How to Make Your Rental Feel Like a Home
By Torrie of I Pretty Much Hate Everything
In this time of economic crisis a lot of people are forced to rent when they would rather own. Here are some tips for making your rental feel more like a home:
1. Don’t be afraid to improve it.
A lot of people have the attitude that they don’t want to spend a dime on their rental because it’s money they will never get back. However, making a few small improvements can make your rental feel more like “yours.” At our current place, we have spent a few dollars replacing the hardware on our kitchen cabinets (took years off of them), planted a garden, put outdoor carpeting on a cement patio in our backyard, so our toddler could play on it without hurting herself (it only cost us $80 at a home improvement store), and replaced a couple of fluorescent light fixtures. Some landlords are also willing to chip in, if not pay for minor home improvements. See what you can negotiate.
2. Work with what you have.
I currently have a bathroom with a blue bathtub and a blue toilet, so I have big fluffy white towels, white bathmats, and a white waffle weave shower curtain hung with stainless steel rings. The white gives a comfortable, clean, spa-like look, and draws attention away from the blue monstrosities.
3. It’s all in the details.
Curtains and rugs can go a long way in making a place seem more homey. So can artwork, framed family pictures, plants, and candles.
4. Add some color.
White walls can give a place a cold, institutional feeling. Most landlords will be OK with you painting as long as you return the walls to white when you leave. If not, you can tack fabric to the walls or ceilings.
5. Come to terms with it.
You may be unhappy that you’re stuck renting instead of living in your dream house, but if you refuse to accept it, the entire time you live there will be wasted. Your rental is part of your life. Don’t be afraid to build memories there.
Torrie, who blogs at I Pretty Much Hate Everything, is 32 and has lived in rentals all her life. She thinks it should be against the law to have anything but a white toilet.
Published December 15, 2008.
Last updated June 22, 2018.