From toddlers and pets to doorknobs! Read our advice on putting your stamp on your rented property.
It tends to be the same story when renting a property. You go into it knowing that you have a blank canvas, and you know that any personality you want to put into it may be limited.
You’re cool with that until further down the line when you’re staring at a blank wall and wishing you could put up that stunning art print you spotted earlier.
So you’re left thinking, “so what now?”.
Well, you either deal with it, ask your landlord, or respectively make changes that can easily be reversed without any long-lasting damage to the property.
Don and I have been living in a church conversion for four years, and we fell in love instantly. We were amazed by the white walls, dark wooden beams, and floor to ceiling windows.
Eventually, being creative people, we needed more, and so we made edits to make the home our home.
WALL ART + FURNISHINGS
One of the first things we wanted to introduce to our home was some wall art.
Don and I are both pretty minimalist in style, so we decided to make a couple of simple canvases using what we had lying around.
We got drunk, messed around, and created monochrome abstract canvases using black and white acrylic paint. It was a fun night to remember!
The brilliant thing about canvases (and ours are pretty large) is the weight of them. They are incredibly light, so they can be held on to a wall without the need for nails or screws. Just simply use command strips or velcro strips.
We now have four DIY canvases around our small home, and they all hold up incredibly well with command strips. I should add that depending on the paint; the strips might pull part of the paint when completely removing from the wall. We have a weird chalky paint that comes away simply by being wiped – not cool when you have a toddler.
If you’re looking to place items on your walls such as shelves, or furnishings with a heavier weight to them, then try using ‘No More Nails’ to avoid using nails or screws.
There is also the option to simply lean wall art against the wall. A lot of people do this to avoid damaging the walls but also because it just looks good.
Next, we can take a look at items such as wall decals, removable stickers, and removable wallpaper. Wall decals and stickers are an easy and affordable way to change a room quickly and are easily removable, so they won’t damage paint when removing.
Wall decals can also come in custom sizes. If you need something small to feature above a crib or something bigger like a feature wall, then the options are endless. We personally love the wall decals designs found here. Removable wallpaper is another brilliant way of temporarily changing the decor of a room but can be more expensive.
Moving away from walls, the next thing to consider could be items such as rugs and other furnishings. You can implement your style through the use of cushions and throws down to your crockery and appliances.
SPACE + ADJUSTMENTS
It’s easy to add soft furnishings here and there, but what about the little things that you have to change physically, such as doorknobs?
It might sound strange, but trust me, people love to put there own spin on everything and anything! And I’ve seen some gorgeous doorknobs out there.
When it comes to things like this, you can either make the change and change them back for your inspections or make the change and see if it gets mentioned.
Either way, doorknobs are an easily reversible thing, so long as you remember to store the original ones somewhere safe!
The same applies to items such as curtains, fridge storage trays, toilet roll holders, etc., you get the gist. Luckily for us, our home is very modern, so we are happy with the furnishings we currently have.
However, Emma pulled off the cooker knobs, so we now turn it on with a swiss army knife! It’s the little things!
Dealing with small space
One thing we have had to adjust to is the absolute lack of space we have in our home, so we have had to find space anywhere we can. Yes, you can just bring in more storage furniture, but what if there isn’t any space for more space?! You have to get savvy
I’m talking about using the space on the back of doors and creating space under the sofa (not just for losing things).
I store my daughter’s changing mat under the sofa and just slide it out when I need it. It’s really handy for me because we all pretty much live, work and play in this one room.
I’m thinking of creating some DIY roller storage board for her mat, nappies, and wipes so I can keep it all together but out of the way (more on that another time).
PETS + ONE
In some contracts, pets aren’t allowed to live on the property. Sometimes you even have to notify your landlord if your partner moves in or if you have a baby.
If you do decide (against your landlord’s will) to have a pet on the property, then be sure to be respectful of the house. Don’t let your clawy cat in any carpeted rooms. If your dog needs to go, get up, and take your dog out.
Sweep often, Febreeze more and get that hair remover roller out 24/7. Also, remember to stash your pet on inspection days.
Notifying the landlord
We personally only decided to notify our landlord that I had moved in with my partner about two years after I moved in and only because we wanted my name on the lease for reference when we moved. Our landlord didn’t even acknowledge our email or respond to us, so maybe they didn’t mind
However, we didn’t notify them when we had Emma. On inspection day, they were surprised we had a 14-month-old and were probably eyeballin’ the walls for toddler masterpieces.
Like I said at the start, we’ve lived here for about four years, and I’ve been dying to make my mark on the place – even if only a little bit.
The main thing that holds me back right now is that we don’t plan on staying here for much longer, so any grand (rent friendly) makeovers really won’t be worth the time and money but who knows? Maybe I’ll change my mind.