Decorating A Rental Home.
Decorating a rental presents a few unique challenges. I’ve been both a renter and a property owner. I rented through DHA, I’ve rented privately. I have lived in a caravan, apartment and lived in a 4 bedroom home. Being a renter now is really challenging. Balancing the requirements of your landlord with your own vision for what you want for your nest is a constant burden and struggle. Given that home ownership in Australia is nearly unattainable for many young people, I thought I’d write down a few of the things I’ve learnt when it comes to renting and decorating.
Invest in storage, textiles and accessories
I harp on about Marie Kondo but I do think that lady is onto something when it comes to the importance of storage, textiles and accessories. They need to spark joy. The Swedish have this delightful, and tangential, concept known as ‘hygge’ which kind of loosely translates into ‘home-y’. Like the smell of freshly baked bread, or the feeling you get when you see a lit candle, that is hygge. When you are a renter, hygge accessories are transferrable from one home to the next. Realistically, they are what makes a house into a home because they are all about how you *feel* when you are surrounded by those things.
I think whether you hang them directly into the wall or you purchase rolls upon rolls of 3M tape, hanging pictures is the ultimate in owning a space. When you have family photos on the wall, it’s like you’re claiming that space. It feels good for you and your family.
Get inspiration from real estate/ephemeral decorator
Few stylists are more accomplished at making a house feel like a home than a real estate decorator. They are well-versed in the art of making a space feel ‘home-y’ and they often use accessories and textiles to do it. They have a few statement pieces that can be easily incorporated into any house’s colour palette.
Go crazy with signage
This is something I do because I love that direct sense of ownership. I love finding ways of communicating to myself and my family that “this is our home”. Little signs throughout the house, like my personalised family sign, help stimulate this sense of ownership for me. I also have put little removable vinyl signs on all the children’s doors to help them feel their rooms are their own.
Celebrate the limitations but keep it in pots
There are plenty of limitations to decorating a rental home. Everything has to be able to be moved easily and adapt to any kind of home. You can’t have a veggie patch (unless your landlord is a delightful human). You can’t have pets. On the Gold Coast and South East Queensland, it’s hard to get a rental property if you have more than 2 children. But, the limitations are what makes it a challenge and an adventure in many ways. However, bringing the outside in is a great way to create a space that is inviting and warm. Indoor plants can be a bit of a hassle to move, but I think they are so worth it.
Offer to do the work if you’re provided the materials
If you have a landlord who is great but there are improvements you need to make to your property to help it feel more like home, then liaise with them. Involve them in the process and you might find a happy compromise that works for everyone. A way we do this is to offer to do the work to the property if the landlord provides the materials. This has included fixing up cabinetry, painting walls, re-screening windows and sliding doors and other little things.
What tips do you have?
Comment below on what tips you have to turn your rental property into a home.