Now I don’t want the subject title to be misleading so I’ll set the record straight now. This post isn’t about how to actually own your rented house as in buy it, it’s about how to put your stamp on it, inject your personality and make it your home whilst you are living in it.
You might not realise this, but we rent the house we live in (see above photos). Don’t get me wrong, I long to buy our own house, but we met when I was 20 so we travelled before we got married and enjoyed shopping and holidays so saving for a house deposit was never really a priority.
In hindsight (which is a wonderful thing) if we had actually knuckeled down and saved up, we’d more than likely be on about our third house by now. It’s frustrating to think about, but we have had such a great life in the 12 years we’ve been together including living in New Zealand so it’s hard to have any regrets.
Anyway, moving on to what this post is actually about… making your rented property your ‘own’.
Here are some obstacles that you may come across…
“I’m not allowed to paint”
Okay, this is normally in the handbook when you move in to a property. It’s normally in there to prevent anyone painting a living room bright orange or doing a really bad, unprofessional paint job. So contact your landlord and ask very nicely if they would mind if you painted the walls white, if they aren’t already. Most rentals are magnolia which is a really yellowy cream colour. It’s not great but the reason they do it is because it’s generic so if you have to do any repairs to the walls you know which colour to get. If the landlord gives you the go ahead, then choose brilliant white as not only will it lift and freshen a room, it’s cheap, and another generic colour making it easier for the next tenants.
“The carpets are horrible”
There are three things I look at when we have viewed properties in the past.
If I’m not happy with these three things, then it’s a no go for me.
However, if you are living in a rental with crappy carpets, whether it be the colour, condition or both, then there is something you can do about it.
You might think you can only add one rug to a room but that’s not true. Vintage Persian rugs are so on trend at the moment and look great in every room. If you really hate your carpet, get some rugs and try layering and overlapping them. They will not only cover the carpet, but create a statement in the room too. Plus you can take them with you if you move! Winner!
Check out Benuta Rugs they have a huge selection at amazing prices.
“We’re not allowed to put up pictures or shelves”
Again, this can be overcome. If you have a word with your landlord and just assure them that any holes will be filled and painted when you exit the property then most landlords won’t have a problem with this. Failing that, you can buy command hanging strips that don’t damage your walls which are great for people that rent.
If it’s a no to putting up shelves, then look for free standing shelving units. They not only add height to a room but they’re practical too.
“I don’t see the point in spending money on a property we don’t own”
A lot of people have this attitude, and I did in the past. It’s half true, because why invest all that time and money in to a house that’s not yours. But the fact of the matter is, it is yours!! It’s your home, so truly make it yours!
Spend money on things that can be taken with you if and when you do move on.
“It’s not my dream home”
We all have an idea of what our dream home looks like. The chances are, if you’re renting, you will not be living in the house of your dreams. However, if you know your own style you will be able to inject that in to the house by using soft furnishings, furniture and accessories that reflect your personality.
If the property is small, look at styling and space saving ideas on Pinterest, there are loads for small spaces, so get creative!
“I hate the kitchen”
The kitchen is a hard thing to change in a rental.
Our kitchen is ‘nice’ but it’s not how I’d do the kitchen if we owned the house.
If you have solid wood cupboard doors and an easy going landlord, then removing the doors and drawer fronts, sanding them down and painting them using an eggshell paint is your best option. Changing the knobs and handles is also a cheap improvement.
Adding plants and herbs in planters look gorgeous on a kitchen window sill as well.
Until next time