Five Things That Make a Rental Feel Like Home

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I kind of hated living in my old apartment. I didn’t live it the best apartment though, so I’m sure that had something to do with it. The building was old, and the walls were thin. I didn’t like smelling curry when I was eating chinese. It never really felt like home to me. I think everything felt temporary. One of my Aunts gave me a mirror for Christmas and I didn’t even unwrap it from the box it came in. I just put it on top of a dresser and leaned it against the wall (in the box). People that visited must have thought I was nuts.

I think I was just hoping it was temporary and that I would get to leave any day, so there was no point in taking it out of the box.

The things we hope for…

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you a few things I have done in my current place that have really helped make it feel like my home. Less temporary. More settled.

1). Get a super lush doormat.

It sounds weird, but home starts before you even walk in the door. A plush doormat says, “Welcome back!” I recently got a super thick one from Orchard Supply Hardware and I still can’t believe how good it feels when I step onto in to unlock the door. Garnet Hill has some cute doormats too. Here, I’m assuming that your rental isn’t in an area where someone might steal your stuff.


2) Get a new toilet seat.

I know this is kind of gross, and something we don’t like to talk about. But honestly, when you first move in, the bathroom can feel more like a public restroom than your home. How many people have sat there to “do their business”? And, toilet seats have lots of grooves and cracks that “debris” can fall into. It’s an easy fix, and it can make the room feel brand new, and like your own palace. Here is an quick how-to video of the process.


3) Get area rugs for your bedroom and couch area.

There are so many great quality, inexpensive rugs available now. A lot of apartments have really old carpeting. The carpet in my last apartment was so old it was totally flat in most places. Lots of people have walked there before you, in their bare feet. Feet can be gross, and if you’ve ever seen an episode of Hotel Hell when Gordon Ramsey does the black light test, you know that other, eh ehm, “debris” can be soaked into the carpet as well. You can rent a carpet cleaner from the grocery store, or get an area rug to put over the existing carpet. I would suggest both if you’re up for it.


4) Set up the kitchen.

Find the perfect spot for your coffee maker and juicer. Set out your favorite cups and glasses. Get some great cutting boards, some beautiful food posters and a few herb plants. Think about where you want to reach when you need a fork or spoon vs. a spatula. It feels good knowing which treasures are located behind each cabinet and drawer. Like you know the secrets of the house. Efficiency and beauty in the kitchen makes it easy to create comforting food for yourself that tastes like home.


5) Arrange all your favorite things (even your shoes!) on your counters and tables.

Pictures in beautiful frames, small vases with flowers, luscious books with full color pictures, and whatever items speak to you all make a space feel like it’s yours. When you look up, you’ll be surrounded by faces of the people that love you, and things that make you smile.

Do you have any tips to share to make a new place feel like home? Let us know in the comments section.



P.S. Need some inexpensive but beautiful art? Here are a few of my favorites. Also, here is my interview with an interior designer about how to plan, design, and buy things for your place.

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