5 Tips for Making Your Rental Feel More like Home

sage green and white walls with shots of a home and

No matter how far you are into this military journey, I bet most of us have or will at some point have to rent. And we all dread those white walls that feel so impersonal.

We do own our current home, but I will never forget the very beginning years for us when we rented. When our military life started together, we were practically babies, newly married, and had never had a place to truly call our own.

I quickly became very familiar with the “white walls” on base and was determined to not let them stop me from making that sweet little duplex feel like home. Most of us don’t live near our families, and so the walls that we spend our days and nights surrounded by should truly bring comfort, no matter how many miles they are from our home states. Making that rental feel less like a temporary living space and more like a cozy space for relaxation was something that actually brought me so much joy! It’s all in the little details!

Here are my 5 tips for making your rental feel like home:

living room with white walls and sage green accent wall, modern furnishings and plants

Fill your wall space

The quickest way to make your house feel like a home is to fill those white walls. This one may seem like a no-brainer, but I am going to go here anyway.

Think of your walls as a blank canvas, and you get to be the painter! Whatever your style may be, there is always something you can hang up. Family photos are always my go-to. Nothing says “Hey, we live here!” quite like seeing your own family’s faces each day.

Another great option is to add some art, mirrors, or both! Mirrors reflect light, which will help your space feel more bright and airy. Don’t let the nail holes scare you away; you can always patch them when you leave. Or skip that all together and use Command Strips.

Bring in the greenery

Nothing makes a room feel more alive than to actually having something living in there. I am a huge plant lover, so this will come as no surprise to those of you who know me well. My advice is to have at least one living thing or piece of greenery in each room of your home.

Change out fixtures and blinds

Now I know this may not be feasible for some but if you are able to, this one step makes a huge difference. Depending on your budget, this could be something as simple as taking down the blinds and adding some curtains instead. Or you could go further and change out a light fixture or faucet. Be sure to check the rules of your rental or with your landlord first before doing any of these!

Create a cozy corner

I have tried to do this in all of our houses, and it has been a game-changer. For me, this looks like a comfy chair, fluffed out throw blanket, a bookshelf with my favorite books, and a candle or essential oil diffuser nearby. Think of this as a stepping stone into creating an entire cozy home. Start with one corner, and I guarantee the rest will flow as well!

cozy candles and pillows in windowDon’t be afraid to commit to decor

I know many people are hesitant to decorate their rentals because they view them as temporary. But even if is just for a season, you deserve to have a space that feels like it is yours. That does not mean you have to break the bank doing so though! Check out Facebook Marketplace or your local thrift stores for decor that you love for your space. Remember, you don’t have to commit to it forever.

Renting can be fun, and it does not have to hold you back from creating a beautiful home and safe space for you and your family.

If you have any other helpful tips for living that rental life, drop them below! I would love to read them!

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Rebecca Hurtley
Hey there, I'm Rebecca! I am a believer, proud military wife, and Mama of 4; 2 in Heaven and 2 here with us. I’m originally from Florida, but we moved to Ohio about three years ago and I honestly LOVE the change. Dayton was quick to feel like home to us, and we've definitely been enjoying the seasons! Being a Mom is the happiest full-time job, but I love making the time to keep up with my personal interests as well. I run a blog and Instagram @theivynest; where I share a bit of our story and everyday life, along with my love of home decor and keeping things simple. Life is definitely busy, but I truly believe that it is equally as beautiful when we choose to see it that way!