How to transform your rental house into a home
Moving to a new country is exciting, it’s a new beginning with new possibilities and adventures. However, it can also be a scary time as you leave behind the familiarities of home for the unexpected. We are all creatures of comfort and expats are no exception. Yes, you have left your comfort zone for a taste of the new and exciting, but you still, once in a while, long for the creature comforts of your home country. Your home is a reflection of this, allowing you to feel cocooned by your memories, no matter where you are in the world.
Flexibility is paramount
The pandemic certainly proved this. You couldn't go home, nor did you know when it would even be possible to see your friends and family overseas. It was a time when homes became everyone's only source of comfort and identity. For renters - which the majority of expats are - creating an intimate space full of home comforts in a place that is unfamiliar is a challenge.
It has also meant that people are at home more often than was ever expected. Working and living out of the same space has forced everyone to be more creative with the space that they have and how they use it. Creating offices out of bedrooms, classrooms out of kitchens and gyms out of living rooms - these days, flexible living is paramount!
UNiON knows how to make a rented house feel like home
UNiON Interiors & Styling has been approached by many expat clients to improve their interior while renting. An expat herself, UNiON's owner, Tiffany, understands the challenges first hand. She has come up with some tips and tricks for how to make your rented home feel like your own and give you the flexibility you need.
The first thing the team at UNiON will do is listen: ¨We take your brief, find out about who you and your family are and what you need. Then we think about how we can transform your space into your home. We can start with how the space is making you feel and make improvements from there. Each client is different and unique; we want to create an experience that gives you the home you deserve and makes you feel heard.¨
If you are renting a furnished apartment, UNiON can help by creating a simple floor plan to re-arrange the existing furniture to better suit the space and your situation. This process often gives further insight into things you could add to further improve the space.
UNiON understands that every project and client is different, so these suggestions go by a very broad range of ideas such as: sourcing additional furniture, lighting, accessories and window treatments from their trusted suppliers; working on a colour scheme and changing finishes; or sourcing appropriate tradespeople, painters, carpenters, electricians, etc.
10 ways to put a personal stamp on your rented home
Here are Tiffany's 10 commandments for putting a personal stamp on your rental:
1. Add rugs
Add new rugs where required. Rugs add colour, texture, interest and warmth to a space, and they can easily be transported or sold on when you move.
2. Move the sofa
If the sofa provided is not to your liking, move it. Put it somewhere where it becomes a secondary piece as opposed to the main focus of your lounge. Then add your own stylish piece, giving you an option for another seating / living area (space permitting of course).
3. Mixing new and existing pieces
You may be going into an empty space and planning on buying new furniture or bringing some of your own existing pieces to mix with some new items. UNiON takes your existing pieces and makes them work with the new space. Adding splashes of the same colour in the rest of the space or vice versa, for example, can help to tie it all together.
4. Fill the walls with art
If you can’t paint the walls, fill them! Consider artwork to bring in more colour or large fabric wall panels. UNiON can make art suggestions for purchase or rental. Or, look at bringing in open shelves and creating a shelving wall - UNiON can help design and style the shelves with various things, including books, vases, and any items you collect. This creates interest and adds focus to your room.
5. Change the lighting
Most rentals have spotlights, so create some warmth, ambience and personality by adding some fun standing and table lighting.
6. Change window decoration
Adding blinds, curtains or both is an easy way to shift focus, gain privacy and give you a cosy, homey feel.
7. Get new bedding in a new colour scheme
There's nothing quite like a fresh, luxurious bed to make you feel at home. A printed quilt, throw pillows and blankets can turn a bedroom into a sanctuary.
8. Add slipovers
An easy fix for an ugly dining chair is to have slipcovers made to measure. This is a great way to add your personality to the space.
9 . Add new accessories
Adding new accessories such as vases, candles, cushions and throws will soften and add colour to the room. This also makes a space feel lived in, interesting and loved.
10. Get removable wallpaper
If you do want to change the walls, removable wallpaper and decals can be easily installed and removed without damage when it's time to go. This is an especially great way to add some fun to a kids bedroom.
Contact UNiON Interiors & Styling
With experience in the UK, Canadian and NL interior design markets, UNiON Interiors and Styling offers a unique view on expat interiors, focussing on people, their needs, tastes and personalities to create a custom interior that fits. Contact them and feel at home, no matter your location!