Making A Rental Your Home- Part II

Are ready to enjoy and embrace your current rental and make it your home?  There are  limitations with rentals that you do not have when you own your home but I want to share with you how to make the best of what you have.

In most leases the parties have agreed that the tenant can’t make alternations or improvements without the written consent of the owner but don’t despair!  Here are some tips on making your rental YOUR home without violating your lease.


  1. Lighting– Proper lighting can transform a space. Avoid harsh overhead lighting whenever possible.  Lamps are great option because they provide a warm glow and the best part is that they are yours to keep.  You may also want to purchase new lower wattage bulbs for the fixtures. This will help with your power utility bill and they have a longer lifetime. When selecting low wattage bulbs choose a frosted bulb, they are much easier on the eyes than bright white bulbs.
  2. Rugs- Once again, a rug is yours to keep! Rugs are every tenants best decor tool.  There is nothing like an area rug to give a room a face lift, even when laid over top of existing carpet.  I’m also a huge fan of throw rugs to add a pop of color or to cover up an unsightly stain.
  3. Window Treatments– Tenants assume they are stuck with whatever generic blinds are on the windows but that is not true.  Adding window treatments is a fun, inexpensive way give your rental some personality.  Be sure that you do not block out too much natural light, especially if it is a small space or a basement unit.  Here are some “no-sew” ways to spruce up those windows.
    • Use Command Strips to put up a curtain rod and drape fabric remnants over it.
    • Use a spring rod and shower curtain rings to hang a valance.
    • For a higher end look you can build a cornice with foam board and cover it with fabric.
  4. Mirrors– If you are in a smaller home while you rent use plenty of mirrors.  If strategically placed mirrors can make all the difference.
    • Pay attention to how the light in that room will reflect off the mirror.  You want to create depth and a feeling of spaciousness but not a blinding glare.
    • Hang a mirror where you wish there was a window.  If you place it where it will reflect the outdoors you will have the effect of another window.
  5. Fresh Flowers – I realize this can’t happen 365 days a year but as often as you can have a vase of fresh flowers in your home.  Carnations last a long time so keep that in mind.  Live plants are another must in your rental.  If you weren’t born with a green thumb and can’t keep a plant alive then try succulents, they are beautiful and hardy. If live plants or succulents are still too much for you at least use greenery.

Interior in eclectic style

6. Minimize Clutter- When you live in a small home you learn to live with less.  I once lived in a house so small that if you left anything on the kitchen counter you didn’t have room to fix a bowl of cereal.  We learned the concept of  “less is more” out of necessity. Now that we are in a larger home I find that less clutter creates a sense of calm that I thoroughly enjoy.  Consider down-sizing and only keeping the things that are especially meaningful to you. Your treasures will standout all the more when they are not competing with all the stuff.

For more tips for tenants follow my Pinterest Board.

About Sarah Johnson

Johnson Home and Land is a small but active real estate firm in rural northwest Wyoming. We are an experienced team of professionals who want to walk along side you in your housing journey. If you are thinking about buying, selling, renting or investing we are here to help. Contact us at or 307-548-6909
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