the nursery?) can add a playful quality to a room if they form part of a greater aesthetic picture.

But what if you’re not an art and photo type of person? That’s no problem. Decorating the walls and open spaces of a room with accessories, such as hats or umbrellas hanging from hooks, will add the same colour as any piece of art. Another aesthetic addition that also comes with health benefits, is the addition of plants inside the home. The natural green of plants such as ferns immediately liven up a room, but the main benefit is the oxygen enriched environment they create.

Create depth

If you feel like your home just feels a little too small, the best way to add depth to a room is by adding large mirrors that reflect windows or doorways. If you have the space, you can create hallways and corridors in a single space with buffets, cabinets, or room dividers. This way you’ll create new spaces that can each be decorated in its own distinct style.

Cover your electrical box

We’re so used to those ugly old electrical boxes standing out like an eyesore in the hallway or placed conspicuously right behind our front doors that we don’t even think about hiding them away. But that’s just what you can do to bring a new touch to your home. The Internet is filled with ideas of how to cover up that old industrial necessity with everything from hanging portraits to functional note boards that can open up like a door.

Cover the floors

More and more often rental homes are ready-made with tiles, no matter the tenant’s preferences. This isn’t only to make a property look modern, though. Tiles are easily cleanable and take the worries of carpet cleaning off of the landlord’s mind. But while tiles may be functional, they can be rather dull (not to mention excessively cold during the winter months). Bring some life into a room with rugs that complement the aesthetic touches you’ve brought to your home. Never underestimate the worth of a good rug.

Renting may be the only affordable option you have at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a home that is all yours.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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