Living in a rented house or flat can feel impersonal, as you naturally don’t have the freedom to do whatever you want with the space. Depending on the specifics of your rental agreement, everything from basic home improvements to owning a pet can be off the table. But if you’re struggling to feel a connection with the place you’re living, it doesn’t have to stay that way. Here, we’ll explore some steps you can take to feel more at home.
Why It’s Important
A home isn’t just somewhere you eat and sleep. It’s a place where you want and need to be able to let down your guard and feel comfortable, safe and fully yourself. How people feel about their living space can have a major impact on their mental health so it’s something that shouldn’t be neglected just because you don’t own the premises.
How to do it
- Mix up your decoration – you might not be able to nail large pieces of furniture into the walls or change up the lighting systems, but you can still have a big influence over the look and feel of your space. Bringing in smaller, freestanding pieces like storage units or end tables, or injecting personality into your bathroom with illuminated mirrors, can reshape a space in your image.
- Add a touch of greenery – houseplants are invaluable in turning a room into a home. Taking the time to water and nurture a pretty succulent or space-defining palm gives you a measure of responsibility for your home; if you’ve been aching to have a pet but aren’t allowed to do so under the terms of your lease, this might be a decent substitute.
- Invest in washi tape – a relatively recent import to UK homes, washi tape is a Japanese invention. It’s a kind of paper tape, often bright and colourful, that can stick to surfaces like walls and later be removed without leaving adhesive residue. This means you can decorate your space with posters, flyers and artwork without drawing complaints from landlords over drilling holes for nails!
- Display your own creations – nothing says ‘this space is mine’ like décor that you created yourself. Tapping into or learning new crafting skills could do just the trick. From crocheted animals that sit on bookshelves to hand-made wreaths using flowers, leaves and other natural materials, the sense of accomplishment is every bit as powerful as the aesthetic effect of showing off artistic endeavours.
Finding little ways to express yourself in a rented space can make a huge difference, so experiment with the changes that are within your power to build a stronger connection and feeling of self-worth.