https://milraypark.com.au/the-magazine/turn-your-rental-into-a-home

How To Turn Your Rental Into A Home

by Amelia Barnes
How To Turn Your Rental Into A Home

by AMELIA BARNES

Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean your home should feel second-rate.

Try the following styling tips to help create a homey, more personalised environment.

#1 Use lamps for lighting

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

If your rental is lacking in light, spend $150 on some quick updates that will significantly enhance your mood and atmosphere.

Instead of bright, white light globes, switch out any existing lights with warmer globes that have a more yellow-toned, inviting feel.

The living room in particular will benefit most from using lamps as the chief source of evening light, indicating it’s time to wind down in preparation for bed. Try a simple floor lamp with a transparent shade for the main light, with smaller table lamps set on coffee tables, bookshelves or mantlepieces to complement.

#2 Make it personal

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

The best spaces are those that convey the personality of its inhabitants, so don’t be afraid to showcase your hobbies, work and friends at home.

Whether it’s toys, natural health, tattoos or the colour pink, there’s a way to attractively display these interests as part of your interior styling.

Group similar items together in categories, and proudly put them on display to tell a story.

#3 Pot your plants

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

We all know that indoor plants are having a moment, but there’s a big difference between having some neglected peace lilies in plastic pots and a thriving indoor jungle.

For a plant to truly reach its style potential, it needs to be displayed in a permanent pot or planter. There’s really no excuse either, given that classic terracotta pots start from just $1 at Bunnings.

Don’t be intimidated to replant store-bought plants into new pots. All it takes is a pot with drainage, potting mix and water!

Stores that stock reasonably priced pots include Milk & Sugar and of course the Mr Kitly x Décor self-watering range. Other options include displaying plants in macramé hangers (have a look on Etsy), and hanging them from the wall with surprisingly sturdy adhesive or Velcro hooks.

#4 Display art creatively

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

A house will feel bare until there’s art on the walls – period.

If your budget doesn’t allow room for framing your artworks, try hanging these via an oversized bulldog clip, or stretched (if fabric) over a canvas.

If your tenancy agreement stipulates no hooks are to be hammered into the walls, there are some ways to get around this Firstly, check if this includes adhesive hooks (as these offer a cheap, reliable and generally paint-safe way to hang art) and offer to repaint should any chipping occur. If it’s still a no, try the following.

Collages especially in workspaces are a fun way to bring colour and personality to a space. Hang everything from magazine cuttings to photos, business cards, tea towels postcards, greeting cards and posters to the wall using Blu-Tac or Washi tape.

Framed artworks leaning against a wall or fireplace are also an inventive way to display works.

#5 Invest in tableware

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

The styling of your home doesn’t end at the purely aesthetic items. For example, beautiful tableware is worth the investment for not only being practical, but also a joy to handle (just make sure you actually use it!).

There’s no end of ceramicists making wonderful pieces, many of which are also microwave safe, dishwasher safe, and one of a kind. Some of my favourites include Rara Studio, Takeawei, Bridget Bodenham, Robert Gordon, Dot & Co and Katia Carletti.

Amelia Barnes is a journalist and the co-founding editor of Rented Space a website about creatively styled rental properties and their tenants.

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