Photo credit: with permission from Maren Baxter - Living Room in Bloom
Renting can be great: it means you're flexible enough to move around if you fancy a change of scene, and you don't have to pay for all those big bits of maintenance (like replacing the boiler or repairing the roof). Yet, renting has it's downsides too, like the fact it can be hard to personalise it your taste. I rented for four years, and here's how I learnt to decorate without breaching my tenancy agreement...
Start by Checking Your Tenancy Agreement
It's a boring job, but be sure to read your contract before you start doing any decorating. Most contracts state you can't put holes in the walls, mustn't change carpets and paintwork without the landlord's agreement (or do any kind of DIY for that matter) and demand that you return the property in the condition you found it when your tenancy expires. Otherwise, you might lose your security deposit, or worse.
Get Permission from Your Landlord
Once you've done the legal legwork, get on the phone to your landlord. Most are happy for you to paint a property for example (if you're not doing anything too bold), so long as you do a good job of it. However, it's important that the legal owner agrees to you doing anything like this, so don't crack open that paint pot until you have their consent - preferably written.
Focus on the Soft Furnishings
A simple swap of the curtains and rugs (and treating yourself to a gorgeous set of bedding, or a cosy throw for the sofa) will really freshen up your home and make it feel like it's well and truly yours. Choose something that makes you feel relaxed and happy, but be sure to keep the old stuff somewhere safe: you'll need to rehang or relay anything belonging to your landlord when you move out.
Show Off Your Photos
Have you ever visited someone's flat and found it a bit 'cold'? It might have something to do with the fact they didn't have any photos of their own to display. Whether you want to prop up a display of family photos, print off some stuff from instagram or just stack up your books, personal items will really make a place feel like home.
Invest in Statement Lighting
Lighting is well worth considering if you want to personalise a space: opt for quirky bulbs, add in some atmospheric lamps, or even change a fitting altogether. Best of all, lighting is one of those personalisations your landlord will never know about if you're careful while you do it, and take care to replace the original bulbs, shades and fittings when you move out. What else would you do to personalise a rental property?
Are you currently renting, and if so, do have any great tips of your own share? I'd love to hear in the comment section below.
p.s have you tried any of these hacks for renters?