• Comfort Smithson

How to Rent Vs How to own

Managing Your Design expectations


Everyone who embarks on the journey to creating a home has one goal or destination in mind - to make sure it is as lovely and as comfortable as can be. Regardless of where they live, what type of house it is and how they are able to live in that home. But before any finger is lifted, you need to understand and be fully aware of the external constraints (if any) and that way you are able to determine how to work around them. With that in mind, I want you to imagine two scenarios.


The first scenario;

You walk into your house and see a corner in the living room, that you just know needs a little pizzaz. Your creative juices get rolling, the design magazines come out and soon you are creating all sorts of Pinterest boards……and then reality hits you in the face. You are renting and your rental agreement doesn’t agree to some of the changes you have been dreaming out. What to do, what to do? Do you just let go of the dream of a book corner or that coffee station by the kitchen?


The second scenario,

You just spent your first night in your own home. You wake up to the birds chirping outside. You rush to jump out of your bed, then you remember, the bed isn’t in the right place for your room. It doesn't feel as natural as it did at your old place. You shrug it and go for the much-needed coffee but as you walk through your new home, everywhere you look is just screaming a mismatch- none of your furniture works! What do you do? Do you rush out to get new furniture? Oh my goodness, what of the expense??


In both scenarios, you could see how one can suddenly feel stuck and almost overwhelmed by what's before them. However, I can hand-on-heart say, "Don't worry, you can overcome these challenges and still have that home that you want". And whether you are renting or owning the property, you can still get the design you want.


So, how do we design in both scenarios?

"How can one really design a rented home vis-a-vis ones' own home?", I hear you ask.

As with the earlier scenarios, there are different challenges to navigate with just this question so it is imperative that this is asked. It's not as not complicated as it sounds though, so don’t worry or overthink it. The most important thing is that you understand your needs, requirements and set out what is most important to you for your home. Think of this as your foundation for managing your design expectations.


For those renting, consider the Landlord

If you are renting, naturally you would not want to invest a lot of money in the actual property. Particularly because there may even be caveats in your tenancy agreement that prohibit you from making any changes. The length of your rental agreement or how long you intend to stay in the property is certainly key here as well.


On that note, here is some information you may or may not be aware of. Interiors blogger, Medina Grillo reveals in her book, "Home Sweet Rented Home" that there are three types of landlords.

  • Those who are totally against any superficial changes

  • Those who don't mind you decorating as long as you return the property in the original condition you found it, when you moved in.

  • Those who are completely fine with you decorating (psst..these one know that it will be beneficial for both parties)


So back to the question, "How can you design your rented Home?" First things first, don't let the rental conditions be a limiting factor to creating the home you love, rather take it as an opportunity to explore.


Once you have understood your vision for your home you are able to work with what you already have. It is a matter of seeing what you have with new eyes. So if you have moved in with the chest of drawers Grandma bequeathed to you, that used to fit perfectly in the hallway. You may find that it can become a major piece in your living room. It is all about perspective- adding value to your home in the right way. When renting, your mindset should be towards strategic transformation- transforming what you have into a masterpiece in a simple and inexpensive manner.


For those owning, run with it...but take your time too

You have worked hard and saved enough to buy your own home, now it's time to enjoy it. It's all yours to do as you please, so run with it and go all out. Of course, you must do this in line with the vision for your home first, and this will make it easier to create a plan that works just for you.


But the best part about it all, every change you make adds to the value of your home and no these changes do not have to be expensive(I'll be doing a blog post about this one for sure). You can still work with what you have and create the home of your dreams while planning for that sofa set that you saw at Made or John Lewis. It is just about planning right - when you do that. Again, design shouldn't have to be complicated.


On the other hand, you may be a homeowner at the point of moving on to the next chapter of your life so you want or have to sell your property. In which case you need need to show the full potential of your home to the next buyers, give them that oh-so-unforgettable first impression of your house that you fell in love with too when you first bought or got it. You can do this just as easily by ensuring starting with the 3 vital elements that I highly recommend to transform your home using what you already have.


And Finally...

Whether rented or owned, once you understand your needs, you can create the home you love from an informed perspective. Not forgetting the needs of those within your home as well, as this does have an impact on the design, the time and the budget you will spend.


I hope this post can now help you plan for your space better. If you still have questions and queries or any contribution, please feel free to leave a comment or book a free clarity call and we can chat. I am always happy to help.


Until next time, keep creating the home you love.