Living in rented accommodation is par for the course of millennial life. According to reports from Apartment List, 80% of millennials say they would like to own their own home… but 68% have saved less than $1000, meaning this dream is quite a way off yet. With our money stretched so tightly due to sky-high living costs, steep inflation year upon year and stagnant wages, buying a home in the near future is, unfortunately, an unlikely prospect for many of us.

In fact, the same report has calculated the approximate wait time for millennials wanting to buy in different cities around the USA, according to the average rate at which we’re saving money. Buying a home in Miami, Florida is estimated to take us 6.3 years of strict saving, while an apartment in San Jose, California will take an eye-watering 23.9 years… best set our sights somewhere else then.

So, while we’re putting away sizeable chunks of our salaries each month towards a down payment, most of us are renting accommodation in the meantime. Living in a rented apartment and frequently moving can be a pain, and sometimes we can develop a defeatist attitude to decorating. What’s the point when we’re probably going to have to move elsewhere in a year or so?

It’s important to make yourself as comfortable as possible, where-ever you lay your head: it’s your home after all, at least for now! We’ve been there, done that too: and have learned how to make a rented apartment comfy and cozy with our own personal stamp, so it feels more like our own. Here’s our list of tips to help you do the same.

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It’s important to make yourself as comfortable as possible, where-ever you lay your head: it’s your home after all, at least for now!

Soft furnishings

Bringing in fabric, drapery and rugs adds warmth and comfort to any room, especially in a space that’s a little darker, smaller, or painted and carpeted in a way you wouldn’t choose yourself. (Some landlords allow you to paint and change flooring but be sure to check before you make permanent changes.)

Add your own rugs, cushions, and curtains to make your new rooms more aligned with your tastes.

Kitchen Comforts

Bring things into your kitchen that will make you spring out of bed in the morning and love spending time there: try adding a coffee machine or grow some windowsill herbs.

There’s nothing like waking up – or coming home – to a freshly brewed coffee. Keurig single-cup models are powerful little machines that make great coffee and are compact enough for small kitchens. Check out the linked guide for a comparison of the great k50 vs k55 models.

Herb planters can be found cheaply in homeware stores or garden centers, or if growth isn’t your thing, get yourself a cute vase and routinely fill it with fresh flowers for instant happiness whenever you see them.

Deck the walls

Sometimes, rented places can have paintwork that has seen better days; and the landlord either won’t let you change it, or you don’t feel like wasting your own money on painting. In any case, you can put up picture frames, posters, art, prints, and whatever else you want to hang up to conceal dirty and scrappy walls and add your personal touch to the rooms.

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If you’re not allowed to hang pictures, get creative with a photo-board instead. These can be made yourself with a large picture frame and square photo printouts. Glue the photos into a grid onto the board, and stand it against a wall for a personalized addition to any room.

Light up your life

When you’re on a budget or saving cash, you’ll probably choose somewhere that’s cheap to rent; and that usually means ending up with a small apartment. Sometimes that means the place is a little cramped and dark.

Jazz up your rooms with trendy standing lamps or statement light shades. Give illusions of grandeur by bringing in a faux-crystal chandelier, or choose some metal pendant lighting. Dot some scented candles around the apartment to create a homely atmosphere. Whatever you choose, make sure your living spaces are well-lit and ventilated so that they seem fresh and bright.