How to Make Your Rental Property Feel Like Home

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Home, the nest you return to after a stressful day at work; a night on the tiles; and, at the end of a holiday, has got to be somewhere you can exhale, snuggle down and feel blissfully cosy. But what about when the place that holds your bed and worldly belongings is rented?
 
Living long term in a house or flat that you don’t own is increasingly common. The average age of the first time buyer in 2016’s UK is 38 and it’s forecast to hit 41 come 2025. Most deposits are now hitting over £30K, with that figure rising to over £90K if you live in London. This means that heaps of people are dealing with their landlord’s choice of decorating. But fret not – there are loads of ways to accent your place so that it is in tune with your vibe. We’re not talking knocking down walls and tearing out fixtures, with these clever interiors tricks you can sort your abode into something that’s as you as the clothes you wear.

Pretty Up With Plants

Greens are good for you. Fact. Whether you’re drinking them down in a morning smoothie or looking at plants dotted about your home, the natural world makes you feel good. As well as the simple subconscious pleasure that is derived from watching things grow, numerous studies indicate that a few plants can lower our blood pressure and invoke feelings of calm. Succulents are inexpensive, pretty and require practically zero  maintenance. Create a mini jungle of terracotta pots filled with cacti, pop a few smaller shrubs in the bedroom and stick a bonsai tree in your living area. 

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All of the Lights, All of the Lights

An interior designer’s first point of action would be to sort out your lighting. As the brilliant grey walls-pioneer Abigail Ahern says, good lighting adds ‘instant magic.’  Switch off those harsh overhead, municipal-style beams for good, they will never allow you to fully unwind. Bring in lamps and candles to create soothing pools of light, instead.
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Pop Your Photos Out

Looking at photos of the people we love and the good times we’ve shared does happy things to our brain. A study from the Open University in 2012 showed that flicking through snaps boosted wellbeing levels by 11 per cent – more than wine or chocolate. Choose frames in bold colours to add a touch of jazz, download your smartphone snaps using a printing app and perhaps get a photo line to clip them on. Instant smiles.

Play With Your Senses

What are the best experiences of stepping into a new home, restaurant or hotel that you can remember? Probably ones that pleased all of your senses. Good smells, music going? Go for the same at home. A diffuser or some scented candles with warm, smokey aromas such as vanilla and musk and a sound system that pipes tunes around the place are incredibly inviting. 
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Don’t Forget About The Windows

Sad curtains are just, well, sad. Luckily, sorting out a fresh pair is pretty easy. Buy a few curtain rods that you can drill in (simply take out and fill in the hole before you skedaddle to pastures new), measure up the window and add some drapes that add a bit more love to your living space. Bright colours recommended.

Get Arty

If you’re going to be staying in the same rental home for a long time, it’s worth remembering that holes and gaps can always be filled in. To stamp your personal mark on the space, invest some time in hanging up some artworks or framed postcards. Vintage film posters stuck onto a plain white background with a black frame look particularly elegant.

Stock up on Soft Furnishings

Texture, texture, texture. Thick throws, patterned cushions, fluffy rugs and Moroccan-inspired tiles for cup coasters are all speedy ways to create interest around a space. Flea markets and car boot sales are good places to find stuff that no one else has.
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