If you’re living in a rental place it’s often really hard to make it feel like home. We know that feeling, we’ve been there and have some great ideas to help you make you feel comfortable and to bring your own personality into your space.
Starting to decorate a temporary home can seem like a daunting task, especially when you feel like it’s not going to be your permanent home. But think about how good it will make you feel to come home every evening to a space that feels like it reflects you and your personality.
Firstly spend a few days looking at the light in your new space, where does the light shine early in the day, during the day and at sunset. You want to be able to appreciate these times and spaces to suit you. Try painting a few colours on the walls in different places as the light will make them look really different. Live with them for a few days before deciding on which to choose. Once you’ve decided paint all walls if you have the energy, it looks much more professional than a feature wall.
The next simple but truly effective feature you can change is the door handles and light switches. Honestly, it’ll make the world of difference to your home and people always notice. You can use small ceramic ones to liven up the drawers in the kitchen, or glass ones to bring in some antique chic. Places to look are Etsy as there are hundreds, also Ebay has lots of options, but be mindful of fakes. Boutons de Meubles have a marvellous selection to choose from. See some of their designs below. Light switches can be found at the wonderful Bazar d’electricite a veritable emporium of lighting delights.
Next up is the all important lighting, where to put it and the bulbs to use are all part of the design process. Look at where the dark corners are in the room and then use your lighting to brighten those areas. Use a variety of different lights and avoid overhead lighting if you can, it’s not usually very flattering, unless you have a big room and chandeliers. France is full of beautiful lighting, old and new – try a the local brocante or if that’s not really you, the Conran Shop, Habitat and BHV all have huge selections.
There is no easier way of augmenting a space than using mirrors. As the wonderful Agatha Christie knew all too well, ‘They Do It With Mirrors‘. Think about where to place them first; what do you want to reflect? Do you want people to look in them or are they there to reflect light? It’s really worth leaning them up against the wall first and living with them for a few days before drilling the holes. Planning is key. See our selection of ways to style a room with mirrors below.
We all do this and it’s so easy to remove these horrid little eyesores…the cables! Try to hide them when you can; behind furniture, under the rug, tack them neatly into the wall, but please do try and hide them as nothing says ‘temporary home’ like stray cables wandering around the room. Most DIY stores will have wonderful inventions for hiding these little monsters.
If you have been supplied with a furnished flat then you will need the landlords permission to do this, but if you’re the one decorating and do have a bit of leeway do feel free to spending a couple of Sundays painting the odd piece of furniture, or adding some varnish to an old table. It really can make a huge difference and you can match up pieces with colour even when they don’t match in style. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also line the inside of drawers or shelves with wallpaper to make the design more individual.
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