Making a rented property your own

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NOT everyone living in Spain is in a home of their own.

Many, especially with younger families or perhaps the recently retired, have taken the option to rent property for financial reasons or as a way of testing out the area and the lifestyle before taking the purchasing plunge.

But renting doesn’t stop you making the villa or apartment you’re staying in your home.

Here are a few tips on how to add character and personality to a blank canvas rented home, whilst keeping your landlord happy.

With the constraints of living in rented accommodation, making the space feel like your own can be a challenge.

Most contracts won’t allow walls to be painted, artwork to be hung or light fittings to be changed, meaning as a tenant you are somewhat limited in your decoration choices.

Don’t be disheartened—injecting your style doesn’t have to involve retiling the bathroom or fitting new kitchen cabinets; a little creativity and some simple updates will help make your rented space feel like home in no time.

WALLS

Wall stickers are becoming an increasingly popular way to add a playful touch to your space without damaging the paintwork beneath. Check any packaging to make sure the stickers are fully removable and test it out in an inconspicuous area before applying to the whole wall.

They come in a wide range of designs nowadays—from decorative woodland scenes for kids’ bedrooms, Banksy-inspired pieces and modern geometric designs—so there is something to suit every look and budget.

PICTURES

Hanging prints and artwork is a simple way to personalise any space, but most tenancy contracts stipulate that walls should not be damaged by nails or screws.

As an alternative, picture-hanging strips that won’t damage the walls when removed could be used. They come in a variety of sizes to hang items of different weights, including photo frames, canvases, mirrors and clocks.

Why not create a gallery wall using a series of small frames to showcase prints and postcards? As well as using strips to hang pictures on the walls, make the most of furniture and architectural details around the house to display artwork too.

Lean frames on mantelpieces, windowsills and even on top of furniture for a quick way to make your space feel homely. Removable wall hooks are also available and are great for hanging kitchen utensils along a wall or splashback, or used as towel hooks in a bathroom.

PERSONAL TOUCH

A lot of rental properties come furnished which, whilst having the advantage of saving the cost of buying your own furniture, means you as a tenant are stuck with existing pieces that may not suit your tastes.

For a simple update in the living room, use throws to create a cover for drab sofas or armchairs, or simply use them to accessorise and add colour or pattern, along with a collection of coordinating cushions.

Speak to your landlord about upcycling furniture in the house, too; for example, they may be happy for you to paint a chest of drawers in the bedroom or change the legs on the coffee table to better suit your style.

Alternatively, head to your local charity shop or car boot sale and see if you can pick up a bargain piece of furniture to make your own.

ACCESSORIES

Using accessories in a rented home is a simple and budget-friendly way to make it feel homely and lived in.

Houseplants are great for instantly refreshing your décor and they can be placed in any room to give it a lift. If, like most rented properties, your space lacks colour, then introduce splashes of your favourite shades.

Rugs are a wonderful way to transform the look of any room, particularly if you’re looking to add a statement pattern or design feature.

Bringing texture into your space with a faux fur rug or rustic jute runner will give the room more depth, whilst helping to hide cheap-looking laminate flooring.

Collect vases and ornaments that will stand out against bland furniture and can be kept on display to add personality. In rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, where it can be tricky to change the overall look, be smart about adding accessories to complement the existing scheme, rather than going against it.

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