DIY tips to make your rental feel like your own

Just because your house is a rental home and not your forever home, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put in the effort create a home you love. The key to the perfect rental? Utilising savvy design ideas that don’t cost a fortune and won’t annoy your landlord. 

Interior Designer Shelley Ferguson takes us through how to freshen up your rental with a coastal vibe, and make it feel like a home you can be proud of. Here are her top tips. 

1. Start with a blank canvas 

Plead with your landlord to paint the place white - it seems like a lot of effort, but it doesn’t take that much time and the benefits are worth it. A blank canvas is a perfect way to start making a rental feel like your own. It creates a plain but perfect base that you can layer your own style on top of, using furnishings that aren’t permanent. 

2. Make savvy design updates

Once you have a blank canvas you can get savvy with how you style your space. For kitchens and bathrooms, there are lots of clever products that are removable, so you can buy benchtops and splashbacks that just peel on and peel off – perfect for covering up old benchtops. 

Lighting is another key piece that can really influence the feeling of a room but is easy to swap out. Look at changing the pendants - something linen, wicker or rattan would look beautiful to create a coastal vibe. If you’ve got a small bedroom, try leaning a vertical mirror up against the wall, not only does it look great but it throws light around the room beautifully.

3. Bring in your style using soft furnishings

Now you’ve created a neutral base, it’s easy to bring in your own style using soft furnishings, that you can swap in and out to create the look you want. Here’s what to think about in each room:

  • Bedroom – use your duvet and pillows to bring in the coastal blues, the sandy colours, the fresh whites. Layer the pillows and throws, but keep it really simple, clean and summery. Add some rattan or wicker furniture in, we love the beautiful detail to it that complements the plain whites. Add in some nice wicker baskets - they look great, but they also double as practical storage which is often much needed in a rental.
  • Living - try temporary slipcovers on your old couches and occasional chairs. Go for linen or a cotton look – not only do they look nice and summery, but you can chuck them in the washing machine and they’re good as new when they come out.
  • Kitchen – when creating a coastal vibe, recycled timber furniture is your best friend. It’s got that beautiful battered coastal look and it’s very cost-effective, you can pick it up in second hand or vintage stores for next to nothing. Think about looking for timber bar stools or dining room tables for your kitchen – they’ll not only bring the beach feel inside but will keep within your budget.

With these tips and tricks from, you’ll be able to create a beautiful space that feels like your own, won’t blow your budget - and will keep your landlord happy. So what are you waiting for? Get started today. 


Discover more interior design inspiration - follow us on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with all the latest content from Shelley, or check out her latest articles below.

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