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Add Personality to a Neutral Home- Without Picking Up a Paintbrush!

If you’re a renter, you’ll know the struggle of being faced with a blank canvas. A neutrally decorated home makes the most of the light and makes it feel bright and spacious, but it can feel difficult to add personality and style when you can’t change the color of the floors and walls. We all want our homes to feel like ‘ours’ whether we’re renting or not, and thankfully there’s plenty you can do to make it this way without upsetting the landlord. Here are some ideas!

Add a statement light fitting
Most landlords will allow you to have a light fitting put in, providing you put it back to how it was when you eventually end your tenancy. It’s an easy job that an electrician can do in an hour, and is a fantastic way to add style and personality to a room. Whether it’s a chandelier, a cool ceiling fan or an industrial looking light fitting with exposed bulbs, you can choose something that works with your style and the theme you want the room to have. Lighting is something that’s so overlooked in homes but it shouldn't be the case, the right fixtures will finish a room and can help you to set the ambiance too. If you invest in smart lighting, you can set the bulb warmth and brightness right from your phone or voice-activated speaker! Choose a couple of lamps which match the style of your light fitting too to place in the room.

Add a gallery wall
You might not be allowed to drill holes in the walls to hang larger, heavier items like a statement mirror. However it doesn’t mean they need to be left blank- a gallery wall is a great way to add interest to a plain room and can be done with no hanging holes whatsoever. Choose light frames as these can be hung with Command strips, sticky hanging hooks which leave no marks on walls when they’re removed. A gallery wall can be a huge feature, and best of all you can switch up the prints inside whenever you get bored. There’s lots of advice about how to do this, including where to hang the frames and what kinds of prints work best together so do a bit of research beforehand. Pick out the frames you need, and then you can have fun choosing the prints. Sites like Etsy allow you to commision pieces from designers or you could choose from a wide selection. Or scour an art site which allows you to buy prints and buy from here. They’re inexpensive but the money helps out the designer so it’s win-win.

Incorporate plants and greenery
One way you can help to break up very neutral decor is with plants. They add color, texture, and life to a room, and you can build up layers and make it look interesting by choosing different types of plants in various shapes and sizes. The green leaves are a nice contrast against plain walls, and as bonus psychologists have shown that plants actually make us happier! A nice way to decorate your home and get a mood boost too. You could go with a large potted plant on the floor, a medium-sized plant on a sideboard or coffee table, a hanging plant or even a terrarium. Terrariums are good as succulents and cacti don’t need much looking after so ideal if you don't want anything too high maintenance. Faux plants can also look very real these days too.

Use area rugs
You might not be able to change the flooring, but you can add some of your own styles with rugs. These are especially good if you have a bigger room as they help to create a sense of an area within the space, for example, a large rug under your dining table and another under your coffee table if you have a living/ dining room combined. They add warmth and softness which is useful if you have wooden floors but can also be put over carpet too. If you are going to add a rug over carpet, just choose one with a different pile. A shaggy rug contrasts well over a regular short pile carpet for example.

Choose stunning furniture
Renters can be reluctant to splash out on their own furniture, however, it’s something you should definitely do. Even if the house you’re currently it won’t be your forever home, you can always take what you’ve bought to a new place. Ask the landlord to remove any furniture they have provided (you’re within your rights to do this) and choose high-quality furniture that you personally love. A good bed, bedside tables, sofa, and coffee table, for example, can be moved to any home that you live in. it will make it feel like your own far more than using the furniture provided with the property.

Add color with accessories
You might feel that to add color to a room you need to pick up a paintbrush but it’s simply not the case. If you want to bring in some color (or just some contrast with another darker shade like grey, brown or black) you can do these using accessories. Curtains, rugs, lamp shades, throws, pillows and more can all bring in another color or pattern and make the room feel much less bland. These kinds of accessories will all make the place feel more homely and personal too.

You don’t need to lay new carpet or paint the walls to make a rented home feel like your own. If your landlord is clear that you can’t change the decor, try these things to give it personality instead. Just because a property is rented doesn't’ mean it’s not your home, and so it should feel that way.

Are you in a home where you can’t change the decor? How would you add personality to a blank canvas?

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