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How to make an ex rental house feel like a home

(12 Posts)
goldenlilliesdaffodillies Mon 18-Apr-16 17:39:37

We are about to move into our very old, very quirky new house. It has been rented out for 20 years. It has the potential to be beautiful but at the moment feels very unloved and like an ex rental house (eg cheap kitchen units/baths etc). What can we do in the short term to make it more like a family home?

We do want to do work on it (eg new kitchen) but feel we should live in it for a year.

TheJiminyConjecture Mon 18-Apr-16 17:42:44

Get rid of any magnolia!

Also, landlords always seem to buy cheap carpet. If you can afford a thicker, cosier carpet it changes the whole feel of the room for me.

fabulousathome Mon 18-Apr-16 22:03:45

Buy a rug or three to add homely touches

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 19-Apr-16 08:57:53


Good plan to live in it for a while before doing any major work. Could you plan to decorate (say) the living room more quickly though? Make it more your kind of thing.

I'm sure it will feel better once it has your own stuff in. Our new house does.

museumum Tue 19-Apr-16 09:07:01

Ours was rented out before we bought it. It changed pretty instantly with our furniture in it and a few new bits bought specifically to fit.
A coat of paint in the kitchen diner finally erased all traces of what it was before.

KP86 Tue 19-Apr-16 09:11:02

Painting will make a big difference.

I agree to make a list of things you want to do/buy, we bought a house and I changed my mind on about half the plans within a few months!

So glad we painted before moving in or it might not have happened at all.

CrookedTiara Tue 19-Apr-16 09:12:33

We did the same thing, only we rented it for a couple of years before buying it when the owners decided to sell. Ours wasn't old and quirky, though, just a well-made, well-laid out, very plain 1970s house, but, as you say, it screamed 'longtime rental' - ghastly, dated flooring, pale yellow walls throughout, cheap, dated kitchen and bathroom, general tiredness.

Living in it for a year is an excellent idea. In terms of making it livable for that time, I would give the entire thing a coat of warm white paint, buy some inexpensive kilims and rugs to cover up crappy floor covering, light it with standard and table lamps, and hang interesting things on the walls. When we were renting in London, we had a big old patchwork quilt on a wooden pole that was the first thing we hung every time we got a new place, which made it feel like home.

OnlyHereForTheCamping Tue 19-Apr-16 09:18:02

We pulled up as many carpets as we could (including the brown bathroom one!) and sanded the floors. New curtains and light fitting. We were broke. Good luck

EssentialHummus Tue 19-Apr-16 09:18:39

Paint the living room, hallway and bedrooms, then change the carpet if its a typical, worn-out rental one.

specialsubject Tue 19-Apr-16 10:34:15

wow, a landlord-hate thread disguised as a homeowner thread.

if you'd ever been a landlord you'd understand why rentals are not furnished with designer originals and expensive carpet. Still perfecty liveable with cheap carpet, given it has to be replaced every five years anyway.

paint it, put up some pictures and perhaps some of those farty signs that tell you what each room is?

BTW my rental had a brand new bathroom before being rented out.

MushroomMama Tue 19-Apr-16 10:37:14

I actually put the carpet several of our landlords had used into our house when we bought! It's hard wearing and a nice colour!

Pictures up on the walls and rugs! Nice pillows and wall papering a feature wall are relatively inexpensive things to transform a house into home imo

CrookedTiara Tue 19-Apr-16 11:47:14

wow, a landlord-hate thread disguised as a homeowner thread.

Special, that is the oddest overreaction I have seen recently on Mn. It's neither unreasonable nor 'landlord-hating' to note that longterm rentals tend to look somewhat tired and dated! I don't think anyone is suggesting landlords refit with designer wallpaper between tenants, either.

PS We also have a flat we rent out. It is gorgeous, and has a very splendid, if tiny, kitchen and bathroom, because it's where we used to live for years.

some of those farty signs that tell you what each room is? grin grin

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