Here’s how to transform the rental house you live in, into a home

You may not particularly like the house you live in, especially if you are renting it. There could be a thousand and one things about your house that drive you nuts.

Say, the busy ceramic floor tiles, the slender corridor-like kitchen, the joke of a pantry, the dark poorly-aerated guest toilet, the ever-wet bathroom, the narrow balcony, the unsightly faucets…on and on it goes.

You live in the rental that you can afford, the luxury of loving everything in your house is reserved for those who live in a house they own.

But, until you can get to this point of choice and freedom, you will have to make do with what you have right now. The choice you have right now is your perception and what you can do with the lemons handed to you.

Here are four things you can do to love your house and turn it into a home, even if you don’t like it:

Focus on what you can do with what you don’t like

Even when there are a thousand and one things you don’t like about your house, surely, there must be one thing you do like. At least one.

Once you find it, shift your focus to this one thing and one thing only, then find a way to style around this positive aspect and just run with it.

‘My living room is shaped like a trapezium but it’s quite spacious.’ ‘My balcony is not wide enough to hold a barbeque grill but it has excellent sunlight for my potted succulents.’

‘My bedroom feels like a mouse cage but it has given me an opportunity to practice and embrace minimalism.’ ‘My bathroom tiles can hypnotise me with their busyness but I can keep the space clean and dry, and smell like a posh spa.’
‘The kitchen is small but I can still cook Roman-like feasts out of it.’

Change what you can

There are many things about your house that you can’t change, especially the structural and architectural details: these were literally cast in stone. There are, however, other things you can change with intention.

With a modest budget, lots of creativity and inspiration from columns such as these, you can change many things in your house that you don’t like.

For instance, you can change the colour of your walls by painting them in a colour you like. You can switch out the boring and outdated hanging bulbs for some stylish lighting pendants. Floor tiles can be camouflaged with budget-friendly carpeting options.

Another way to love your house is to infuse it with your personality. How? With your home styling and decor choices./Shutterstock

A simple curtain rod and snazzy shower curtain can partition your shower-toilet-sink bathroom into two distinct spaces. A DIY project can upgrade your kitchen when you replace the knobs of your kitchen cabinets. Faucets can be upgraded as well. So can bathroom mirrors, with some new frames.

Say, your living room windows are oddly sized, and they don’t bring in enough light and air. You can’t change the windows but you can install an extra-high extra-long curtain rod on which you hang some brilliant-white sheers. This styling trick creates an illusion of dimension and airiness.

Infuse it with your personality

Another way to love your house is to infuse it with your personality. How? With your home styling and decor choices.

Give a lot of thought and intention to the styling accessories you buy for this house you don’t like. Their work is not just to jazz up your space, it’s also to make you fall in love with the house itself.

If you buy styling accessories that you don’t like for a house you don’t already like, the distaste will be compounded, so take your time in hunting, selecting and shopping for your decor pieces. Think about how they can camouflage what you don’t like about your house or flip the feeling from dislike.

Example: Style in colour palettes and designs you love. Create a gallery wall with framed photos you love of your family and friends. Burn candles with your favourite scents. Hang some sentimental artwork. Display your travel souvenirs on a floating shelf.

Turn it into a home

Most importantly, remember that your house is just the physical features, it is you that turn it into the emotional haven you call home.

Your home is your safe space: it’s a space where you relax and recover after a crazy day out in the world chasing paper, deadlines and whatnot. Thoughts of walking through your front door at the end of the day, kicking off your shoes and leaving your cares at the door should fuel you to muscle through the day.

A home is also a functional space where you can live, eat, sleep and play. It’s not just a roof over your head, you should be able to cook a wholesome meal and then sit down to eat it with your family and friends.

Your bedroom is a place where you get a good night’s rest and rejuvenate.

You also have a space where you can watch TV, listen to music, read a book or indulge in any of your soulful hobbies. But, everything we have talked about here will be for naught if you never turn your house into a home.

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