5 ways to make a rented space feel like your own
MANILA, Philippines – Rented spaces can easily feel generic and dorm-like, but with a few clever tricks, they can actually feel more like the home you’ve always dreamt of living in.
At the launch of SM Home’s “Essentials of Condo Living” series, Cebu-based architect and interior designer Maya Franco told Rappler that there are many ways to work around the limitations of living in a rented space.
Here are her top tips for those who want to make their rented spaces a little more cozy.
Buy ready-made, mobile furniture
Maya suggests choosing ready-made furniture that you don’t have to mount to a wall or install anywhere – better if they come with wheels.
“These are things that after you rent, you can take with you wherever you move to next,” she said.
Don’t forget the artwork
Artwork ups the style factor of any space, and while you may not be able to hammer hooks into your landlord’s walls, you can still find creative ways to display art.
“Artwork doesn’t have to be attached to the wall, you can put it on top of a TV console or things like that,” she said.
Get colorful – with or without paint!
Maya highly recommends painting – if there’s even the slightest chance that your landlord may agree to a wall color makeover, go for it. But if the landlord won’t budge, you can still wash your space in your favorite hue through the accessories you use.
“To maximize the impact, repeat the colors everywhere. If you have orange throw pillows for example, also have an orange-framed mirror. Repeating or picking up the colors maximizes the impact so when you go in, the color pops out,” she shared.
Create a theme around existing furniture
Most rentals come semi- or fully-furnished, so residents will have to bring in a bit of imagination to create a coherent theme around furniture that may or may not suit their personalities.
Again, Maya says that accessories hold the power.
“f you’re lucky and the furniture is very basic, then it’s easy to create a theme. If you’re a traveler, you can put accessories that reflect that,” she said. “If the existing furniture is kind of eclectic or [doesn't match], then that’s more of a challenge, but there are ways around it. As long as [the] accessories you add in there is cohesive, then [they can help draw the eye away from the furniture]."
If all else fails, cover up
You don’t have to endure the sight of your rental’s tacky furnishings every day. If your landlord allows you to paint some of the furniture at least, you should do it. “Something can look really ugly, but if you paint it with a funky color, it sort of gives it new life,” Maya said. If that is out of the question, slipcovers and fabric would work just as well.
“You can choose the color of fabric right, plus you can [wash] it!” Maya said.