A ''Welcome to our home' door sign

Budget-friendly ways to make a rental feel like home

As beautiful as the home you are renting may be, one thing is probably missing – it does not feel yours. However, the fact that it isn’t really yours doesn’t mean it cannot feel like it. Some people avoid adding too many decorations, such as pictures and trinkets, just because they will eventually have to pack it all up and move it to a new place. And this is completely understandable. You don’t even need to pack these items for the move if you are renting for a shorter period. On the other hand, it sure feels nice to have that homey atmosphere in the place you are renting, especially if you aren’t planning on moving any time soon. If you’re renting in a foreign country and feeling homesick, you know exactly what we’re talking about. So, if you decide to make a rental feel like home and stay within your budget, we have some tips for you.

If the place isn’t furnished, it is much easier to make a rental feel like home. Just bring your furniture with you and you won’t even feel that you’ve relocated. Nowadays, professionals can transport your belongings overseas, let alone across your country or town. But what do you do when moving into a house or apartment a stranger has already furnished and decorated? Well, first of all, you should…

Talk to your landlord

Whatever you do, never forget that, at the end of the day, someone else owns your home. Although you are paying rent, some landlords may not be okay with certain changes. Having a conversation with your landlord before signing a contract is very important. You need to know how much you can change the interior of your rental before you start doing it. The landlord may or may not be willing to pay for upgrades such as painting the walls or changing the toilet seats. Sometimes, you won’t be allowed to do it even if you are the one who’s paying.

So, make a list of suggestions and discuss every detail in advance. Compromising is key here. For instance, if they don’t approve of your wall color choice, try to find a different shade or promise to repaint before your tenancy ends.

A nicely decorated living room with shelves full of small decoratons.
You don’t have to feel like you are living in a stranger’s house.

Changing what you can is one of the ways to make a rental feel like home

The easiest and cheapest change you can make is moving the furniture around. Measure everything, draw a rough sketch, call a few friends to help you with the lifting, and make your rental feel more like home.

You don’t like the curtains? The rug looks awful? The lamp doesn’t match the rest of the decor? These items are not expensive, and replacing them doesn’t mean you’ll throw away the old ones. What about the furniture? If the print of the sofa is hideous, worry not. There are inexpensive ways to change your sofa without buying a new one. Just dress it in a pretty cover. This way, not only will it look better, but its surface will be protected. Throw in some small pillows and you’ve made the living room much more ”yours”.

Letters spelling the word ''home'' on a wooden wall
There are ways to make a rental feel like home without breaking the bank.

Think before doing

But before you start changing stuff, make a plan. The last thing you want is to realize the wall color doesn’t match when your walls are half painted. Think about the colors and patterns you like and find your personal style. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find inspiration these days. In addition to magazines and specialized stores, there’s the Internet – an endless source of design tips and ideas.

Plants make a rental feel like home

Wherever you put them, plants are a nice addition to any living space. Go to your local florist shop and get some affordable potted or hanging plants for your home. In case you already have them, even better – just learn the proper way to relocate them or ask a professional moving company, such as Four Winds Saudi Arabia, for help. Those who are afraid they cannot keep plants alive should opt for faux plants. If you have a balcony that feels empty, why not start a balcony garden?  If you don’t have one at all, or starting a balcony garden seems like a big commitment/expense, a window sill-sized garden is a cool alternative. Plants would add so much life to your home, especially if you live in an urban area.

A bubble drawn on a white background next to a woman thinking about ways to make a rental feel like home.
When the dream of homeownership is far from reality, there are more affordable solutions.

Add personal details

Rental homes often feel empty. That is partly because there is nothing on the shelves, walls, and tables. Add books, figurines, pictures, mirrors, even your kids’ artwork to make your rental feel like home. These obviously aren’t the first items you need to unpack, but as soon as you’re done with the essentials, start decorating.

  • Display your birthday gifts and the souvenirs you brought from your trips. These little items will definitely elevate the space and make your rental feel yours. Furthermore, surround yourself with the books and magazines you like to read.
  • Pictures, especially family photos, can add that personal touch to a living space, while mirrors make homes appear more spacious. If your landlord doesn’t allow you to hang anything on the walls, use the space on your shelves or mantelpieces. Alternatively, place large pictures and mirrors on the floor, leaning against the wall. This isn’t the best solution, though, if you have young kids or you need a pet-friendly rental home.
  • Your kids may not be world-famous artists yet, but their artwork can make your rental lively and colorful. Besides, it is completely free. Place the things your little artists have created on the fridge or in their bedroom.
  • We also want you to think outside the box. Smells can make a rental feel like home, too. What is the scent that you like the most? Use the same one you used in an old home you loved to evoke happy memories. Scented candles, for example, can both look and smell good in your new place; plus, they are quite cheap.

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