The number of people renting has doubled in the last two decades, in England and Wales. The latest figures from the 2021 Census show that five million of us –around one in five households - let their home from a private owner. As renting becomes the more affordable option, it’s important to feel that your rental is truly your home, and what better way to do that than to inject your personal style into your space!
We’ve compiled some easy-to-follow hints and tips that will transform your accommodation into somewhere cosy and inviting that will be a pleasure for you, your housemates, or your family, and also won’t break the rules of your contract with your landlord! Check out our expert guidance to get your started.
The easiest way to introduce some personality into your home is simply to display the possessions you already have. You’re more likely to make your rental feel like home if you have familiar pieces around you. So, if there’s a photo that always makes you smile, a comfy cushion, a blanket or throw you just can’t do without or any sentimental items that would personalise and cheer up your room, then put them on show, use them and enjoy them.
This simple but effective idea extends to lamps. Choosing side or table lamps instead of using the big overhead light can introduce a different mood into each room and highlight any treasured objects too. We’ve plenty more ideas in our guide on how to redecorate on a budget, plus some inspiring colour combinations in our stylish collection of Lookbooks.
If you can’t decorate or remove furniture in your rented property, then dress your home in the colours and textures you prefer. You should be allowed to put up your own choice of curtains, as long as you replace them at the end of your tenancy. So, choose a colour scheme and introduce it throughout your living room or bedroom. You may find a new duvet cover or a covering on the rented sofa gives a dingy or nondescript room a new lease of life and a personal touch.
You can also refresh your towel collection and display them in the bathroom to make it seem less clinical and make your rental feel like home. Even introducing a sheepskin rug or an upholstered footstool can change the look of a room and it may cover up a carpet that's a little worn or stained that you can't replace - we've got some great hints and tips in our guide on how to get rid of carpet stains to get rid of any mess that you make yourself!
Having a good relationship with the owner or the letting agent could make a huge difference in how you feel about where you live. Establish if they’re happy for you to redecorate, and if so, whether you’d need to put your home back to how it was when you first moved in. Your landlord is in charge of changing the flooring, but if you use our guide on ‘Can you change the flooring in a rented home?’ we talk about the best way to discuss changing flooring in a rental flat or house with your landlord or landlady. Ask them whether they’d be willing to remove any furniture you don’t like and store it until you’re ready to move out. You may not get the answer you desire, but it can’t hurt to ask nicely to make your rental feel like home.
We say this a lot, but it’s true – adding the natural world, even in the form of a bunch of flowers, can transform a space. If you’re green-fingered, then amass as many houseplants as you can look after - you can hang them from macramé holders, existing hooks or curtain poles, place them on tables, bookshelves or any other surface you can find. Add some herbs in pots in the kitchen, or a snake plant or ferns in the bathroom.
Virtually unkillable ones include cacti, succulents, and good old reliable spider plants – our guide to the top 10 hard-to-kill houseplants has lots more ideas you should check out. Bigger plants, like a Swiss cheese, or a parlour palm are a great way to disguise an ugly corner or lots of unsightly wires. Best of all, the plants themselves purify the air, literally breathing new life into your home and they can boost your mood and keep you calm.
You don’t need to be a Picasso or even a Tracey Emin – we’re simply talking about displaying something you love to look at on your walls. Often a rented property is decorated in magnolia or similar neutral colour, and if you’re not allowed to put up wallpaper or repaint, then a poster or a print – or even an original painting or drawing – may be the easiest way to inject some colour and life into a room. As always, do check before you drill a hole or hammer in a nail, and choose Blu Tack, Command Strips, or similar removable adhesives to fix anything to the walls. Or, if you’re a fan of that anything-goes Boho trend, prop your art against a wall, or on top of a shelf, then you don’t even need to worry about hanging it!
Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, Tapi can help you with feel-good flooring. Pop into your local store, arrange a home visit where we bring our mobile showroom to yours or go online to discover our latest offers on carpet and smooth flooring.