We have been in our rental for about four months now and if I’m being honest, I hadn’t thought much about decor for a rental apartment before this. But now that I’ve spent some time in a space that was temporary, my eyes have been opened to some of the challenges that come with a space where modifications cannot be made. Because we were only going to be in our place for four months, we were not able to do any painting or hang anything on the walls, BUT I still wanted it to feel like ours. I’m a firm believer that the feel of our home has a huge impact on us overall (I wrote more about that in this post, if you’re interested in reading), and that no matter how long you are living in a space, it’s important to make it feel like yours.
So without further ado, here are my five tips to make your rental apartment feel like home.
1. Use bedside tables/cabinets with drawers to provide extra storage.
Apartments often have limited storage space so it’s important that as much as possible, pieces serve double duty. Rather than going with open shelves or bedside tables that only provide functional surface area, go with ones that have storage that is hidden. You don’t want everything you own to be on display as this ends up making a room look cluttered and crowded. As much as possible, opt for pieces that have doors or drawers. I did a whole roundup of bedside tables recently and there are some great options in the post – check that out here if you’re interested.
2. Incorporate plants into every room.
Greenery will breathe life into a space in an instant. Plants bring an added warmth to a room and make a home seem more settled into. A collection of beautiful plants and pots will be able to live wherever you live – whether you rent long term or plan to eventually buy.
3. Put down large rugs.
One of the most common decorating mistakes I see is using a too-small rug in a space. I think this is especially true in many apartments as people are often worried that a large rug will take up too much space in a smaller room. But it’s actually quite the opposite. A rug that is too small for a room will make the space look smaller. A rug in the living room should always be at least under the front two legs of your couch and should be at least 1′-1’5″ beyond the front of the coffee table. Rugs are also a great way to cover up flooring you don’t like in an apartment. Don’t be afraid to layer a rug over carpet, either!
4. Choose multi-purpose pieces.
In a small space where many things are on display, it’s a great idea to choose pieces that are multi-purpose – both functional and aesthetic. Examples of this might be a cutting board that is beautiful and you want to display as decor in the kitchen; a moveable island that functions as a work-space and extra storage; a side table with a built in magazine holder. The more purposes one item has, the less you’ll need to squeeze into the space.
5. Hang up curtains – they’re great decor for a rental apartment!
You can get curtains for so cheap and the impact they have on a room is huge. We have these linen curtains from Ikea and they are an affordable option. Hang the curtain rod as high as you can in the room and it will instantly make the room feel larger. Another important note is that curtains should always reach the ground. The perfect length is when they “kiss the floor”.
I hope these tips are helpful and that wherever you live, it feels like home!