Ideas to make rented flats more personal

Assuming you can meet the invariably exorbitant rent...lots of us dislike renting because we can can do very little to the accommodation..such as painting it new colours or changing the flooring. But there are things you can do to make a rented place feel more like your home, which don't cost the earth

Fill your place with pot plants

An obvious way to make life better indoors is to live amidst greenery - so buy pot plants large and small. Photo courtesy of Leaf Envy.

Usually there are limitations on how much you can modify a rented place without jeopardising your deposit at the end of your tenancy. Unless you've obtained permission from your landlord, any alterations you undertake must be temporary and not result in any damage to the property. 

However, Nick Woodward of property company Essential Living has some easy and affordable ways to make a rented flat/house feel like home - without risking your deposit. 

House plants

From large leafy monstera to beautiful peace lilies, house plants, whether real or faux, are a quick and easy way to liven up a space. They bring nature indoors, improve interior air quality and can give a sense of tranquillity. Spider plants are good if your place isn't awash with natural light as they drive in low light - and they're particularly good at removing carbon monoxide from the air. And if you worry you're not the most green-fingered person, consider snake plant, widely known as one of the lowest maintenance, almost impossible-to-kill plants. 

Rugs and runners
As a tenant, you can't change the flooring in your rented space. If you've been lucky enough to rent a property with neutral flooring throughout - for example pale wood flooring - that's great but you still improve things by adding rugs. Think runners in hallways, area rugs in sitting rooms and dirt absorbing eco-friendly Hug Rugs or similar by the front door.

Rugs are an excellent way to add your own style into your living space, while on the practical side they add warmth and hide any flooring that's a bit tired or not to your liking. And of course rugs can be rolled up and taken with you when you leave. Wool rugs can be costly so also remember to treat them regularly with anti-moth spray, as it's amazing how quickly hungry moth larvae can munch through a substantial wool rug!

Buy quality soft furnishings
Spend money on things you can keep, so cushions, bed linen, artworks - and re the latter, there are myriad products available to hang picture without nails for those who fear damaging walls if they put in picture hooks. If there are shelves, put pictures on them and prop against the wall. If your place is part furnished and there's space, then buy space-saving pieces of furniture, such as tallboy chests. Look on eBay and scope out some bargains. Buy the best quality you can, choose sustainable/renewable materials and always investigate second-hand. 

Replace cabinet and drawer knobs 
Fixtures and fittings aren’t necessarily permanent. For instance, if you're not fond of the handles on your kitchen cabinets or bedroom wardrobes, replacing them with ones that suit your taste and style can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of the space. The advantage is that you can easily switch them back to their original state when you move out and take the handles with you.

Putting out personal photographs as soon as you move in is one of the easiest and fastest ways to make your space feel like your home. And go for good quality plain frames. Just don't cram every surface full of family photos though..moderation is key!

Find scented candles, wax melts or diffusers you love and make your space smell delicious.

Move the furniture around
After living in your rented property for a while, you may realise you're annoyed by the way the furniture is laid out - in which case, move it around!   Perhaps the bed is against a wall rather than in the middle of the room, you prefer a desk by the window, or the sofa obstructs access to your balcony doors. Rearranging rooms in the home is an affordable way to change the look of a room entirely and freshen up your space.