When we made the move to Spain, Mark and I rented an apartment just a few minutes walk from the beach. Now we’ve decided to renew our contract for a year and I decided it was finally time to make it feel a little more like home.
It can be difficult when you rent a house to make it feel like yours as there are obviously restrictions on how much you can do but most of time, as long as you’ve improved the property, your landlord won’t mind you making a few small changes. I’d also advise you to only make changes that can be changed back before you move out, just in case.
So I wrote a list of the main things that I wanted to change in the house:
1. Create more seating space in the lounge
2. Paint wall in master bedroom
3. Create a proper dressing table area
4. Add more storage space in en-suite
5. Tidy up patio area and plant more flowers
Number One on the list was fairly easy. Downstairs we have a little shower room, the kitchen, sitting room and third bedroom. Since we moved in, I’ve been using the third bedroom as my office but I’m now moving all my work things down to the new shop so it freed up the room. There was already some furniture here when we moved in - a dining table and chairs and a pink sofa in the sitting room. I was pretty happy with the sofa as I love pink anyway but not so keen on the table and chairs. Our sitting room is long and rectangular which makes it quite hard to move the furniture around but I wanted to make it feel more like a large lounge area rather than a lounge/diner. So, firstly, I moved the dining table and chairs into the third bedroom so it’s now a separate dining room.
Then I played around with the furniture in the lounge until I was happy.. I often use this website which allows you to create a room and add furniture to help me envisage where things will go. It saves time and a lot of dragging heavy furniture around too! If you want to try it the website is www.roomsketcher.com
I wanted some low level stools to put by our coffee table but couldn’t find anything I liked for a reasonable price. During our trip to IKEA this week I managed to pick up a few very cheap ‘Marius’ stools and a couple of fluffy cream rugs to create my own fluffy stools.
Number Two: Although most of our apartment is a fairly standard magnolia there were a few painted feature walls when we moved in. One of these walls was behind our bed and was a deep red shade… not really my taste! I also read that having red in a bedroom was meant to be too stimulating as it has been shown to raise blood pressure and heart rate! Therefore, I decided to paint just this wall grey instead and am so happy I did. It’s amazing what a difference it actually makes to the room and how we feel in it.
Number Three: Because we have an en-suite bathroom, there is little other space in the bedroom that isn’t taken up by the bed and I’ve never been able to have a proper dressing table in this house. I thought about putting one in the spare bedroom but I like to keep this for guests and didn’t want to move all my things whenever somebody came to stay. What we do have in the bedroom however, is a wall of fitted wardrobes and in one of mine is a built in chest of drawers. So, I cleared out the wardrobe and decided to turn it into a tucked away dressing table by using the top of the drawers, adding a tall mirror and one of my IKEA stools which fits perfectly inside when not in use.
I definitely feel better after getting the first few things ticked off my list this week and just a few simple changes that don’t need to cost a fortune can make a huge difference to how you feel about your home.