If you’re anything like this typical 20-something you’ve had your fair share of rented rooms.
Moving from one house share to another can feel a bit like you’re trapped in a cycle. One where you wake up surrounded by old, mismatched furniture, bare walls you’re forbidden from hanging anything on and the feeling this isn’t really your home.
Just because you can’t make drastic changes doesn’t mean you can’t do something special with your rented space. Pulling from our experiences making the renting market more liveable, we’ve put together a collection of tips on how to make your rented space feel more like a real home.
A couple of plants can make even the dullest rented room seem full of life.
Becoming a plant parent might seem like a big responsibility that you can’t handle right now, but the presence of greenery will not just brighten up the room, but your day.
A sunflower in the corner. Some little vegetables growing on the windowsill. A cactus mate on your desk. Introducing plant life into your personal space gives a room a vibrancy. Suddenly the chipped walls feel less dull and that worn desk looks like somewhere you could actually work. Studies have shown that the presence of plant life doesn’t just make you feel less anxious, but improves your productivity too.
Plantlife is also a great project to invest your time into. Making sure they don’t die a dehydrated death can become part of your weekend routine, and nothing will be more satisfying than seeing them grow up to become big, strong and colourful. A great way to improve your room and feel like an adult while doing it.
Grow up a bit
Look, I know those old band posters have nostalgic value and those bedsheets have served you well since university, but this new place might be a chance to move on.
Everyone loves a fresh start. A chance to re-invent themselves and feel as if they’ve really progressed in life. Moving is typically a great opportunity to do this, and an important part of that is making a distinct change between this room and your last one.
Rather than use the same old decorations, treat yourself to a bit of retail therapy and splurge out on something to make your room look nice. Get that print you’ve always wanted to hang up framed. Don’t just go for the cheapest lamp. No, beer bottles and empty deodorant cans are not ornaments.
At some point, the fact you’re an adult is going to hit you hard, and it’s not always going to be pretty. Being in a room that at least reflects that will make you feel much better about the situation.
Create designated spaces
One of the hardest parts of renting is only having one space you can call your own. You’re sharing a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room (although you’ve never seen anyone in there). One way to make your room feel less confined is to separate it into multiple areas.
This is especially important if you work from your bedroom. If you have the space, create a designated office area with your desk, computer and all your books. Make your bed more comfortable with throws and cushions. Put some blankets on the windowsill and sit out there on sunny days.
Creating a sense of separation even in the smallest rooms is important for feeling like you’re not staring at the same thing all day every day. It’s a brilliant way to make a space feel much larger than it actually is.
Make a personal statement
What is a home without some personal touches?
Many young people make the mistake of never decorating their rented rooms. “I’m not going to be here long anyway” they say. Well, you might as well make those months more enjoyable.
It can be anything from a row of books to some prints of artwork you love to a collection of polaroids of you and your friends. Anything that is quintessentially you. This may not be a room you own, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your own stamp on it.
Surrounding yourself with things you love and items that remind you of specials times is essential for making yourself feel more positive in a rented space. Nothing is more depressing when you’re renting than feeling like you don’t belong there and that it’s someone else’s, so remind yourself that it’s yours every day.
Renting can be difficult. Between weaving past housemates and spending five nights a week in your tiny room it can be hard to feel like you’re anything more than a student away from home for the first time. Follow these tips to make yourself feel more comfortable in your new space in no time.