For too long, people have perpetuated a huge divide between renters and homeowners. Many people who choose to rent because of their budget or lifestyle preferences are continually disregarded as not being serious about their home.
This attitude is both elitist and short-sighted. There are many reasons why people choose to rent, rather than buy. It’s easier to make a change if you need more space, or want to start a family. It’s also a lot less work, taking responsibilities like maintenance, snow removal, and fluctuating property taxes off your plate.
Fortunately, we believe that you don’t have to own your home to transform it into a beautiful space that meets all of your needs. You may have to be a bit more careful about the renovations you make, but changing things like the paint, flooring, and window coverings are all possible.
Today, we’ll bring you some of our best tips for making your rented house feel more like a home, and less like a rental.
1. Find the right space
The most important step in making your rental feel more like a home is to find the right place. Don’t just sign a lease for the first place you see. Make a budget, then write down a list of features that you’d like, as well as features you can’t live without. Then hunt diligently until you find what you need.
If you’re looking in the Windsor and Essex County area, our friends at Goldmar Property Management have an easy-to-use rental search engine to help you start your search. Just plug in the details of your budget, preferred location, and number of bedrooms, and get immediate results. Once you’ve picked out a few you like, you can schedule viewings right on the site.
Searching for a new home can be nerve-wracking, especially if availability in your area or budget is low. As tempting as it is to settle for the first house you see, keep going until you find a house you really like.
2. Check in with your landlord first
Before making any major changes to your space, run them by your landlord first. There will likely be language in your lease about making large changes, such as painting. However, if you go to your landlord proactively and explain what you want to do, they may give permission or even help cover some of the cost if it’s an upgrade to the home. Good communication between landlords and tenants is key to a positive, long-lasting relationship.
3. Install a new showerhead
A great showerhead is cheap, easy to install, and can immediately upgrade your showering experience. Plus, you can take it with you when you move to a new place, since switching it out only takes a few minutes.
Head down to your local hardware store and ask an associate to help you find a multifunctional showerhead that’s easy to install in a rental. They should be able to help you find a great option that shouldn’t set you back more than $100.
4. Add temporary wallpaper
Even if you can’t paint your walls, renters can still easily change up the look of their space with temporary wallpaper. There are tons of great patterned options from sites like Rocky Mountain Decals, or Etsy. All you need to do is figure out the dimensions you want to cover, then carefully peel and stick the wallpaper. It uses a low-tack adhesive on the back, so it should peel away easily without damaging the paint underneath.
If you’re determined to paint, look for paintable removable wallpaper. This is great for children’s rooms since it can be doodled and painted on without any of the colour seeping onto the walls.
5. Do a temporary kitchen renovation with a removable tile backsplash
Want to add a sophisticated touch to your kitchen without doing a full kitchen renovation? Several different types of tiles can be installed and removed easily, giving you the freedom to create a whole new look in just minutes. When you move out, just peel up the tiles.
6. Add rugs to disguise an ugly floor
Many rentals have older floors that have seen better days. To cover them up with very little effort, add a few rugs in key areas throughout the house. You can even add rugs over top of carpet, as long as the colours don’t clash. When you move, the rugs will come with you.
Rugs are also a great choice when you live in an older apartment building without much soundproofing. By putting rugs down to helping to muffle footsteps and noise, your neighbours will thank you.
7. Install new window coverings
It’s easy to remove the window coverings and blinds that came with your rental, and swap them out for ones of your own. You can upgrade to a better set of blinds, layer in different curtains, or switch the type of window covering entirely. Just remember to keep the landlord’s window coverings in storage, so you can remove your own and re-install the originals when you move out.
8. Switch out old-fashioned lighting fixtures
With only a screwdriver, you can remove the old-fashioned, dated light fixtures that came with your rental and install bright, fresh fixtures of your choosing. This is also a great time to swap out older incandescent bulbs in favour of LEDs, which use less energy and put out more light.
Just like the window coverings, make sure to keep the original lighting fixtures in storage so you can return them to their initial position when you move out.
9. Swap out hardware and faucets in the kitchen and bathroom
You’d be surprised how big a difference you’ll notice if you change out the hardware and plumbing fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen. This is a quick way to modernize an older space and make the home feel more like your own.
10. Add personal touches
Ultimately, swapping out fixtures, replacing hardware, and adding rugs will only get you so far. Most rentals are painted generic colours and feature plain fixtures to ensure the space appeals to as wide an audience as possible. The best way to make a rental feel more like home is to add personal touches.
Instead of getting frustrated by the uninspiring canvas, use it as a jumping-off point to explore the design decisions that make you happiest. Pick out bold and colourful furniture, layer in plenty of artwork, and make sure that every design choice you get to make reflects your personal taste.
Shop for Rental-Friendly Upgrades at Duby’s Home Centre
Looking for quick and easy ways to upgrade your rental? Stop by Duby’s Home Centre, where we carry paint, window coverings, and many other fixtures that will make every house feel more like a home.