On both sides of the Atlantic, more and more people are becoming, or remaining renters. With the current state of the economy, and soaring home prices, home ownership is becoming considerably more difficult for an increasingly larger number of people to achieve.
If you, like many people these days, are renting an apartment, condo or house, you may find yourself hung up on the negative aspects of renting. I feel the root of these hang ups stems from the renters’ unfulfilled dream of that major goal of home ownership so ingrained in our society. So as renters we complain about our dwellings being too small, the wrong color, a small yard, or no yard, among other things. With the popularity of home renovation and interior design shows out there, renters feel frustrated that they’re stuck with white walls, and boring flooring.
Considering renting seems to be a trend that is here to stay, those of us who are renters will have to accept our circumstances, make the most of it, and even embrace the benefits of renting.
So your apartment is small, and you can’t indulge in your DIY interior design fantasies. Here are some ways to make it work for you.
If you’re dealing with a small space, there is plenty of interesting and innovative furniture out there that doubles as storage space. Every time you look at a piece of furniture, think about how to maximize
it for storage. Ottomans that open up to allow for storage are great. Think vertical, and invest in tall bookshelves, ladder shelves, and entertainment furniture that doubles as storage. Thank goodness for flat screen TV’s, that’s one less thing to take up precious floor space.
For a vintage look, old trunks, hat boxes, and old suitcases, make unique storage compartments.
Maximize your bedroom space with bunk beds, captain’s beds, futons, and fold away beds, for kid’s rooms and guest rooms.
Make sure to put scratch resistant pads on the bottoms of chairs, and any furniture that may move, to prevent scuffing the floors in your rental place.
Perhaps you can’t paint your living room wall in a theme color, or change your room’s paint to the inspired colors of the season, but you can still show off your own personal style. If you’re stuck with white walls, consider it a blank canvas, and do what you will. Add colorful window treatments to make a bold statement. Use unique furniture and accent pieces to express your style. Artwork, photography, and collectables are the real attention getters in a home in my opinion. Show off unique items you’ve collected on your travels, or showcase your own talents. Use colorful cushions, and put out vases with seasonal arrangements. Change your dining room table decor to keep your home’s look fresh. Change your comforter, and bedroom decor to incorporate the seasonal trends.
If you don’t like your flooring, buy an area rug to cover as much of it as possible.
Perhaps you’re renting a place that is really dated. I’ve been there, and I admit it sucks. 70’s yellow appliances, and fixtures, shag carpet, I feel for anyone who is dealing with that. Perhaps all you can do is embrace it (hopefully that’s part of your personality). Decorate your place in a retro or vintage look, like something from That 70’s Show. Sometimes, what’s old is new again. Try to have fun with it.
If it looks like you’ll be a renter for the long term, try to embrace the other benefits, as well. Hopefully your rent is less than what a mortgage payment would be, so you can save money, invest, travel, or afford to continue your education. As a renter, you can embrace opportunities as they come, and move wherever you need to go much more easily than a homeowner.
If you’re a renter, don’t let it get you down. There are many people out there in the same position as you. Embrace your benefits and opportunities, and make the most of your space by decorating with your own personal style.