The One Thing Creative People Do to Make Their Rentals Feel like Home
Making a rental property feel like home can be tricky. You are obviously restricted with what you can do and it can be frustrating to feel as though you can't add your own personal touches to it. But even though you might not be able to make permanent aesthetic changes like changing the colour of the walls, flooring, or updating your kitchen and bathroom fit-outs, what you can do is make some minor changes, and most importantly, style the space to make you feel happy.
To find out how we can make a rental property feel like home, we turned to the advice of eight creatives. The running theme with all of their rental homes is that they have filled them with meaningful items be it vintage furniture, family heirlooms, or decor that reflects their personalities. In turn, they have all created spaces that feel like their own.
How to Make a Rental Feel like Home
1. Hannah Sindorf, jewellery designer
Thanks to her built-in jewellery studio, warm Terracotta linens, and treasure trove of family heirlooms, the rental quickly felt like home to Hannah Sindorf. It currently houses countless sculptures fashioned by her late father, cherished photos of family members, and vintage furniture originally purchased by her grandparents in the 1950s.
“I’d like to think my style travels with me,” she shares. “I have so many pieces that I will keep forever because they’re timeless and have great sentimental value.”
2. Rowi Singh, content creator
Rowi Singh knows that it is decoration that helps a rental become a home, especially when you can’t make any major changes or renovations to the space itself.
“Collect pieces you love by curating a moodboard, doing lots of research and hunting down second-hand pieces where you can. [Our apartment is] very unsuspecting from the outside. But we’ve elevated it and made it our own with colourful finds both new and old.”
3. Jaz Meier, graphic artist
Meier's love for the '70s has seeped into her home's styling. The dining space features vintage cane furniture in the form of chairs, bar stools, and woven plant pots. Step into the living area and you'll be greeted by velvet seating in avocado green and burgundy tones.
"My love for vintage and the seventies shows in our styling. We are all earthy browns and natural wood tones. I have a few vintage pieces from my late Grandmother that are my absolute favourites. I love how timeless vintage decor can be, it is never particularly in or out of fashion and often as it was made decades and decades ago it's made incredibly well and made to last."
4. Madeline Jovicic, artist
Artist Madeline Jovicic's transformed her rental home transformed into an art-filled paradise reminiscent of a European summer holiday, a look that reflects her personal art style.
"This apartment is a quite generic and modern space, which isn’t my style at all, so my goal has been to fill it with items that bring in some much-needed warmth and character to the space. It’s definitely still a work in progress as I haven’t been here for very long yet, but I like to take my time with adding pieces as I find things I love."
5. Nicolette Johnson, Ceramicist
Nicolette's art-filled rental abode and studio is eclectic and filled with secondhand and vintage pieces. It's home to a mix of fabrics, objets d'art, and art that has been bought from and swapped with other artists. "...Everything in our home brings me such a warm feeling and I highly recommend being surrounded by things you find beautiful," she says.
6. Josh and Matt
Less than half a year into living in the apartment, artists Josh and Matt say they have never felt more at home. The couple have filled the space with a cacophony of colour, art and design: Pink Clay and Turmeric sheets from Bed Threads, twin squidgy red armchairs by Togo, a 1993 Vilbert chair, a Memphis Milano squash tray and a custom desk from Curated Spaces.
“We usually gravitate towards colour, postmodern design and interesting materiality,” they say. “We don’t worry too much about making sure everything fits a specific style, it really is just a blend of a lot of different eras and styles meshed together with our own flair.”
7. Susan Alexandra, Designer
It was both the location that sold the apartment for Alexandra, smack bang in the middle of one of the city’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, and the bones of the space: cosy, good light and a blank canvas that the designer could add her own stamp to. “I am renting, so all alterations to the space were superficial,” Alexandra stresses, but that doesn’t mean that she hasn't been able to change things up in the apartment.
She says there was no thought process behind the way she styled her her rental, she just filled it with things that she loves. "I love my vintage green chair carved into a daisy. I love my yellow Wiggle Room table. I love my shelving unit that was built specifically to fit my tchotchkes. I love all my miniatures!"
8. Claudia Stephenson, interior decorator
Claudia Stephenson has carefully curating the possessions in her home. “What I love doing is helping people edit down their own collection of furniture, accessories, books and distill it into a more meaningful representation of themselves—which is exactly what I do in my own home.”
Handmade vases live on sculptural stone plinths. An edit of artwork and glassware is styled on a wooden side table with chunky handles. In the dining room—Stephenson’s favourite space at home—a marble table is surrounded by stark brutalist chairs, sourced from Gumtree.
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