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Making a House a Home

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Marina Shlomov - Friday, August 14, 2015

Many rental properties have a bland or neutral look throughout. There are exceptions, but property owners try to avoid conflicts with residents’ furnishings. Most rental contracts contain clauses that tenants are not to alter or modify the property because the landlord wants to maintain a neutral color scheme for marketing to future tenants.


If you, as a resident, wish to alter or change your residence, you need to contact your property manager to find out if the property owner will grant your requests for alteration. It is best to detail in writing what change you want, what it will cost, who will do the work, and any other necessary details. More often than not, investors will say turn down these requests unless it is a necessity or will be an improvement that works for future tenants.


What is very important is that you do not alter your residence permanently or physically without permission. Although this is now your home, it is still not your property. If the property owner will not consent to your request, you need to consider what other ways you can make changes without altering the property.


Use Color

use colorIf you cannot change the carpeting, linoleum, or any other flooring, consider buying an area rug that will produce the look that you like and lessen the existing color scheme. Just make sure that the underside of the carpet will not damage the existing flooring - you may need to use an appropriate carpet pad. Also, ensure that the area rug will not cause someone a possible injury by sliding, slipping, or rolling.


When you cannot paint the walls with your favorite color, there are several ways to brighten the room.

  • Collect posters or prints, put them in frames, and make an interesting grouping.
  • Buy an interesting piece of material to compliment your furniture or color scheme. Frame it and hang it on the wall.
  • Frame a collection of family photos and turn them into an attractive collage.
  • If you are a collector of interesting items, such as pottery hangings, memorabilia, or unusual objects, use them to decorate walls or spaces.
  • Buy colorful pillows and throws to place around your home - a simple and fun way to add color anywhere. Many stores specialize in these items.


Use Mirrors

Perhaps the room looks small; strategically hanging mirrors can make a room seem larger. Use them to reflect an interesting object or plant. If you have a heavy mirror (or any object), check with your property manager on what is the proper method to hang it without causing damage.


Use Plants

Use Plants for ColorPlants are not only a great way to add color and decoration, but can improve your health because they improve air quality Make sure they have the right light, are watered regularly, and sit in waterproof containers that do not leak onto flooring or furniture. Putting a large plant in an empty corner or space can do wonders for a room.


If you do not have a green thumb, consider using silk plants and flowers. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on them, you might find them, along with other interesting decorator items, at garage sales, thrift stores, or flea markets.


If you have permission from your property manager and there is not a conflict with a homeowner’s association, you can add annuals or perennials to the exterior of your home. Use appropriate flowerbeds so you do not disrupt the existing landscaping or lawn.


Your residence does not have to look like a “rental.” With some time, thought, and a few dollars, you can give a house “your personal look” and make it your home.

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