This post is very dear to my heart and I feel like it's something we are sort of experts on at this point. We have been renting for 6 years—first in a condo and now in this beautiful old bungalow by the beach.
It can be hard to feel like you're home when you're renting, especially when you have plans to buy a house in the future. Over the years we have found ways to make both places feel cozy and so "us". The house we are in now is really short term as we are living here just while we search for our first owned home, but both have really felt like home to us.
Below I will share some ways we have made this happen.
Find out what you can and cannot change
Read your lease agreement carefully and contact your landlord with any changes you would like to make. Most landlords will be open to a discussion and you may be pleasantly surprised with their answer! Just get everything in writing and signed! Also know that any painting you do may need to get painted back to the original color before you leave.
Quick tip: Before painting, scrape a chip off of the original paint and keep it somewhere safe. This is so you can bring it to a paint store for a color match if you have to paint it back.
On this same point, don't be afraid to hang things and put some holes in the walls. Just don't go crazy as you may have to fill them and paint before you leave.
It's all about your mindset.
If you have the mindset that this is not your home, you will never feel settled. Think of it as home even if it's just for a short stage of your life. Fully unpack, find a place for everything and fill your space with love and good memories! Living out of boxes is a surefire way to make your house feel temporary.
Focus on non-permanent decor
Area rugs, bedding, throws and pillows, plants, hutches and fun end tables—get creative showing your personal style with movable, non-permanet items.
Think outside the box with hanging things and adding color
Find alternative ways to hang decor that won't leave marks or holes. Damage-free adhesive hooks, magnetic hanging systems and propping things against the wall instead of hanging are all good options. As you can see above, we used the ledge along the staircase to display family photos and favorite shells we collected. No need to hammer in nails!
As for color, sometimes leaving a wall as a blank palette really increases your options for creativity. Hang tapestries and art, play with color in fabrics and add a colorful area rug.
Don't forget about your outdoor space
Whether it's a small patio or a full-fledge backyard, make it your own—your outdoor space is an extension of your home. Tend to or grow flowers and herbs, get some seating that is versatile and can move with you in the future, and something fun like a fire pit!