3 practical (but temporary) ways for tenants to upstyle a rental home
Many younger Australians are now living in what is commonly called “Generation Rent” – and it isn’t just because prices are high in some Australian cities. McCrindle’s Renter of the Future report demonstrated how 3 in 10 tenants actually actively choose to rent a property over buying one.
So, clearly the Australian dream of owning your own home doesn’t apply to everyone, but that doesn’t mean people with rental properties have to put up with their landlord’s interior design taste! There are plenty of ways to temporarily upgrade a rental property that even your landlord would approve of – but always remember to ask permission first!
1) Hooks are your friends
Remember, they aren’t permanent additions and as such they don’t necessarily last as long as you might like.
Those temporary load-bearing hooks that you can purchase from your local DIY store could end up being the solution to all your storage problems, particularly for those people who live in smaller dwellings but have a lot of gear to store. Students are particularly noteworthy in this regard – those textbooks can end up taking up a huge amount of space!
You can use these hooks in a multitude of ways, from using them for hanging up extra saucepans on the wall to constructing hanging baskets in the kitchen for herbs and other light ingredients. Remember, they aren’t permanent additions and as such they don’t necessarily last as long as you might like. Keep some spares and don’t keep anything too valuable or fragile on them.
Ensure that you clean whatever space you are putting them onto with rubbing alcohol beforehand. Even a little bit of dirt can end up with your hooks tumbling off at the most inopportune moment. In addition, try to keep them away from steamy areas (such as directly above the hob or in an under-ventilated bathroom), as the moisture can interfere with the sticky lining.
2) Replace the curtains
Window hangings can easily be taken with you.
Curtains are one of those things that seem to get neglected a fair amount when it comes to rental accommodation. Whether they are old, mouldy, thin or just ugly, these are definitely things that you can temporarily switch out for something a little nicer. Remember, curtains aren’t just for show, particularly during the colder months: they make up an integral part of keeping your property warm and cosy too.
While it might not be worth it to purchase something expensive in temporary accommodation, window hangings can easily be taken with you – so long as you ensure that they don’t fall victim to the same neglect the old set did!
Mildew is caused by damp conditions in the air, so if you find your curtains are suffering from it, it’s best to investigate where you can better ventilate your accommodation. Dehumidifiers are one option, though expensive, and it might be a lot easier just to provide plenty of air circulation. Passive design is your friend here – if the air outside is drier than the inside, opening a window will circulate the two, removing that moisture without any extra effort on your part.
3) Improve your lighting
The key to a temporary upgrade is ensuring that you can both install and remove it without incident.
There’s nothing more irritating than having poor lighting right where you live. It can strain your eyes and ruin the best parts of your interior design. This is a little more complex, and can require some electrical knowledge, so ensure you know what you’re getting yourself before pulling everything apart.
Even something as simple as changing the light bulbs could make a huge difference, while switching out the old bulbs for energy efficient ones could also save you on your electricity bill too.
Remember, the key to a temporary upgrade is ensuring that you can both install and remove it without incident, and that it is portable enough for you to take with you. As much as you landlord would appreciate the additions, you don’t want to waste money by purchasing something and just leaving it behind.
Whether you’re a renter by choice or by necessity, you can make just as big a difference to your real estate as someone who owns it – as long as you keep it cheap, practical and, most of all, temporary!