Life update: we've moved! I've been a little far from the keyboard for the last few months and the summer has disappeared. Along with a new job and moving house again, life just gets in the way. It's taken a while but we're finally unpacked and tidy...ish. So I figured I'd pass on my top tips for making a rental more homely on a budget.
Everybody knows that bringing the outside in is good for the mind. Adding touches of greenery around the home instantly makes a rental place more like home. However it kinda loses the effect when you realise that they are all brown and lacking any leaves. Obviously a great solution to this is to get yourself some trendy and low maintenance succulents, which also means you can accessorise with gorgeous boho pots from shops like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.
Another problem with renting is often a struggle for space, so it's great to make your greenery count. We've actively chosen to grow edibles to use as ingredients in our cooking. For example, on the go at the moment we have Basil, Parsley, Mint, Oregano, Chives, Coriander, a little lemon tree and a chilli plant.
Candles Every flat surface in our new home is covered with candles. One of the best things about autumn is coming in from the cold and lighting candles ready for a cozy night in. It seems like a small thing but they add warmth and a homely feel instantly. At my family home we have a little wood burning stove for the winter, and lighting a little candle on the mantle piece takes me right back there.
If you're on a low budget, Ikea is your best friend. The mahoosive candle section in every store offers a load of colour and scent options, with holders to fit any interior. Or, if you have a little more to spend on some really special pieces, I would definitely recommend visiting little galleries and independent shops. Here you can pick up little beauties like the blue one below which is my favourite purchase ever from a seaside town holiday.
Cushions Another issue with furnished/part furnished rentals is that you can't guarantee the furniture will be to your taste. We've been really lucky with this place as it's been kitted out with non-offensive Ikea storage...and lots of it! However the sofas have seen better days. I first considered an elasticated sofa cover in a light grey shade to hide the grubby marks and wear and tear left behind by the previous tenants. I ended up going for some brand new cushions to distract from the sorry looking arms. This is another touch that makes coming home so much cozier. They are also a way of adding personality to a rental property and introducing a hint towards a colour scheme.
As the chilly autumnal evenings are now upon us, I thought a blanket box would be a really cute addition to our living room. I used an Ikea crate, that we previously bought simply for storage, to hold all of our different throws and placed it to the side of one of the sofas. This means that the array of blankets is still within reach when you just can't budge from the comfy dent in the sofa cushion, but they aren't cluttering the arms of the sofas. We bought a pair of these crates at the time so I've repurposed the other to hold all the cozy essentials such as fluffy socks, slippers and scarves.
The dull beige and cream tones of a rental home instantly puts a downer on your individual interior style, and the best remedy to this is art. Large prints are an affordable and speedy way to add colour to your walls and give a sense of personality to a space. Once again, Ikea is a great place to get very affordable prints to brighten up your rooms. The only problem with this is that everyone else has this idea too. We really wanted to pick up some unique pieces that represent our style but this isn't always possible when on a budget, so for the time being we have settled on quirky posters of things that we both like and framed them.
Another option, if you're into a bit of DIY, is to grab some medium to large canvases and go to town with the paint brushes. Just by choosing a few different shades of a suitable colour you can create a really simple abstract ombre effect. Search through Pinterest with a cup of tea to find some great ideas for your own pieces.
The space illusion effect. This idea may be a lot more impactful with a floor to ceiling mirror but it still applies when scaled down to more attainable sizes. Adding mirrors at different points throughout your home creates the feeling of extra space, which is vital when living in a little flat. In the hallways we have a couple of full length mirrors to extend and widen the space, and in the the living room there is a large horizontal mirror on the mantlepiece. This also reflects both natural and artificial light making the space feel overall brighter. Even smaller mirrors such as the little one hanging on the door can make a difference, whilst adding another stylish element to the room.
Comment down below if you found this useful or if you have any tips of your own!