This subject is something I have some experience with and that is giving a rental property a new lease of life. I was lucky enough to rent an apartment in a great location in Dublin some years ago and it came as a blank canvas. I was able to add my own personality to it without making any structural alterations. There are plenty of little tweaks you can make to a rented space without breaking the budget. But before you make any changes, always check your lease or speak to your landlord to make sure that changes are permitted. Some will be more relaxed than others when it comes to the condition they want their property back in.
The most obvious place to start is with the walls. One of the most effective ways to update any space whether it be a rental or your own home is to create a great foundation and paint will do just that. I like to keep walls neutral so that I can let the furnishings and art be the main focus. I feel like a neutral base allows for far more creativity and colour splashes elsewhere. One of the questions I get asked about most is what colours I have on the walls in my own home and I would still happily recommend it to anyone. It is Slaked Lime Deep by LittleGreene paints. Their paints are very high quality so will stand the test of time and can be wiped clean. You can buy it direct from Littlegreene.ie with prices starting at €30 a litre.
Textiles are a great way to add personality without making any radical changes. If the floors are hardwood or cold then rugs will add a layer of warmth and texture. A large jute rug will create a new carpet look without any great cost. Then add some smaller textiles like cushions, throws and ready to hang curtains to completely transform the space. We have some beautiful merino wool throws and linen cushions at theirishcountryhome.com. Cushions will be available from September and throws start at €129.95
Getting an electrician in to change the lighting in a rental is not going to be likely so you’ll have to work with what you’ve got. However, there are lots of options for personalising the lighting. Using oversized pendant lights and changing lampshades to add a feature to a room. If you’re dealing with badly placed lights or bad bulbs, adding some lamps will give the space a warm and cosy feel. IKEA have lots of affordable lighting options with prices starting at €10
There are lots of ways to add accessories. Add plants, big and small to add interest and to disguise any ugly walls or floors. Baskets are another simple piece of decor that adds texture to your space without too much colour or distraction. They’re amazing for storage, making them functional as well as pretty. Hanging art is a wonderful way to show your personality and if your landlord doesn’t allow you to use nails in the walls there are ways around it. You can use 3M Command products or White Tak to hang lighter pieces and it won’t leave any marks behind. Add in your own home decor pieces like artificial flowers, decorative boxes and coffee table books to put your unique stamp on the place.
I hope that was of some help to any of you currently renting or thinking about it. As always, feel free to email me with any of your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org