For most of us, at one point or another we end up renting a place to live. As I mentioned this week, I rent my condo and am fully aware of the challenges that a rental presents in terms of limiting your decorating options. Most of us get a rental and are presented with a beige blank slate. If you're lucky, you end up with a space looking like the second photo but most often, we don't have the luxury of sourcing our rentals based on their aesthetic appeal. It's usually more about the location, cost and amenities.
So, how do you take your blank slate and make it a space of your own, without investing too much money and without the ability (most of the time) to paint, change finishes and other more permanent changes?
1. Disguise the flooring
I know from experience what it's like to rent a unit with flooring that is, how shall we say, less than ideal. Whether a carpet is worn from prior tenants, makes your home look like a beige box or just isn't your style, there's a fix. Throw down an inexpensive area rug and cover that floor up! Break up the boring beige with a fun pattern and inject some personality! Oh and in case you're wondering, an area rug over carpet is totally a design yes- just take a look below to see for yourself.
2. Throw some art on those walls
Quite often rentals have fairly neutral walls. Whites and soft beiges can act as a backdrop to a fantastic gallery wall. If you are lucky to have a landlord who allows you to paint, go to town- but most often that's not a luxury renters have. If your landlord allows it, hang photos (using small finishing nails whenever possible) to make patch and repair work as simple as you can for when you move out. If your landlord isn't a fan of you making holes in the wall, don't despair. Leaning gallery walls are gorgeous and thanks to washi tape, nails are SO not necessary for a beautiful gallery wall. Or, you can always give wall decals a try!
3. Create the Illusion of Space
Sometimes, smaller spaces (as rentals typically are) can feel quite closed in and dark if you don't get an abundance of natural light. This is when the fake it till you make it motto comes into play. Mirrors are a great way to use light and reflection to create the illusion of space. Lean mirrors, hang mirrors and create vignettes with mirrors. The light will reflect in your space, making it feel brighter and more open.
4. Accessorize and Add Personality
Lastly, to make a rental feel more like your own home, make it just that - a home. Add personal touches through accessories and objects that are special to you. Add texture and interest through plants, textiles, accessories and make the best of the space you have. There's no reason your rental can't be just as beautiful as your future home.