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10 Simple Ways to Make a Rental House Feel Like Home

Thursday, October 17, 2013

As a 30-something, owning a home has been on my radar of ‘things to do’ for about a decade now. However, military life prevents us from staying in a city for more than three years making it an extra challenge for the hubs and I to become home owners. It’s certainly possible, but Brandon and I actually prefer the freedom that renting a single family home offers us.

Easy ways to decorate my home

I find many factors in favor of renting; however, for a design nut like me, a major drawback is not being able to truly decorate a rental home. While I can’t tear out tile or carve out space for a bathroom sky light, I have been able to make a rental house feel like home by finding incredible bargains and having a clear vision of how I want to develop the space. Here are 10 simple ideas I use to decorate my rental home so that it doesn’t feel like I’m living in someone else’s house (which of course, I am.)

1.) Name it
What better way to claim your domain than with subtle signs and plaques that include your family’s initials or last name.


2.) Give it some color
Rentals often have white or beige wall paint. Brighten up the boring with colored pottery, vibrant quilts and handmade watercolor paintings.


3.) Hang photos
Displaying family photos is probably the fastest way to personalize your rental home.


4.) Hang curtains
You can dramatically change a space by simply hanging curtains. They keep out harsh light and add interest to an otherwise boring window frame.


5.) Wall quotes and stickers
We use wall quotes and stickers in every rental home. We choose not to paint, although some renters do. Therefore, we add flair to a room with colorful sticker displays.


6.) Theme each room
A cohesive theme creates peaceful energy and makes a space feng shui friendly. Every room in my home has a theme. For example, my guest bathroom is lavender and white shabby-chic while my daughter’s is pink-ballerina-princess.


7.) Tack paper
Tack paper (or contact paper) is usually a durable adhesive paper that is placed in cupboards to protect surfaces and add visual interest. It’s pretty and easy to take off once you’re preparing to move.


8.) Fun storage
I utilize wall space for storing the trinkets and treasures I collect from each duty station, and for special memorabilia. For example, my girls' art work is stored on this metal rope wire.


9.) Plants, bushes and flowers
If the landlord agrees, I suggest planting fun foliage. Currently, my backyard houses a healthy basil plant for cooking. Don't have a backyard at your rental? Use colorful planters and pots.


10.) Add rugs
Can’t tear out tile? Have a stubborn carpet stain? Cover it up with area rugs. My home has three main living rugs: two in the kitchen and one in the family room.

I have moved seven times in the last ten years. And all of them have been into rental homes. Some of my places of residence have been apartments and condos while others have been single and double story homes. Not everything has fit from one house to another, but I try to shop for home d├ęcor like I shop for clothes. Keeping fashion stylist Stacy London's motto in mind, purchase items for your current lifestyle. Use these 10 ideas to make your rental house feel like a home, and you’ll be on your way to taking some control over where you live.


  1. Wanted: A slew of high-boy tables, corresponding linens, bar stools and a helium tank. Delivered. On a weekend. Turnaround time? Four days. Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority

  2. Good tips. Every person’s dream to have their own home, but due to some circumstances or financial conditions it does not become possible. Hence they compromise with the situation and live in rental flats, where they give a fine touch with a feel like of own home. I am also living in 2 bedroom rental apartment in Mayfair London which I got with the help of Plazaestates property consultant. My landlord has been supportive to make various updates and changes that help me to decorate my rental apartment as per my choice.


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