“Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home”. You said it, Paul Young. But the problem is, many people who live in non-permanent accommodation often don’t take the time to make their ‘today’ house, their home.
1 - A bit of effort goes a long way
Did you know that living in a lovely, welcoming environment actually reduces stress? Recent studies have shown that looking at something beautiful makes us happy, stimulating dopamine and even inducing the same brain activity as being in love.
If you put a little effort into making your home look and feel wonderful, you get a love-high - or at least an enormous sense of belonging and relief - just from stepping through the door.
2 - There's no time like today
There’s a common belief from renters that there’s no point in improving your temporary house because you’ll only be there for a few years. It’s not your property so why spend the money on it. I’m a strong believer in ‘if you hate it, change it’.
You should always ask your landlord/Agent if you have permission to make small changes (you don’t want to lose your bond), but if there is a crack in the wall that annoys you or if the kitchen cupboard doors are loose, fix it yourself!
3 - Make the most of what you've got
Sure, we get it, you don't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars on furniture for your rented home. What if it doesn't suit (or fit) in your next place? But there are still things you can do to improve your current furniture so it still looks great and you can use it for years to come.
If it's looking worse for wear but you can’t yet invest in upgrading your couch, use a unique throw blanket to cover it up. And - trade secret - painting a room white and changing light fittings can really help improve your rental property without costing a fortune.
4 - Style It Up
Following on from step 3, fill your home with things you love. It will focus your attention on beautiful things rather than the flaws in your rented home.
Art is the best way to show your personality in your home. Group pieces together, create a gallery wall, stack it on the floor. In my view, you can never have enough art that you love.
And, my personal favourite tip, introduce loads of indoor plants (and try to keep them alive). Greenery hides a plethora of ugly-house sins.
5 - Less is More
Apart from art, resist the urge to buy too much. You’re a citizen of the world and you’ll probably be on the move again soon. So own less, but have the best.
Our society is changing. It’s getting harder to buy your own property and people are living in rented or temporary accommodation for longer. You can’t wait for your ‘one day house’. Your home should be a story of who you are and be a collection of what you love, right now.
Creating a home that actually feels like home, like a sanctuary, is vital for our mental health - no matter how long we intend to live in that place. So today’s mission: go forth and make your rented apartment as fabulous as it can be.