Home Decor

How to Make Your Rental Flat Feel More Human

2 Mins read

Your home is your sanctuary; a place to relax and unwind to the fullest. It’s somewhere that you should love to be.

However, it can be challenging to make your home feel truly yours when you’re a renter.

Many landlords don’t allow their tenants to do things like repaint the walls, and if you live in a furnished property, it can feel less like home when you’re surrounded by someone else’s belongings.

There are ways to get around this – and do so in a way that makes your place feel cozy and lived in rather than a showhome.

1. Choose art that means something to you

Art is a great way to add a personal touch to a space because we all have different tastes and preferences. Some love soft, rural landscapes; others prefer flashy canvases of their favorite cities.

There are those that like ‘traditional’ realistic pieces and those that find abstract art far more interesting.

Art doesn’t have to be eye-watering and expensive either. Look out for artists on websites like Etsy, or check out open studios or independent shops in your local area. And once you find a piece of art that makes your heart sing, make sure you get it professionally framed.

As the experts at SohoFrames note: “Framing art should not be based on its value, but whether you would like it displayed in your home for years to come.” However, be careful you don’t void the terms of your contract when you hang it up (like using nails when you’re now allowed).

Check out these renter-friendly ways to hang art.

2. Create ambiance with thoughtful lighting

It’s incredible how much difference lighting can make to a home. For example, a vibrant lamp can add color to an otherwise neutral space, while something like a lava lamp will immediately add a fun, quirky touch.

There are also so many styles to choose from such as art deco, rustic, glamorous, industrial, and so on.

But rather than buying any lamp or ceiling light you like the look of, think about how you want the lighting to function and what fixture will best achieve this.

The three main types of lighting are ambient lighting (provides an overall glow), task lighting (for things like reading or cooking), and accent lighting (to highlight things like art or interesting architectural features).

In a living room for, instance, you may want a statement pendant light for ambiance, an adjustable floor lamp for tasks, and candles for accents.

3. Go hard on creature comforts

Think cushions, blankets, rugs, poufs, and anything else that will make your home feel cozy and comfortable. As well as adding warmth, these can also make interesting decorative features.

You can add depth by choosing pieces from the same color palette but in slightly different shades, or bring a sense of play by clashing colors and introducing patterns. Soft fabrics like velvet and faux fur will help you feel snug, and also make a stylish statement.

4. Bring the outside in

Plants will immediately make a home more inviting. As symbols of the natural world, they’ll make a room feel fresh and soothing. There are also lots of physical and emotional benefits associated with houseplants.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), research has found that plants can help improve air quality, reduce blood pressure, alleviate fatigue and headaches, improve mood, fight stress, and boost productivity.

If you aren’t confident caring for plants, the RHS recommends the following for beginners:

  • Dracaena marginata (v) AGM (Madagascar dragon tree)
  • Ficus elastica (India rubber tree, rubber plant)
  • Hedera helix (English ivy, common ivy)
  • Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’ (Boston fern)
  • Sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue)
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