IDEAS on how to COZY UP Your Rental House


Here are some ways to cozy up your new rental space and make it feel like home – without fear of losing your deposit. We give all our tenants a form at the time of signing the lease agreement that shows what will need to be done to receive the deposit back, the form can be found here.

Adding your own touches, and perhaps getting rid of the previous tenant’s energy, helps make a new place feel like home. Just make sure you understand the terms of your rental lease agreement before modifying anything. Some landlords allow tenants to paint the walls, while others don’t want so much as a nail in them. Here are ways to cozy up your rental space without fear of losing your deposit.

Freshen up

Weird smells happen, whether it’s smoke or something funkier. Try to find the source of any unsavory odors, because masking them with fragrances may only make it worse. If you aren’t sure of the source, put white vinegar in a bowl and circulate air throughout the rental by turning on a fan and opening windows and doors. You can also combine equal parts of water and white vinegar as a neutralizing spray. You can also sprinkle baking soda over carpet and other fabrics to help neutralize smells. And if the aroma is coming from the garbage disposal, grinding up lemon or orange peels will do the trick. If your rental lease allows it, painting the walls can also be a great way to get rid of those all-too-common musky or smoky smells – and give you a fresh color palette.

Make your temporary mark

Even if you can’t make permanent changes, there are plenty of ways to personalize a rental:

  • Change up window dressings if your lease allows it. Switching out basic aluminum mini blinds for flowing curtains or even a modern print can transform the look of a space.
  • Add a rug or two. Rentals often come with less-than-desirable flooring. A fun rug — even laid on top of carpet — can detract the eye from what’s beneath it. Use rugs with distinct colors and textures to make them pop.
  • Try removable wallpaper or decals, which allows you to add personality to your space without making any permanent changes.
  • Simple touches like throw pillows are a great way to add personal flair without a huge investment.

Find your style

Not sure whether you’re style is contemporary, traditional, modern, or country? Decorating sites let you explore design trends and find the style that suits you best. A mix of styles like sleek modern furniture with vintage accessories — can help strike a comfortable balance and really make your place feel like home. The key is finding what inspires you and incorporating elements of it throughout.

Maximize small spaces

There are plenty of simple ways to optimize your space and make it appear larger:

  • Think about flow and furniture placement. Whether you want to apply the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui or would just like to create a space that works best for your lifestyle, consider the location and position of your furniture. Resist the urge to push everything against a wall and opt instead to place certain pieces diagonally, such as putting a loveseat or large chair in a corner.
  • Let there be light. Even if your rental doesn’t have great natural or overhead lighting, you can brighten up your space (and mood) with a range of lighting fixtures, from trendy corded chandeliers to minimalist floor lamps.

Get smart with storage

There’s no such thing as too much storage, and most rentals rarely have enough of it. Some tips:

  • Take advantage of unused space. Areas like the back of a door or under a bed are great places for storage. Behind-the-door shoe holders, for example, can double as organizers for numerous small items, from makeup to mail.
  • Go tall. The higher the bookcase, the more storage you’ll have. Keeping the horizontal footprint small will make your place look larger and save room for the furniture pieces you really want.
  • Limit the stuff. Moving is an ideal time to pare down your belongings and donate or get rid of what you don’t need. The less stuff you have, the bigger (and more organized) your place will appear.

Plant a container garden

Nothing breathes life into a place quite like plants, and container gardening works well in even the tiniest of spaces.

Show off the place

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The place won’t really feel like home until you open it to friends and family. Hosting a party is also the ultimate motivator to get your space into shape. Worried about entertaining in tight quarters?

  • Edit your guest list. You don’t have to invite everyone you know, especially if you’re limited on square footage. Make sure you’ll have enough room for guests to move around without stepping on each other.
  • Keep the space open. If you have multiple rooms, you may want to move some of the bulkier furniture to an area guests won’t see.