How to Make a House a Home (When You Don’t Own It)

As I have often bemoaned on this here blog, we live in rented accomodation and that is likely to remain the case for the forseeable future. I am always looking for ways to put our own stamp on our home in ways that are easily removable so we can take it all with us if we need to find somewhere new. Today I am sharing a post in association with Nat West that looks at ways to make a house a home when you don’t own it. There are some great suggestions here which I am intending to use in our ongoing home improvements, but just so you know, you would never catch me listening to Bon Jovi…..

how to make a house a home


Everyone dreams of that special home one day. Some have fantasies of swanky stair cases, high rising views and an underground wine cellar, others dream of quaint gardens full of exotic daisies, blue window pains and a backyard to play in. Whatever it may be, the dream will always be on hold until there is enough money to support the deposit on a mortgage.

People are generally reluctant to rent a property. Firstly, landlords charge you through the roof to make a profit. Secondly, renting can be seen as a short to medium-term plan before the money starts rolling in and owning a home becomes a possibility. People don’t tend to want to put their heart and soul into someone else’s growing money tree.

So, the question is – how can you make a house your own when you don’t literally own it?

Firstly, decorate it with items that can be easily moved and fit in with the general design of the home. A great way to bring colour to a room and make it feel cosy is to add personal items that reflect your taste. The stereotypical view of living with a woman means pretty pillows, colourful throw overs, floor mats and flowers but there really is a legitimate reason for this. The impact a bit of colour, light and diversity has in a house is just interior-design genius.

The next step is to personalise the rooms with some sentimental items. Why not put up the photo collage of your final year of school or that rowdy night out at college? Get some of the family involved too; imagine the look on your mum’s face when she walks into her child’s ‘independent living space’ to see she her own smiling face looking back at her from the sitting room wall and realises that she is always being thought of. 

Follow Sonya Cisco’s board Home Inspiration on Pinterest.

Use your open space to display your valuable possessions. Show off those years of exciting travels by putting the bongo drums on show or pull the old electric piano out of storage. Memories of sipping pina coladas on the coast of South America or jamming with your high-school bandmates will resurface every day and create a natural homely energy. These unique collectables play a remarkable role on date number three with that special someone too, they really create a platform where you can tell your wildest stories or show off your half-forgotten music skills. Imagine – the lights are dimmed, the red wine is going, the sweet sound of Bon Jovi is playing in the background and there you are talking about the volcanoes you climbed, the parties you stumbled upon and that time you diced with death. What better way to seal the deal?

There are a plenty cheap and cheerful ways to make that semi-permanent flat your home, just put that thinking cap on and get creative!



  1. November 5, 2014 / 11:28 am

    I love your Pinterest board, the storage cubes look like my kind of thing. I used to find it frustrating to fill my rented place with things that I could move into my bought home.
    Bek recently posted…Christmas Card WishlistMy Profile

  2. November 5, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    I did a review a few months ago for a company called LetsGoHME – They do lots of affordable things especially for people that live in rented or student accommodation…maybe a few more ideas for your board?! 🙂
    Carrie – Time to be an Adult recently posted…Remember, remember…My Profile

  3. November 5, 2014 / 6:46 pm

    We rent too, though I’m lucky that I’m allowed to decorate – the magnolia drove me nuts when we moved in!!! Great tips though
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  4. November 6, 2014 / 11:00 am

    Some really good advice there hunnie, I hated it when I rented because I wasn’t allowed to do anything to the walls, put anything up like a clock or even a mirror, so when I bought my own place, I went a little crazy x
    Rachel recently posted…November Birchbox Cosy at HomeMy Profile

    • November 6, 2014 / 1:50 pm

      Ooh I am glad our agents aren’t quite that picky, pics on the wall are fine- but any decorating needs to be returned to magnolia before leaving, and when they can give you as little as 8 weeks notice to quit it hardly seems worth the expense!

    • November 6, 2014 / 7:29 pm

      haha I knew someone would pull me up on that!! Each to their own I say 🙂

  5. November 7, 2014 / 5:49 am

    I was lucky that when we rented the previous tenants had painted the walls such awful colours they let us off the first months rent to do it up
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