Millions of people live in the private rental sector because they can’t afford to buy their own home. Living in rented accommodation is not always desirable, but you can still make it your home. Just because you don’t own the place, it doesn’t mean that you can’t decorate or furnish it with nice things as long as your landlord is happy for you to paint walls and make the place feel like home. Assuming he is, read on for some tips on how to give your rental property a makeover, without breaking the bank.
Shop on eBay
eBay is a great place to pick up bargains. Millions of people offload their old and unwanted furniture and soft furnishings on eBay and other marketplace websites like Gumtree. You do need to be vigilant, but if you keep searching for anything you need, sooner or later you will come across an absolute bargain. You can even pay less with Paylesser, as there are always voucher deals to be found for eBay.
If you don’t have transport, look for bargains nearby, as the owner may be willing to deliver it to your home. For the best bargains, search for auctions ending within a few minutes, as you may be lucky enough to find an item you want that has been poorly described or the listing title is misspelt. These listings are often overlooked and don’t generate much interest, so they don’t get any bids. One man’s junk is another man’s gold!
Beg and Borrow
Ask around family and friends and see if anyone has some sticks of furniture they no longer use. Most people have at least one item languishing in their garage, perhaps an old bookcase or a lamp they don’t use. Just because they don’t want these items, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make use of them.
Older furniture is often discarded because it doesn’t fit our modern tastes. Don’t overlook such pieces. Older furniture tends to be solid and better constructed than modern pieces from stores like Ikea. Furnish your bedroom with a solid wardrobe and chest of drawers and at least it won’t fall apart in a couple of years.
Shabby chic is all the rage these days, so use it to your advantage and create some bespoke pieces of furniture on a shoestring budget. Hunt around for some wooden items of furniture and give them a lick of paint. Matte chalk paint is best, but you could also use milk paint; both are eco-friendly and won’t give off nasty fumes. Use paint effects and different colours. The end result will be attractive and trendy.
Charities often collect old and unwanted items of furniture to give away to needy families. If you are living on benefits and you can’t afford to furnish your home, check whether there is any help available in your area.
Check with your local authority to see whether there are any grants available to help you furnish your rental property. Your landlord may also be able to help, so it is worth asking at the start of the tenancy.