Living away from home is hard. After weeks of house hunting and a lot of stress, you’ve finally managed to find a lovely new home, even though it lacks that dreamy walk-in-closet or the floor-to-ceiling windows you love. But just because you are renting an apartment or villa, doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own.

You can get away with making your rental home suit your personality without spending a bomb. And we’ll tell you how to do it without losing your deposit fee!

Give the walls some character

The easiest way to feel at home is to paint your walls the way you like them because truth be told, you’ll be seeing a lot of them. Just make sure you check in with the landlord first. You can also paste a stunning wallpaper or design a feature wall – It will instantly brighten up the room.

Going DIY with a can of paint, brush, and ladder is a great idea if you want to keep busy and save on handyman costs. So roll up your sleeves and get started!

To drill or not to drill

Ask your landlord if he’s okay with you drilling holes into the walls. He or she may be fine with it, as long as you fill the holes and patch up the walls when you leave.

However, if your landlord has a strict ‘no drilling holes’ policy, don’t fret. You can still work your magic and design the perfect space. How about painting an MDF board in your favorite color and placing it behind your bed or sofa? Or you could place a beautiful freestanding mirror to liven up a dull corner and add a more spacious feel to the room. You can also play around with fairy lights and some double sided tape for a more whimsical vibe.

[Related: DIY tips for renovating your home on a budget]

Add accessories that reflect your personality

The best way to brighten up a space, be it your living room or bedroom, is to add the right mix of accessories and accents. And there are endless design possibilities when accessorizing your rented home.

Don’t like the dull flooring? Add a bright rug or a handwoven carpet. Find the sofa boring in your semi-furnished apartment? Add some cushions and a throw blanket in your favorite hue. Want to design a striking entryway? Hang a statement mirror on the wall, and add a console table with candle stands, a flower arrangement or framed photographs.

Breathe life into your home with plants

With Dubai’s extended summers, who wouldn’t love an escape to a lush tropical paradise! And what if that tropical vibe is within your own home? Enhance your living space by investing in potted plants that thrive indoors. Keep some on your window sill, or repot them into old coffee mugs or watering cans.

If you don’t have a green thumb and struggle to keep your plants alive, there’s another great alternative for you – Artificial plants. Just make sure you use high-quality ones to keep your guests guessing!

[Related: 7 extreme DIY alternatives that will save you thousands]

Add aesthetic fixtures and fittings

Want to kick your home decor game up a notch? You can go one step further and replace old and drab-looking fixtures like taps, shower heads, wall sockets and wardrobe/drawer handles with new and stylish ones. Think retro-style brass faucets and knobs for the kitchen or matte black bathroom fittings for that industrial chic look.

This makes perfect sense if you have ample storage space. So you can simply stash away the original fittings and replace them again when it’s time to leave.

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