To own or not to own… that is the question

House prices seem to be skyrocketing and those of us lucky enough to already own our own homes wonder whether our children will experience the same.  Will the rental market take a turn and provide long term lease properties that give the dwellers a little sense of peace and ability to make it their own at least in a manner of speaking?

I ponder if it matters.  Could I live in a house without calling it my own? Is it not the bricks and mortar but our collections and treasures that show us for who we are that make it our home?

I wonder if I could live with the polyester carpet that covers up some golden matai floor boards just itching to be exposed; whether the blue kitchen cupboards would drive me to distraction; or the wall dividing the dining and kitchen would escape my sledgehammer.

I think it’s a little of both.  Our collections create beautiful vignettes throughout our home but the structure must make our hearts skip a beat as we pull off the road to our own little house.  The front door painted in the beautiful turquoise blue that was inspired by your trip to rural France.  The Truebridge light, you diligently saved for, now hanging from your living room ceiling which makes you sigh as you switch it on after a long days work; its patterns dancing on your freshly painted restful white wall, its long cord leading up to the high ceiling, previously lowered and covered by some overzealous gibber.  Can we imagine a bathroom just crying out for the frameless glass shower you hanker for sadly accepting its reality of a plastic shower tray and drippy curtain?

It will be a sad time if we compromise our passions for our houses and replace it with something so much less satisfying but ultimately available, will our families dynamics remain the same or will we constantly hanker to be out rather than in a home where we experience that sigh of delight, that skip of your heart, that creates that feeling of contentment?

If you find yourself caught up in the rental market try these 10 tips to make the space all about you.

Forge a good relationship with your landlord from the start

If you rent a new home or an apartment they are usually of a neutral palette, your personal possessions will make the space your own.

Paint could be something you could come to an agreement on if you think you will be long-term at your rental, make a plan and speak to the owner, they often will supply paint if you take on the labour side of things. 

Curtains can be something that you buy to your taste, if you buy them oversized to fit either side of the windows and length to the floor you will be able to re-house them should you move. 

Lighting can be changed and restored back to its original state should you move. 

Rugs can cover carpet that has seen better days and again your landlord would likely be more than happy should you wish to remove old and damaged carpet and restore the original boards. 

In a dated kitchen add shelves and dress with gorgeous china; the ugly bench top will disappear if you give the eye something beautiful to look at.

Add lots of plants in gorgeous baskets and planters.  Plants help you feel calm and they are something that will grow with you over time, its lovely to look back at how they have changed and it will make your stay seem important.

Don’t forget the garden; maintain it, keep hedges and shrubs pruned – they may not be yours but you are their caretaker.  It only takes a little time and gives a sense of satisfaction.

Use large pots to add colour and personality to outdoor spaces, again you can take them with you.

Take pride in your little house whether it be yours or you are merely passing through.  Think of yourself as the custodian, the guardian or protector of this little piece of history.

beads12Photography and Styling by My Little House

This is a sponsored post by NZ House and Garden Magazine

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