When you’re saving to buy your own apartment or make the leap into the property market, you would be forgiven for having the odd pang of jealousy and longing to own the rental you are in.
Thoughts like “I wish this were ours” or “if only we had a spare RM800,00o” might regularly pop up, particularly if you are renting somewhere quite lush.
Never fear – there are ways to own the space and put your individual flair and style on a rental, without signing your life away.
Be creative with art
Shelley’s top piece of advice is to feature art on the walls of your rental to bring your personality in.
“There’s nothing more personal than art you’ve collected hanging on the walls of your home, so if the landlord will give you permission to hang it, then go for it,” she says.
Dean totally agrees and believes nothing makes your faux home feel like you are actually home than some beautiful pieces of art or prints.
He adds: “Be mindful that you’ll need to repair any damage caused to walls.”
Go crazy with wallpaper
Because, why not? If you love bold, eclectic looks – or even just want to add a cute motif to your kids’ room – then wallpaper offers a win-win in a rental.
“There are many removable wallpapers on the market that don’t require paste or glue which can instantly add vibrancy,” says Shelley, “but make sure you check with the landlord beforehand so you don’t breach your contract.”
“Wall decals are also an easy update, especially for kids’ bedrooms, and can be easily removed or changed as little ones grow older.”
Embrace indoor plants
Without a doubt indoor plants are one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to stamp your style on a space.
“Think fiddle leaf figs, motherin-law’s tongue, Devil’s ivy, rubber plant and the Philodendron,” says self-confessed ‘plant-powered environmentalist’ Dean. “Fiddle leaf figs can be quite temperamental, so do your homework on these guys before investing as they can be expensive.”
As long as you seek permission from your landlord, you can paint your rental. Painting is possibly one of the easiest ways to breathe new life into a space – and figuratively own it.
“If you think there’s some longevity in your lease, pull out the paint brush and remember to use products that have low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) – you don’t want those nasty smells causing headaches for weeks after you’ve painted,” says Dean.
“There’s an amazing Australianowned company called Ecotour, which is producing serious quality paint that has zero VOCs! Best of all they deliver it to your doorstep. You’ll cover 14sqm per litre and don’t forget you’ll probably need two coats!”
Design it with love
When it comes to styling your rental property to make it feel like yours, take the time to choose soft furnishings so you can inject it with personality.
“Lamps, rugs and cushions are great additions and give a home individuality and cosiness,” says Shelley. “These, alongside other accessories such as plants and books, can liven up any space and quickly make it feel like home.”