As a young adult in a new job, you will probably be looking at living in a rental home. Your job may require you to move cities frequently, and a rental gives you the flexibility of doing just that. One drawback of a rental is that quite often it’s a dull and uninspired living space— one that doesn’t feel like it’s really yours. However, even though it’s only a temporary home, you can still make it warm and inviting by playing around with the interior design and adding your own stamp of personality to it!
Invest in some good pieces of furniture
You are always going to need the basic pieces of furniture; seating for your living room, a dining table, a bed. Keeping your budget in mind, invest in some good pieces of furniture that are durable and can be used for many years. Spending more on something beautiful that you can take to your next home with you makes better sense than buying cheap disposable items that you hate! You do not have to fill the house with furniture, but just make sure that whatever you do buy is something you will cherish forever.
Rent some furniture if you need it, or buy pieces on instalments
If you are not able to invest in good quality furniture right away, do consider renting some essential items that you cannot do without. Chances are your rent allowance could cover the cost of some pieces of furniture as well. Another option you could look at is buying some good pieces in instalments. Do the math—the EMI may end up being less than your rental cost, and you will own the furniture at the end of the day.
Play around with the lighting
Lighting can make or break your home interior. Most rental apartments come with harsh white fluorescent lamps that offer flat and monotonous lighting; that’s so boring! Low-cost rice paper lamps that are readily available online and some pretty table lamps with soft yellow light can change the entire look of your rental and make it look warm and inviting. Try it!
Add an accent wall
For this, you will probably have to get the permission of your landlord. Without spending too much on expensive wallpaper or textured paint, you could create a focal wall just by changing the colour of the paint, or by trying out a pretty wall stencil yourself.
Choose warm colours like yellow sunshine or post office red that will add a burst of colour to your room. For a cohesive look, the colour you choose can be picked out in other artefacts that you can scatter around the room. You can also add instant visual interest by using removable wallpaper that will not damage the walls when it is peeled off.
Even the grouchiest landlord will surely agree if you promise to repaint the wall before you move. And you never know, he may like it so much that he wouldn’t want to change it at all!
Personalize the walls with your favourite pieces of art or family pictures
There’s nothing like art to brighten up the walls of a home. If you cannot afford real paintings (and most of us cannot), get some high-resolution prints on matte paper and have them framed beautifully. Work with different sizes of prints to create a pleasing colour aesthetic. Your bedrooms can have a memory wall with pictures of your family and friends, to cheer you up when you feel homesick and lonely!
Add a splash of colour with some pretty drapes and rugs
You can get readymade drapes for your windows that don’t burn a hole in your pocket, and some lovely ethnic rugs that give your living spaces a colourful focus. While your curtains may not last long and almost certainly will not match the window sizes of your next apartment, you can pack up and carry the rugs wherever you go. So if your budget can be stretched a bit then do invest in some deep-hued or unique patterned floor pieces that speak to your personality.
Get indoor plants. A lot of them!
You can never have enough greenery in a home. Plants add cheer to the dreariest of spaces, and are a low-cost way to make your rented home come alive! You can place plants on your window sills, inside the living room and even in your bathrooms. Besides looking fresh and lovely, plants also clean the air and remove toxins. Do remember to water them regularly, however; and also keep them out in the sun once a week. Succulent plants and low maintenance plants like money plants are a good idea if you don’t have a green thumb. Dry and wilting foliage is obviously much worse than no plants at all!
If you cannot manage the upkeep of indoor plants, then get some cut flowers in a vase and change them as often as needed. Flowers add texture and colour and will make your home interior look special.
Even if you are staying there for a short period of time, your rented home should be a place where you can relax and unwind after a hard day’s work, entertain your friends and simply be yourself. Don’t ever settle for boring! Unleash your creativity and try out some low-cost, sensible interior design ideas on your rental property to make it your home away from home!