Making a Rental Feel Like Home

rental like home

It’s been a dream of ours to own a home and we’re so close. I spend my free time pricing wood floors and clawfoot tubs. In the meantime, we’re still making the most of our little studio apartment. When we first moved in, we had a very temporary mindset. But hey, five years later and we’re still here. Even though we don’t own the space we’re living it, we can still make a rental feel like home.

A few key starting points to make a rental feel like home:

Find quality furniture on a budget. I didn’t want to invest in pieces that may or may not work in our future home. My solution has been finding antiques at thrift stores. You can find quality pieces for a tiny fraction of the price if you have a little patience. A 1960’s cedar chest I picked up at Goodwill for $30 is my favorite find. Eventually it will go into a guest room to store extra linens and pillows, but for now, it works great as a tv stand.

Finding nonpermanent solutions in a rental can create a huge difference and make your time there more enjoyable. The biggest downside to a studio is having no walls. Everything is out in the open and in view at all times. To add a little separation, I build a DIY crate room divider wall. It still allows light into the bedroom area but provides a barrier from the living space. It’s helpful when we have overnight guests and want a bit of privacy. Pinterest is my favorite place to find creative options and brainstorm new ideas.

Personalizing the space can make it feel more like home. Our walls are pretty bare, so a variety of plants add life and vibrancy to our apartment. It’s my favorite way to decorate and can easily be moved from rental to house. Displaying sentimental items is a simple way to make a rental feel like home without buying decor. The crate wall showcases a few of our nostalgic items like our wedding album, the flowers Dom proposed with, and some gifts from family members. It’s been challenging and fun to decorate with pieces we already have laying around.

Make use of everyday items. I turned basic glass jars into a kitchen focal point. My dad helped me build a simple wooden shelf to display my most-used flours, spices, and pantry staples. It blends practicality and decor.

making a rental feel like home

More than things…

Most importantly, making a rental feel like home starts with your mindset. I spent too many years complaining about insignificant problems and wishing we just had our own home. “If we had our own home, we’d be so much happier.” Things don’t buy happiness and the house will come when God allows. My perspective needed to change before we moved on to the next stage because otherwise, I would just find something else that “needed” to happen before I could be happy. This year I’ve learned the meaning behind “the grass is greener where you water it.”

I’m blessed to have a roof over my head. I’m thankful to live in a smaller space; it saves on rent money that will go towards our future house. And I’ve been enjoying the challenge of finding creative, temporary solutions to make our rental feel like home. A positive outlook really does make all the difference in the world.

making a rental feel like home




8 thoughts on “Making a Rental Feel Like Home”

  • I’m currently renting an apartment and was feeling the same way. I’d be happier if… I’d love another room, etc etc. Yet as love has become my word of the year, I’m realizing I need to love right now. I need to love what I have and can afford. I’m going to go shopping at thrift stores and give some love to old pieces. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yesss! What a perfect word for 2018! I’m going to join you in thrifting and giving love to old pieces. I’m excited to do a little re-decorating! Enjoy your apartment and have fun thrifting!

  • I love this! I have to agree that it starts with the mindset. I currently also still rent and used to be bummed that it wasn’t “my own”. Changed that mentality, personalized it as best as I could and now it truly does feel like home. I think there’s something to be said about contentment here as well. To be content in this period of renting and stop wishing for when you’ll own yours to the point where we lose focus on having shelter over our head.
    Would you guys be buying a tiny house if you don’t mind me asking?

    • Hey girl! Totally agree. Contentment is so important! There’s so much joy to be found in being content.
      We’ve thought about building a tiny house (we renovated an airstream to live in at one point), but we like having big, open spaces. Maine just passed a law recognizing tiny homes as living spaces so that’s cool if we ever decide to go down that route! 🙂

  • I rent as well, but I have owned 2 homes in the past & honestly I feel so much more freedom with renting because it seemed like with our other two homes we could never decorate them how we wanted because we were having to spend all of our money on remodeling or fixing something when it broke so it has been so nice to actually get to decorate! But I love your tips!

  • Hi Samantha, after following your yt-channel und instagram account for quiet a while, i am very pleased to explore your new blog. I´m very happy that you decided to continue sharing your thoughts and ideas of a good and simple life.
    Even though i´m living in Düsseldorf in Germany, which is a bit different from your coastal life i think : ), i´m finding myself again and again in your words. I am living in a small apartment after graduating from college and starting my life in the “real world”, so tips for a beautiful, simple home and life are very welcome.
    I wish you all the best for your future path!

    • Hi Julia!
      You are so kind, thank you! Germany looks like such a cool place, I’d love to visit there someday! Enjoy your apartment and this season of entering the real world- it goes by fast!
      All the best! 🙂

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