Home Sweet HomeWith the current property prices across London leaving some people stuck in the rental market when they would rather own, a bit of creativity can help to turn a rental property into a home.
Here are some handy tips to help you on your way:
If you opt for a non-furnished property you can slowly fill it with furniture to your taste and budget. Car boot sales, antique markets and charity shops are great places to pick up affordable furniture and may give you the chance to be creative with wood paints and fabrics.
Another option is to ask for a property to be part-furnished, specifying what you do and don't want. The landlord might say no, but you never know so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you rent a furnished property, you can always change the soft furnishings (making sure you store and protect any you replace without causing damage). Curtains, a throw and some cushions (perhaps even ones you've made yourself in fabrics that detail colours and patterns that are personal to you) will cheer up the sofa and make such a big difference to the whole room and make a rented space feel more like your own.
There are clever, non-permanent, ways to introduce wallpaper into your rental:
Ribbon-hung wallpaper - Thread some ribbon through the centre of the roll then hang it from the top of the wall, in a low traffic spot.
Boarding - Paste wallpaper on to tall wooden boards and stand them behind a table or sofa.
Removable wallpaper - It’s a pre-pasted, 'stick-on-peel-off' wallpaper that can be taken down without leaving any marks on the wall.
If you have a good relationship with your landlord, you could possibly ask them if they would be happy for you to paint, as long as you agree to paint it back to the original colour before you leave and the decoration is done to a good standard. If you don't wish to invest so heavily and paint whole rooms, consider painting a door or doorframe in a surprise accent colour instead. Not only is this cheaper and quicker (you will use much less paint) but it's also a quirky and interesting way to bring colour into a scheme but again you have to be prepared to paint it back before the end of your tenancy.
Temporary wall decals offer a form of decoration that is totally changeable and the array of designs available means you are spoilt for choice and can tie them in with the existing decor.
Another great use for decals is those specially designed for tiles in the bathroom or kitchen. This is a cheap and easy way to spruce up a room without needing a decorator!
Display art and photos
An obvious suggestion, but doing so can really make a difference. If you have picture rails, you can hang and re-hang pictures to your heart's content. If not, the brand ‘Command’ does a great range of no-hole picture hanging strips. If you do make your own curtains and/or cushions why not try framing the left over fabric to bring the whole room together? Or framing free wallpaper samples from your local DIY shop or superstore? Another great source is your family’s loft; go hunting for old photos, funky retro art and classic frames to save money and add an interesting feature to a bare wall.
Remember, just because it’s not your house it doesn’t mean you can’t make it your home….
Note: Some landlords are extremely particular about what you're allowed to change but others are more receptive so don’t be afraid to ask. Please remember the terms of your tenancy agreement must be abided by so it is important to get permission in writing before making any changes.