How to Make a Rental Feel Like Home – Part 1

Moving in to a new rental? Wherever you may live in the world, the place you live in is important, and it should be a top priority to make your rental apartment feel like home.

For me home is wherever all your belongings are. I am not talking about what you leave behind in storage, but what you actually take with you to your new apartment, house, city, or country.

When you move to a new place you might be changing a whole lot around you as well. But it is important that no matter what is going on, you have a cozy nest to come back to at the end of the day. Here are some of my top tips to help make a rental your own.


1. Get Settled In Quickly

The first thing that you should do to ensure that your rental feels like home is to get settled in your new place as quickly as possible. Start as soon as you have confirmed your new place. Here are a few steps you should take before you even move in!

  • Look at the new layout. See where you can place your large furniture pieces including furniture with storage, such as the bookcase, shelves, chest of drawers and so on.
  • Plan the new layout, arranging the items in different locations. Do not forget any built-in storage your new place may have, this will be great for putting things away.

  • If you’ve followed these steps, during your move you will already know where most of your furniture goes. Tell the movers where to place the boxes, and ask for the corresponding boxes to be placed nearby.
  • Unpack smaller items in designated areas. As you have planned this ahead you will not have to figure this out with all the boxes around.
  • Make sure to throw away anything you do not need to keep.

By planning ahead the move will seem less daunting, and you’ll have the new place sorted in no time.


2. Change the Fixtures

Can’t stand the toilet seat cover? Then change it!

Fixtures are items in an apartment or flat that are already installed, such as lighting, taps, the shower head, towel rails, door handles, and the toilet seat cover.

You may need to check with your landlord about some of these items, especially if you are replacing them as they will need to remain in the apartment when you leave. If you are just changing them temporarily you must keep the parts you are swapping safe so they are easily switched back.

The main fixtures I would recommend changing are the lights. Lighting is part of the decoration of a room and has a huge impact on the feel of the place. Rental properties come with simple lighting as it is designed to be rented. So you can invest in a nice lighting fixture to bring with you from rental to rental.

Light points will be fixed. Should you want to change the location of a light, you can add a hook in the ceiling at the new location. Change the lighting cord to a longer one and move your light to the new area.

Remember, if you are moving to a new country ensure that the voltage is the same. The other fixtures are up to you and how much you have budgeted in your move.

Click here for Part Two of How to Make a Rental Feel Like Home


Also, check out some of these apartment ideas for inspiration, or see which three items you already have at home can help take out red wine stains. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already, and leave a comment below if these tips are helpful to you, or have any questions!


This article was written by Tara Barot exclusively for With experience in interior design, real estate leasing and living in Hong Kong, Tara has a large skill set which enables her to forge solutions for creating homes. Her philosophy is that no matter the size of your dwelling, you should always have a place that feels like yours – a place you want to come back to. Changes do not have to be extreme, and can be achieved at an affordable price.

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Photos: Tara Barot