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How to make your rental property feel more like home

7 September 2021

Want to make your rented property feel like it reflects who you are? Here’s how to create a sense of home without breaking any rules — or your budget.

Almost one third of Aussies live in rental properties, and it’s a trend that’s on the increase.

Just because you rent, however, doesn’t mean you can’t imbue your home with a greater sense of yourself.

“It’s important to really settle into your home, no matter how long you expect to be there, and make it work for how you live day-to-day,” says interiors stylist Diana Moore of Diana Moore Method. “And creating a haven at home in which to relax, recharge and take time out is a key factor in fostering our well-being.”

When you’re thinking about how to transform your rental, remember that structural changes will be off-limit. A cosmetic makeover — including painting walls or tiles in neutral shades, or updating light fittings — may be okay, but check with your landlord or agent before you begin any work. As a rule of thumb, if you replace something (tapware, for example), keep the originals just in case the agent wants them reinstated.

So, where to start? Here are a batch of easily achievable (and easy-on-the-pocket) ideas.

Bright ideas

Don’t underestimate how much a great light fitting will impact the look of a room. And you don’t have to spend a fortune, either. “It’s so easy to pimp your overhead lights with a funky and affordable new fitting from big retailers or homewares stores,” Moore says. “Choose a burst of colour or a natural texture, then carefully store the originals just in case you need to swap them back.” Table and standing lamps also add great ambience and, when you move, are easily transportable.

Art of the matter

“Hanging art is the best way to elevate your interior decorating and bring a sense of who you are to a home,” Moore says. “If you’re lucky enough to have picture rails, get things on the walls as soon as you can. If you don’t, lean larger prints and paintings on sideboards or shelves or stick to smaller objects grouped together on a wall using removable hooks.” Browse op shops and vintage stores for great cheap frames and swap in your own artworks — your kids’ masterpieces might be ideal.

A fast four

Finally, Moore suggests these quick fixes:

  • Layer rugs over ugly carpet or, if you’re planning to stay long-term, consider installing floating timber flooring over tiles.
  • Upgrade kitchen or bathroom tapware. “Just ensure you swap like-with-like fittings and positioning, such as separate hot and cold taps versus a mixer tap”.
  • Removable wallpaper is a great way to create a feature wall or hide unsightly paint colours or finishes.
  • A funky shower curtain, a grout pen and a fabulous pot plant can transform a dingy bathroom in a weekend.

Budget Better

If you’ve set a goal to save for some furnishing upgrades, having a dedicated account where you can build up those funds can help. This is something you can do with the Everyday Options account¹, which has a main account with debit card2 access for your everyday spending and you can choose to add up to 9 sub-accounts3 to help you manage your budget. You can personalise your sub-accounts by naming them, perhaps one for Bills (rent, Wifi and any subscription services like Netflix), a “Furniture fund” and a “Just for me fund”.

And, if you do find that designer shower curtain at a budget friendly price online, rest easy knowing there are $0 foreign currency conversion fees on Visa Debit2 card purchases made with the Everyday Options account and no monthly account keeping fees. Less fees means more in the budget for you.

Learn more about sub-accounts

Read more:

1The Everyday Options Account is issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”). Eligibility criteria, conditions, fees and charges apply and are available on request. Please read the Product Information Document for Personal Deposit Accounts before making any decision about this product. Go to for a copy.

2To be eligible for a Suncorp Bank Visa Debit card you must be 16 years of age or older. If not eligible you will receive a Suncorp Bank eftpos card. There is only debit card access on the Everyday Options main account. There is no debit card access with sub-accounts.

3You must hold an Everyday Options main account to open an Everyday Options sub-account (add up to nine).

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.