Temporary Measures to Help Your Rental Feel Like Home

As Generation Rent, we’re likely to be renting, sharing and moving around for longer. But we still want to make a home of our current rented space, without blowing our budget, annoying the landlord or losing our deposit!  Sam from Blinds In A Box suggests 5 simple, practical ideas to personalise your pad, add a touch of style and help your rental feel like home.

Graduation is an exciting time – you have got your degree (congratulations!), celebrate with friends and family and start your career. But graduating from university also means leaving student digs behind and finding accommodation wherever your first graduate job takes you.
For many of us in our first roles or on graduate scheme rotations, rentals are a very temporary measure. And with strict tenancy rules to follow, personalising your new space can be challenging. We suggest some temporary measures to get creative and help your rental feel like home.

The rules with rentals

landlordIf you’ve lived in university halls, you probably already know a thing or two about these. Any rental accommodation is likely to have a set of specific rules. Some landlords are stricter than others on what you can and can’t do. And, irrespective of this, the rules have to be followed or you could risk losing your deposit.
Often, the tenancy rules mean that you can’t put much of your own stamp on the place; some of the most common rules mean you are not allowed to:

  • Paint walls
  • Hang pictures
  • Change furniture (if furnished)

Find out more about tenancy agreements here.

Making a space yours (temporarily)

Essentially, the rules implemented by landlords usually mean you can’t do anything to a property which is permanent. But there are some temporary tips and tricks that can help overcome this issue.

1.    Use command clips

Command clips are a godsend for the renter. A room just doesn’t feel right without decor like pictures or mirrors, and rentals are often left bare, making them feel cold and sterile.
Although nails, and in some cases even picture hooks, are a complete ‘no no’ for landlords wanting to retain the quality of walls and paintwork, command clips provide the solution. Designed to securely hold items in place on walls, command clips can be removed without leaving a trace.

2.    Add colour

So you can’t paint the walls, but you can add colours of your choice in other ways. From hanging wall art to getting fully coordinated bed linen, towels and decor, there are plenty of temporary ways to add your own touch to your new home. Although this may require a bit of investment, you can take everything you purchase to your next home.

3.    Get freestanding furniture

If you’re renting, freestanding furniture is your best friend. Not only is it easy to move when you do, it doesn’t require any permanent fittings. The right pieces can also help create the style you want to achieve.
The tip here is to shop smart—just because you can take furniture with you when you move on, doesn’t mean it will fit into a home further down the line, and bear in mind you might rent a furnished place next time. For this reason, we suggest you buy second hand wherever possible. Good solid furniture is expensive brand new, but you can get yourself a bargain from a local charity shop. All you have to do is see the potential—it’s amazing what a coat of paint can do!

4.    Use temporary blinds

It’s not just decorative measures that come with rules. Often you can’t fix your own window coverings.  Just as with picture hangings, renters may not be allowed to drill holes to fit blinds and curtains. What’s more, doing so can be expensive, especially as they might not fit the windows in your next place.
If window coverings are required in your rental, temporary blinds can provide a solution at minimal cost and without any permanent traces. Better still, if you’re creative, temporary blinds can even be decorated. (See the HelloGrads subscriber offer at the end of this article).
Blind on window with a plant

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash 


5.    Add personal touches

At the end of the day, what makes a house a home is the personal items. From pictures and candles to comfortable cushions and special gifts, the finishing touches you recognise from your family home are exactly what you should be putting into your rented accommodation.
From sprucing up a bare shelf with holiday photos and flourishing plants, to filling your home with delightful aromas from scented candles, you can bring a bit of home into your rental, completely transforming its appearance and feel.

Blinds in a Box teamThis post was contributed by the team at Blinds In A Box, a supplier of temporary blinds without the price tag, as seen on BBC Two’s Dragons Den.

We would like to offer HelloGrads subscribers* a special offer for 10% off the price of our blinds

– the perfect solution if you’re in need of temporary privacy in your student accommodation or rental.
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