This one is for readers who have or are in the process of renting out a home. The simple tips below should help you get your home to reflect your lifestyle and your style without cashing out your wallet.
This article also appeared on the home page of Deccan Herald - Homes & Interiors this morning...happy reading
Design & Makeover Tips and tricks to convert your rental home into a place of your own
While you may not be able to do much about your nosy landlord, there is lots that can be done to make your rented house reflect your lifestyle and make it feel like “home” without cashing out your credit card.
Each of us has lived in a rented accommodation at some point in our life whether it be due to moving cities, the need for a bigger place or just that it was not yet time to afford a place of one’s own. While a new place comes with its own quota of excitement, doing it up to suit one’s taste and lifestyle is a bit of a tug of war between balancing the costs against the desire. The simple tips below should help you balance this equation.
Before you zero in on your rented home
Make sure that the place you are renting has the right amount of fixed furniture. In the minimum, the place should be fitted with the Kitchen and the Wardrobes in each of the rooms. These are your CORE storage spaces and without these, no matter what you do, your stuff will be found lying around in places where it is not supposed to be, giving your home the typical “rented home” look
Also press upon your landlord to install a decent enough chimney in the Kitchen. Without one, sooner than later you will see black soot accumulating around the cooking area which will be a “no-win” both for you and your landlord.
Just before you move in
There are things that need to be done that need the house to be empty hence a bit of planning may be required for this bit. At least one day before you move in with your truckloads get the floor cleaned – acid washed if it’s too dirty. Additionally get a round of pest control done through a reputed company. Doing this in an empty home is better as you can reach into every crevice and corner, secondly your kids don’t suffer the inconvenience and the poisonous fumes.
You may also want to get the curtains resized according to the window dimensions of the new home in advance so that they are ready to go from day one.
Now that you have moved in
Let’s start with the curtains where we left off. If you already have them ready then they will define the colour theme of the home, else if you are planning on getting new ones and don’t want to spend a bomb then you can look at some of the ready - made ones available in the market. With a broad colour theme in place as defined by the curtains decide on the bed linens. Your existing sets of linen will mostly do, however look at adding small cushions in different finishes and colours to either merge with, or to contrast with the colour theme. Once you are done start adding other things
The Highlight Wall:
Look at highlighting one of the walls of each room, including the living room in line with the colour theme. You can do this by painting, using wall paper or wall hangings & photo frames. Wallpaper and paint may sound difficult but nowadays it takes not more than a few hours to do up a single wall nor is it too expensive. Just this single investment will go a long way in adding a fair degree of the desired warmth to the new home.
Depending on the space available you can look at adding designer shelves for showpieces or books on the other walls. Nowadays there is a wide range of such shelves available to purchase online as well.
A Dash of luxury on the floor:Rugs and mats will add that bit of a luxurious look to the place that you need. Look out for ones that go with your colour theme. With the weather in Bangalore you can have the rugs on 365 days however be careful not to overdo it since rugs everywhere may make the space look smug & small.
Lighting:This is again a small investment that will make a big difference. To most people lighting = having enough light in the room to be able to read which is the equivalent of using a space shuttle to go to Mumbai when it can take you to Mars. Depending on the living space, proper lighting can either make the place feel warm or full of energy and affect the mood of the inhabitants accordingly. In a rented home though you may not be able to do much about the light fittings that your landlord has provided you can definitely enhance the same by changing to warm white LED/ CFL’s and adding floor as well as table lamps. A dimmer on the lamps can help you adjust the brightness in line with the mood you want to set and the time of the day. Do also remember that yellow lighting, also called warm white, will make the space feel warm and cozy while white light will make it feel more efficient. In well-designed homes you will hence find warm white in the living rooms and white in the study
Greenery:Plants, both indoors and outdoors add colour as well as style to the living space. If you have the luxury of a large balcony or a terrace then take help of the local nursery to identify the right plants that will thrive in the given space based on the direction of the sun and have a combination of flowering, fragrant as well as fruit giving varieties. For interiors there are a number of different plants available including bamboo, parsley & ferns that can be arranged in regular pots as well as in vertical stacks available nowadays. Some of these indoor plants also have air purification properties ensuring good health along with a plush look.
The Doors:If your rented place is passing its middle age then the doors will mostly have a worn down look. One may feel that not much can be done about it - nevertheless there is still hope. First – scrub down the doors with a good cleaner – you will not believe the years of accumulated dirt that will come off them. Now that you have them done and dusted get small trinklets that you can hang from the door knobs. Doors of kids’ rooms can also have some catchy posters. The resulting clean and catchy doors will bring in a substantial change to the overall look of the home.
Once you are through with the above changes you will surely have a place to call your own, hopefully you have a long enough rental contract with your landlord to ensure that you enjoy it for a long time to come.
As always, will welcome your feedback and comments