I constantly dream of the day I can finally purchase my own home. From moving out to university at age 18 I’ve been renting ever since, only having short 2-3 month periods back at my parents’ home in between uni holidays and getting new jobs etc. I’m at a great stage in my life, I have a wonderful boyfriend, a good job where I feel I’m doing well and I make decent money, nothing crazy but I’m doing OK! I have an internal battle every time there’s a social event or I want a holiday where I think…if I didn’t do this I could get a house sooner….but life is about enjoying every moment and grabbing every opportunity. So I’m continuously saving for a deposit, whilst enjoying a holiday here and there and going out for dinner with friends.
It’s hard to find a good rental, and once you move in you realise the dodgy paintwork and shoddy workmanship SO much more. Here I thought I’d share how I’ve managed to make my rented flat feel that bit more like home.
Consider your roommate carefully
Choosing to move in with a friend or partner can be a big step in your relationship, so make sure you’re both ready! It’s good to know each others habits and routines. Are you always going to be having a battle over the heating being on? Will you both share the cleaning equally? Have those conversations before you make the move! On the other hand you may have been sharing a home for years and realise that it’s time to live on your own, and that’s absolutely fine too. Make sure you’re financially stable before you commit to living alone, all those bills can add up when it’s just you! When you do find the perfect roommate, whether that’s your best friend, a boyfriend, girlfriend or maybe even a pet, coming back to your rented place will already feel more like home, somewhere you will want to be and can enjoy spending time there.
If you have the funds to buy your own furniture I would highly recommend going unfurnished, or even part furnished. Where you can add your own touches and style it can make all the difference. Picking out a sofa that’s actually comfortable can make nights in great, or may encourage you to have friends round more often. Even if you’re on a budget, IKEA is always a winner, it’s easy to buy simple pieces and add colour and personality through small alterations like changing draw handles or statement cushions etc. Also check out local second hand stores as there may be a hidden gem of a coffee table just waiting to be found.
Get things on the wall
I appreciate some landlords don’t want you to bang holes in the wall but always ask or you’ll never know. If not, get some command strips. You can get all sizes of hooks that stick to the wall to hang all your pictures, you can easily find them in a big supermarket or somewhere like Homebase, or just order off amazon. I’ve used these for loads around my flat, be careful you don’t put something too heavy on them though. They stick to the wall and when you come to move out, or just fancy a change, they easily peel off the wall with no trouble (as long as you do it carefully following the instructions!) Having artwork or posters around adds life to your home and is a great way to inject your personality. The really small hook command strips also work brilliantly for pinning up fairy lights along shelves or walls which is great at creating a cosy atmosphere in any room.
I love this unique piece. My mum got it for me at a craft fair and it makes a great addition to a plain wall here.
Me and my boyfriend love Harry Potter, I got him this quote print from Etsy for his birthday. The frame is just from Amazon and is a great way to bring a bit of Hogwarts Magic into the flat.
Not only do they look great but there’s so many benefits to keeping houseplants. They will literally keep the air cleaner and help you breathe! Why would you not want plants!? Even if you think you’re rubbish at looking after them, choose some easy to maintain species that don’t require a lot of attention; Spider plants, Aloe Vera and cacti are all good choices for houseplant beginners! I’ve definitely reached the age where I love wandering around a garden centre on a Sunday so my houseplant collection just keeps growing!
Add your personality
The key to making any space feel like home, whether it’s a rented room, one bedroom flat or a whole house, is to add personal touches and show off your personality. Normally rentals are plain and neutral to appeal to everyone, which makes it so easy to add splashes of colour, get your photographs on the wall, add your personal style to all your soft furnishings and accessories. Do ensure there’s a balance of everybody’s tastes and styles to keep everyone happy.
Brightening up the bedside with some greenery.
Mantel adorned with art, candles, plants and those geeky touches to make my boyfriend feel right at home!
These personal touches include gifts from loved ones and things I’ve picked up on my travels across the UK and abroad and are full of so many memories. Having these things around me makes me look past the dodgy textured wallpaper any peeling paint and makes me happy how I’ve made this my home, and look forward to when I can finally have things perfect for me in my own home!
I hope this has helped those of you struggling to feel at home. Feel free to share your own tips and advice in the comments below!
Talk Soon x