CHANGING ROOMS: How to make a rental feel like home

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FIT FOR A KING: Rented properties can be easily transformed.

DUE to the present financial climate in Spain, more people can’t afford to buy and are being forced to rent accommodation.  However nice the property may be, it never quite feels like home. Out-dated spaces or small corridors can be depressing to live in, but you are hesitant to do anything to improve it in case it effects the deposit return when you leave.

Here are a few tips on how you can achieve a quick make-over, without breaking the bank or upsetting the Landlord.

The first step is to take a long look at your new abode. Study the colour of the walls, the flooring and the amount of light in the room.

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Decide what style of interior design appeals to you. Flicking through magazines can help with ideas. If you are lucky enough to have more or less a blank canvas to work with, white walls and a tiled floor, then you are halfway there. On the other hand, if you are greeted with garish paint effects and terracotta floors, don’t despair.

Once you have decided on the look you are trying to achieve, talk to the Landlord. Ask his permission to paint the walls, if necessary say you will return them to the existing colour when you leave. Use the opportunity to suggest you may need shelves but will use adhesive wall hooks. He can only say no!

If there are existing hooks in the wall use them to hang mirrors and pictures of your own. If not a large free-standing mirror can give the illusion of space as well as serving to check your appearance.

Old terracotta flooring can always be disguised by some large rugs chosen to match your colour scheme. They will also reduce the coldness, visually and physically.

Experiment with lighting by introducing both table and free-standing lamps. Candles will help to create an ambience.

If there are shelves, use them to display photographs and trinkets. Putting things, you love on display will make the place feel homelier.

Curtains are the easiest part of the furnishings to replace. Natural colours of material will help to give the illusion of space. However, remember the objective of having window covering. Make sure the fabric is lined or heavy enough to prevent you being woken at the crack of dawn by the light entering your room.

House plants help to make a room look more lived in. If struggling for space maybe a window box will provide the same impression.

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