Renting presents itself as a practical option for those who wish to avoid the associated costs of owning a home or prefer not to commit to living in one location for the long term.
Though this lifestyle flexibility is an appealing characteristic of being a tenant, renting doesn’t offer the freedoms of home ownership since renovating a rental property is usually not an option.
A common frustration for those who aspire to create a space that reflects their inherent individuality, you may feel restricted by obligatory empty walls, outdated carpet or ineffective lighting.
Rather than feeling subdued by these limitations, gain inspiration from our range of inexpensive and landlord-friendly rental hacks to help you decorate a rental and achieve the sanctuary that you crave.
1. FEATURE RUGS
Rugs or floor-mats are undoubtedly one of the most effective and aesthetic rental hacks. As such large-scale items, they have a tremendous influence on how a room looks and feels. Not to mention, the bonus of the ease with which they can accompany you to your next abode.
Smaller spaces confined by walls and doorways usually benefit from a single large rug. To capture all your key living room furniture within its perimeters — lounge, accent chairs and coffee table — leave at least 20cm between the edge of the rug and the furniture legs. This will open the room while providing a perfect frame for the space.
For larger living rooms or those where a smaller rug will suffice, you can simply place the front legs of each piece on the rug, while letting the back legs hang freely.
Select a rug with ornate patterns or bold colours to feature as a focal point, or opt for neutral tones with interesting textures to create a quiet hero piece that will still mask any unappealing floor covering beneath it.
Create even more unique interest with layering – place a large, natural jute rug beneath a smaller one weaved with wool for a truly tactile experience.
2. MOOD LIGHTING
Lighting plays a critical role in determining the ambience and tone of space and is also one of the most straightforward apartment hacks for renters. Modifying the brightness and temperature of your bulbs can radically change the character of a room, and is as easy as visiting your local hardware store or supermarket to purchase your replacements. LED bulbs are energy-efficient and versatile options, available in a range of tones from cool to warm.
When deciding on what kind of lighting you desire, consider each room’s function. Explore whether you need ambient, task or accent lighting – all of which present very distinct solutions. This will assist in the appropriate placement of a floor lamp or desk lamp to best suit the purpose.
If you’d like to take complete control of your lighting and have the budget to match, you could even replace the bulbs in your home with smart LED light bulbs, indulging in all its exciting features right from your phone. Flicking through an exciting array of colours is one of the entertaining modern apartment hacks, especially when hosting guests!
3. CAPTIVATING MIRRORS
Creatively styling mirrors within your space can eventuate as one of the most practical yet enhancing ways to decorate a rental. Aside from providing the opportunity to scan yourself before setting out on your day, they can also create the illusion of a more expansive space. Mirrors are capable of reflecting light throughout the room and harnessing the glow of your artificial light fittings and the warm, energising daylight. This is especially the case when utilising a sizeable floor mirror that will conceal an otherwise uninspiring and light-absorbing blank wall.
The design of the mirror itself can also serve as a decorative feature, with arch mirrors currently being embraced as an incredibly appealing feature that will add a rhythmic sophistication to any room. As far as rental hacks go, this is one of the most instant.
4. INVENTIVE STORAGE
From the ever-appealing Marie Kondo method to the tiny-house trends, we completely agree with the notion of making the most of your space by keeping it effectively organised. Not only does a well-considered storage solution allow you to locate something when you most need it, but it can also act as an attractive and adaptable home for your possessions.
Tubs, racks and free-standing shelves are all options that will satisfy your needs as a renter while keeping your landlord calm and content.
Think outside the box – vintage trunks are an appealing vessel for those who are attracted to the nostalgic ambience of classic decor, while wooden crates can be a welcome addition for tenants aiming for a charming farmhouse theme. Rattan baskets are currently a crowd-favourite, complementing the effortless and inviting appeal of a coastal or bohemian home.
Consider every unsuspecting angle and nook of a room; don’t feel discouraged by an awkwardly shaped area, sloping ceiling or unusual structural feature – embrace the avant-garde elements, quirky corners and unused alcoves. There are no limits when it comes to where you can implement storage pieces that will aesthetically uplift your home when a rental renovation is not possible.
5. EMBRACE NATURE
There is nothing that revitalises a space quite like an indoor plant, which forms the foundation on which biophilic design has become so highly regarded. This concept involves the infusion of the natural world into your everyday environment, which significantly enhances your visual and mental states.
Whether it’s a simple succulent, a dramatic fiddle-leaf fig or a baby cactus, greenery is guaranteed to invite life and energy into any room. Aloe vera is another favourable choice, being one of the best plants for bathrooms.
Place your plants into decorative pots, jars or containers to enhance a dull or reserved rental property. Experiment with textures, heights, and colours to recognise the full potential of a nature-filled home.
To make the most of your living situation and to avoid any ambiguities, we suggest reviewing your rental agreement to ascertain any relevant requirements or expectations. Enquire about anything that requires further clarification before beginning any modifications. You can then take pleasure in the warmth and comfort that your personal touch welcomes into your home.