Buying a home may be the easiest way to feel like you have a place that’s truly yours (since, in that case, it...literally is) but you don’t need to be a homeowner to make a place your home. 

From getting settled in your area to decorating tips, here are 8 ways to create that “home sweet home” feeling, even if you’re renting.


Get to Know Your Neighbors

While this may seem obvious, it’s easy to get caught up in the move and forget to establish relationships in your community. Still, it’s an important part of getting that “settled” feeling. Being that humans are such social creatures, connecting with the other people in your little corner of the world is one of the most grounding things you can do. 

Not sure how to get started? We’ve got an app that might help!


Take a Walk

Especially if you’ve moved to a completely new city (or state! or country!) taking a walk or drive to familiarize yourself with your surroundings will help to alleviate some of the overwhelm you might feel as a result of being in a new environment. 

Make it a point to find new versions of any place to which you became attached while living in your last home--coffee shops, bars, bookstores, home goods shops, or any other place you’ll visit frequently. Establishing some level of routine in the area that surrounds your new rental will go a long way in helping you create a sense of home.


Unpack with Patience 

When it comes to unpacking, it can be easy to rush. It’s a pain in the neck--and no house feels like a home with boxes strewn around. Still, take it slow. Remain present and be intentional with your actions. One way to do this is to choose the room that means the most to you and set it up first. 

For example, if you feel that the bedroom is your sanctuary, start there. Wash all your linens, hang your favorite art, speckle it with pictures of your friends and family--whatever makes the space special to you. 

Once you’ve got your favorite room down, it’ll give you the boost you need to tackle the others. 


Display the Sentimental Stuff

Dig through boxes, find forgotten art, pick your favorite images, and get some stuff on your walls and shelves. Lacking in that department? Get crafty with DIY projects. Turn old picture frames into staggered wall art or create a polaroid wall by taking photos of all the people who visit your new place, and then hanging them up with the name and date written on them. 

You could snag some generic Target decor, but doing little things to inject some “heart” into your space will ultimately create a homier feel.


...To the Walls!

Although it isn’t always an option for renters, some property managers will permit you to paint on the grounds that you restore the wall color to its former glory when it’s time to move out. 

If your rental agreement bars you from painting, there are still ways to dress up your walls! Applying removable wallpaper, installing interesting wall-mounted lighting, or hanging tapestries are a few ways to create some visual interest without the mess and commitment of paint.


Get Creative with Space 

Especially if your apartment is small, experimenting with how you use your space can make all the difference. Use your imagination! Create multi-tasking spaces like a home office that doubles as a guest room or a dining area with a reading nook--or repurpose spaces altogether! Is your dining table nothing more than a collector of dust and mail? Use that space as an office, art studio, reading area--whatever makes sense for you. 

Once you’ve given all of your rooms a purpose, expand the space with mirrors, smart storage solutions, breezy colors, and more. (We have a lot of ideas for making small spaces feel larger!) 


Find Your Light 

Good lighting is a secret sauce for making any space feel new, unique, and comfortable. Instead of bright fluorescents, opt for bulbs with a warm glow. Even if your apartment comes with overhead lighting, grab some floor and table lamps to speckle around. Having multiple points of light allows you to easily manipulate the feel of your space--especially during those cozy nights.

For even greater control, we love a good dimmer switch


Dream It, Build It 

Building something as simple as storage crates for your kitchen or a side table for your bedroom can help to make your apartment feel more like home. DIYing furniture is a surefire way to create a space that feels like yours. You have control over the design, materials, and how it’s used.

If you’re not quite ready for the full DIY experience, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy that custom feeling by repurposing store-bought pieces!



The best way to make your apartment feel like home is to make it yours! Let your personal style shine in every room and the rest will follow. Need some tools to get set up? We can help.

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