How to make a rental house a home: Five top tips

When renting a home it can sometimes seem difficult to make it your own. Here OnTheMarket.com suggests five ways you can personalise your rental property.

Sky-high asking prices are making it harder than ever to get a foothold on the property ladder. According to the government’s latest Housing White Paper, home ownership rates for younger adults have been falling sharply. Richard Snook, Senior Economist at PwC, said: “We estimate that by 2025, 59 per cent of 20-39 year olds will be renting privately, up from 45% in 2013. Only 26% of those in ‘Generation Rent’ will own their own home by 2025, down from 38% in 2013.”

It’s also no surprise that when it comes to renting, one of the most frustrating elements can be feeling a lack of control over the decoration of the property. So, how can you make your rented house feel like a home without upsetting the landlord and losing your deposit, or spending money you won’t see again?

Here OnTheMarket.com member agent Michael Graham suggests five ways you can make your rental property feel more like a home:

Fill your home with things you love
Surround yourself with adored objects that tell a story. These could be treasures brought back from trips or gifts with sentimental value from family and friends or even bargains picked up in a charity shop. Find a surface such as a desk or window sill to display them and your life and loves will instantly transform an emotionless space into a home filled with memories.

Art and mirrors
The hardest thing about living in a rental property is that the decoration may be a million miles away from any mood board you might have contemplated. Even uniformly white walls, although not blatantly offensive, can feel cold and impersonal. Luckily this problem is easily fixed without even reaching for a paintbrush. A large canvas or oversized mirror propped against the wall makes for a showstopping focal point and adds immediate depth and drama to a room. Paintings or framed photographs also instantly make the space your own. Check with the landlord first and if picture hooks are forbidden, picture hanging strips are invaluable as they fix anything (within reason) to the wall and come away again neatly and easily – keeping walls and your deposit intact!

Have fun with rich colours and texture
If the flooring or furniture fill you with horror, don’t panic. Big statement rugs are the answer for floors you’d rather keep under wraps. Choose a variety of different sizes, colours and designs for an on-trend bohemian feel. Unsightly sofas and chairs can also be camouflaged with cosy throws, a sheepskin or inexpensive loose covers. Brightly coloured cushions, curtains, bedding and towels will also instantly make the rooms feel like they belong to you. If you have a favourite colour, make it a theme for the room, accessorizing with pretty glass bottles, vases and candles. Don’t go too mad though, less is often more!

Freestanding furniture is your friend
Rented homes often lack storage, which can leave the door open for dreaded clutter. Attacking the problem with a hammer and nails to create shelving isn’t always an option, so why not invest in a couple of freestanding storage units which you can take away with you when you move on? Bookcases are a winner for offering a perfect combination of storage and decoration, providing space for ornaments and accessories to add colour and personality to the room.

Bring the outside in
House plants are a low-cost way to make your home feel warm and loved. If green fingers aren’t your forte, don’t worry, fake it with high quality artificial flowers and plants. Or buy cacti which are virtually indestructible and stylish.

Ultimately, it’s the people and the things inside that make a house a home. Try not to be too disheartened about not being able to change the fixtures and fittings. Focus on what you can change and with a bit of love and attention your rented house will soon be ‘home sweet home’.

Content provided by OnTheMarket.com is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products.

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