I have been renting since I was about 18. I am 26 now and would like to hopefully be able to buy a house in the next few years but until then I’ve always struggled with decorating the places I’ve lived in. Partly because I’ve only ever really stayed in each place for about the length of the year lease and always thought “what’s the point?” and partly because it’s not mine and has never felt like mine (probably because of not really decorating). It’s a catch 22. Plus, most of the places I’ve rented have been smaller and it can be difficult to decorate a small space because you don’t want it to look cluttered but decorating normally requires adding things to places. I also don’t have a lot of things. After moving so much (I’ve talked about the amount of times I’ve moved in a different post) I’ve gotten really tired of moving “stuff” that I don’t actually need or use. However, I also do like to try and make the places feel like mine even just a little bit. There is nothing worse than coming “home” to a place that just doesn’t feel like home. I’ve been in that situation before and it’s really awful. I am going to try and give some tips on how to decorate to make a space feel like yours while also keeping in mind small spaces and not having a lot of things.
Plants are a great way to decorate any type of space. They come in all different sizes and levels of care. They can even be useful if you buy an herb plant such as rosemary or basil or something of that nature. Also, having a little color from plants can be a nice addition to a place.
One tip for decorating small spaces is to take full advantage of every space. I’ve never really thought of a bathroom as a place to decorate. I know you can have a “theme” for it or a color scheme but I’ve never really thought about decorating it before until I started to live in smaller rented spaces. Now I decorate the bathroom if I am able to. In my and my boyfriend’s current place we happen to have a decent size counter and the bathroom had a built in cabinet. So I decided to take full advantage of it. I have two jewelry holders that double as a decorative piece and I used to keep them on my dresser to “decorate” my bedroom but I didn’t have space on my dresser for them anymore so I put them on the bathroom counter. I also used the space on top of the cabinet to put pictures that I used to put on my dresser as well. It uses the space well and helps to make it feel like mine. (Hopefully my boyfriend doesn’t mind too much.)
Pillows and blankets are something that can really help to make a space feel more like “home” and cozy. I can not ever have enough blankets, especially the really fuzzy, soft ones. Also, at least for me, I like them in all different colors. Pillows are also a good way to decorate because just like blankets not only can they be used for decoration but they can actually be used as well. I used to have probably like 18 pillows on my bed when I was a teenager. I had all different kinds and I loved them all. Again the fuzzy ones in all different colors are always a good choice in my opinion. Plus you can get season appropriate ones. They have Thanksgiving and Fall ones and they have Christmas and Winter ones.
The best advice I have on how to make a space “feel your own” though is to find a way to use artwork and pictures in any way you can. The two on top of the bathroom cabinet (above) for instance or pictures of family and friends which I have many throughout our apartment. It doesn’t have to be just artwork or pictures it can really be anything that has sentiment or value to you. I have always loved dreamcatchers and had multiple hanging in my room when I was younger and my boyfriend, for my birthday this past year, bought me some and now they hang above our bed and they make me feel really happy. They have sentiment because they’re something I associate with the comfort of my childhood home and they have new value to me because my boyfriend thought and cared enough to think to buy them for me because he knows how much I love them.
The last tip I have is mirrors and rugs. Mirrors are not something I use to decorate but they do have a lot of decorative mirrors and large full wall size mirrors can help to make a room appear bigger. I did not know this until I started working for a lady (still my favorite person to this day that I have ever worked for). I cleaned/organized for her and she had a really nice, large home, but in some of the smaller rooms she had a full wall size mirror and happened to mention to me one day that it helps to make a space appear larger. Rugs are also a really nice way to add some fun to a space. They can be expensive though so it may not be the best way if you’re on a budget.