As nice as it would be to buy a flat, that’s definitely not happening any time soon. Luckily, I’ve become pretty adept at making a rented flat feel like home. So much, in fact, that I’ve been renting my current flat for almost 8 years (eeeek) and it now feels so much like home that I can’t really imagine living anywhere else. Unless anyone wants to buy me a Georgian townhouse in which case cya I’m outta here.
But anyway, over the years I’ve found lots of different ways to personalise my flat and make it feel like somewhere I can call home. Here are a few of my favourite easy tips for making the most of your space and ensuring your rented flat feels like home.
1. All the soft furnishings
I can’t even begin to count how many blankets, cushions and duvet covers are in my flat. If you’re not allowed to paint your flat, adding colour or pattern with soft furnishings is a really easy way to give your flat a whole new look. I’d recommend investing in some good quality bedding (my duvet and pillows are from John Lewis and duvet cover is from Soak & Sleep) and then adding some cheaper blankets/cushion which you can change depending on the season or what’s on trend.
Primark and H&M do great affordable on-trend homeware, and Marks & Spencer or John Lewis are always reliable if you fancy something that’s slightly more of an investment. I recently treated myself to this salmon pink throw from John Lewis and it’s so soft and I lovvveeee ittttt.
2. Talk to your landlord
Feeling at home in a rented flat is much easier if you know where you stand when it comes to your landlord. Talk to your landlord (or letting agent) to find out exactly what your contract involves, who to contact in an emergency, what you’re responsible for and what your rights are.
As well as things like checking if you’re allowed pets and knowing how much notice you or your landlord have to give to terminate your contact, it’s important to know where you stand when it comes to key things like insurance. Check if you need to take out any new contents insurance, and make sure your landlord has property insurance – if they don’t already, they can get a landlord insurance quote to make sure everything is covered.
3. Photos, prints & personalisation
I could never be a minimalist because I just love stuff too much. Displaying things like photos, ornaments, books, prints or knick knacks that remind you of people or places is a really nice way to make your rented flat feel like home. I’m all about the colour-coded bookshelf at the moment.
I’m not really one for framed photos, but I do have lots of Polaroid-style Instagram photos around the flat. I usually get my photos printed by Cheerz, and then display them on my wall in a DIY Instagram photo garland. You can use washi tape for Instagram photos, or sticky picture strips for hanging prints, so you don’t even need to worry about marking the walls or hammering in picture hooks. P.S. if you use my code GILMC3 you can get £4 off your Cheerz order!
4. Pretty homeware
Although you probably won’t be able to change the walls or main furniture in a rented flat, pretty much everything else is fair game. If your flat came with crockery/glasses/utensils etc you don’t like, wrap them up, put them in a box and shove them under your bed or in a cupboard and replace them with your own ones.
Buy your own smaller pieces of furniture (like side tables and bookshelves), do little DIY projects (like creating your own bar cart), change the lighting (swap lampshades for your own ones or buy table lamps) and add decorative homeware pieces. A few of my favourite recent homeware additions are these plates from H&M, this table lamp* from MADE.COM (use my code B3XL0VXK to get £15 off your order!) and this bar cart trolley from IKEA.
5. Plants & flowers
I love having some greenery in my flat, and each room is dotted with cacti, succulents, ferns, house plants and bunches of flowers. Adding plants and flowers to your space is a great way to add personality and make a rented flat feel like home, especially if you don’t have a garden.
I get most of my plants from local florist Rose & Ammi, and when it comes to cut flowers I usually just opt for a bunch from the supermarket. Tulips are my favourite (especially at this time of year) and you can’t really go wrong at £3 a bunch! There’s nothing better than coming home to a fresh bunch of flowers on the coffee table on a spring afternoon.
Have you got any tips for making a rented flat feel like home?