Love Your Rented Home – Tips for Creating Your Own Space from the Interior DIYer

Head shot 01 - Alex The Interior DIYer

Written by Alex C – The Interior DIYer for Harvey Norman


As a renter, I know all too well how tough it can be to project your own personality into someone else’s home. I’ve lived in my share of rented accommodation over the years so I’ve learned first-hand how to make a space feel less rented and more mine. Here are my top tips for how to rock your rental …

  1. Paint

Starting with the most obvious change you can make, a new coat of paint will work wonders. Walls take up the most amount of visual space in a home so take the time to make them yours. For the most part, a landlord won’t object to a fresh coat of paint. In fact, some will offer to cover the cost themselves if it’s a neutral enough shade such as white.

  1. Lighting

Another great way to introduce some of your personality into a rented room is to swap your landlords existing light fixtures with something a little more you. A fixture with some character will not only pull a room together but make it feel more personal. If you’d like to take it a step further, consider investing in a dimmer switch to bring a cosier and more considered feel to your space.

  1. Plants

Adding a plant or two will immediately bring another level of comfort to a room. Plants are cheap, will add colour to a space and let’s not forget some can also improve the air quality in your home. However if you’re anything like me, you may need to invest in some faux plants, should you also have an unfortunate case of black thumb


  1. Scent

We tend to focus on sight when it comes to claiming a space as our own, but another important sense to keep in mind is smell. Through essential oils and fragrant candles, mark your territory in your new home by introducing your favourite scents to the scene. This will come in particularly handy when you first move into a new space and it will help you and your family settle in quickly.


  1. Hardware

Many years ago in our first apartment we were blessed with our landlord’s rather old builder-grade kitchen. There was of course nothing we could do about it, but that didn’t stop me from trying. I bought a couple packs of crystal door knobs and replaced the basic hardware on the kitchen cupboards and drawers. I did this in not only the kitchen but in the bedroom with our landlord’s chest of drawers and bedside tables that came with the apartment. It was a very small change, but to me it helped make the most with what we had.


  1. Soft furnishings

Another way to make your mark in a rented home is through soft furnishings. They’ll come in particularly handy if you’re ever stuck with less-than-lovely furniture and fittings in your new space. Introduce your own throws and pillows to disguise an unsightly couch, or curtains and a rug to distract from a landlord’s window treatment if needs be. You could further invest in or make your own slip cover if a blanket or throw doesn’t do the trick.

It’s important to store your landlord’s fixtures, fittings, artwork and other belongings that you don’t use in a careful manner while you’re in their home. We have a designated cupboard in our spare bedroom that carefully houses all our landlord’s items until the time comes for us to move out and return them to their original places. It’s important to treat people’s possessions in the same way we treat our own.

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