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9 Ways To Make Your Rental House The Cosiest Place On Earth

Home sweet home.

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Hiya! Do you rent your home? Do you wish it was a bit cosier, but you a) don't own your own furniture, b) aren't allowed to paint the walls or c) don't really know where to start?

Well friend, I am here to help.

1. Dismantle what you can and store it under your bed.

Flickr: camillaleila Creative Commons

In the 3rd place I rented, there was a seriously ugly IKEA kid's desk in the bedroom. It served no purpose, apart from taking up precious floor space. I dismantled it, put the metal parts in a Ziplock bag, sellotaped that to the wood, and shoved the whole lot under the bed. I then rebuilt it when I moved out. If there's furniture that you loathe and don't need to use, then as long as it's easy to take apart, you should go for it.

If your bedframe can take it, look into buying bed risers. And if you're the crafty type, here's a great DIY.

2. Hang up what you can.

Chances are, you're not allowed to drill into walls or hang nails. But why not ask your landlord – my last rental had a clause in the contract forbidding nails. But I contacted the letting agent to ask if there was any leeway on it and they said it was fine if agreed in advance.

If this isn't an option for you, then sticky hanging strips are brilliant. I've hung pictures (nothing too heavy), mirrors and small shelves with them. And they don't leave any residue when you take them off. I like these ones.


3. Display your storage.

Instead of trying to hide your storage, make it part of your decor. You are probably familiar with the Raskog – over the years I have used mine to store bathroom stuff (toilet paper, make-up, shampoo), kitchen stuff (oils, spices, tea towels) and office stuff (books, documents and cables).

The same applies to big baskets, hampers or trunks. My coffee table is a giant hamper with a tray on top of it – inside all our winter coats are vacuum packed away. Keep an eye on Gumtree or eBay for good deals, or places like H&M Home often have nice trunks.

4. Do what you can with the bathroom.

Flickr: srmartin Creative Commons

A rented bathroom is surprisingly easy to turn around. First things first, if it's grotty, swap out the shower curtain for a new one. If you want, you can store the original one for when you move out, but I have always just left the new one behind, and binned the original.

Then buy a nice bath mat and a little rug for under the sink (if there's space), and a bathroom bin that isn't a generic white one from IKEA. This whole set-up, shower curtain included, shouldn't run more than £25 and it will make such a difference. I would really recommend an anti-bacterial shower curtain over a cute one btw. I like this mould-resistant one.

5. Vaccum pack what you can.

One of the tricky parts of renting a house is trying to bend the storage solutions to your will. If there's no space to have a chest of drawers, or the kallax isn't adequate, then you need to get creative. You'd be surprised at what can fit under a sofa. Or on top of a wardrobe. Or beneath a wardrobe. Vacuum pack things that you don't use in bulk (ie towels and bed linen, or winter coats).

If you don't own a vacuum cleaner (I didn't for a few years), then you can buy vacuum bags that roll the air out instead.

6. Swap out the curtains.

Steinar La Engeland /

Chances are, the curtains in your place are light white ones from IKEA. If not, then wahey for fancy curtains. But swapping them out for a darker pair will mean that light doesn't wake you up in the morning, and a jolly bright colour will mean magnolia white walls don't look so grim.

If you're OK with the curtains you have, then think about re-usable wall paper or wall decals. I know loads of articles about renting suggest this, but you don't need to do a whole wall. A small ~ statement ~ patch can look just as cool.


7. Buy a floor lamp.

Another tricky thing about renting is the lighting. An easy way to counter this is to buy a handful of lamps and dot them around the house. I think a tall floor lamp is always worth it, but you might have other lighting preferences. IKEA is your friend here, but also keep an eye on Gumtree and eBay. I love this Anglepoisey one.

8. And swap the lampshade.

There's a high probability your place features this lampshade. You're not alone, but maybe you wanna change things up. Jokes aside, a lampshade really changes the tone of a room, and they are pretty cheap to boot.

9. Spring for soft furnishings.

Rugs, throws and cushions, it's time to go to town. I had the jazziest purple rented sofa (think 90s shirt pattern) that I managed to make look OK with a throw and many cushions. If there's a Homesense near you, go for it. I have a friend who has loads of big throw pillows that she uses as extra seating when friends come over, and are easier to store than extra chairs. And if you don't live near a Homesense (I don't, alas), then you can shop via on TK Maxx online.