Adding personal touch to a rental
Many students and expats in Denmark don’t get the luxury of living in a place for longer periods and moving from place to place can be exhausting as well as seem like it is not worth investing in furniture or decor. Over the 5 years of living in Denmark I have lived in 4 apartments which were quite different from one another and the furniture that made all the sense in one did not necessarily fit the other. Therefore I have gathered some ideas on how to personalise a rental property.
Most rentals if not all come with plain white walls and ceilings and when moving out, you might be required to either paint the walls white again or your landlord will hire a company to do it. Although white indeed fits in the aesthetic of scandinavian minimalism, it can get boring very quickly. Consider painting at least one wall in your rental adding a touch of colour – it has to be painted in the end anyway. However, remember that darker colours take more coats to cover so if your landlord does hire a painting company at the end of your renting period, the cover up could get pricy as they are paid by the hour.
You can find affordable paints in Bilka where they offer almost unlimited colour options and will mix the paint for you on the spot.
Play with ART
If painting the walls is not an option, consider wall decals, which are very popular in Denmark and can be found for cheap prices. Sometimes you can find some great ones in Søstrene Grene, Flying Tiger and other stores, even grocery ones. However, I suggest digging in sites like eBay and Wish – shipping might take longer but the prices are as low as they come and from my experience, the designs and quality are quite alright.
Posters, paintings and other wall art is the go-to personalisation pick for most home owners and you don’t have to invest in expensive paintings. Previously mentioned Søstrene Grene has a wide variety of great designs as well as Sinnerup and other stores.
If you want great quality posters that are breath-taking, try ordering from Desenio, however it can get pricey depending on the size and frame of the poster.
Sometimes drilling in walls is not an option, so opt for an alternative in form of a double sided tape. You can get heavy duty ones at hardware stores like Harald Nyborg and those can hold up to even 120kg so hanging a frame is not a problem.
Let the light in
Light fixtures are amongst the items that are not only extremely useful but can add that personal touch you are looking for. Most apartments come with ceiling roses ready to be hooked up with a new light. If you are not about that wiring life, invest in a floor or desk lamp that brings you the hygge atmosphere in evenings. Stores like Bilka, IKEA and IDEmøbler (especially during sale period) have many budget options that look nice.
Keep the light out
Curtains and blinds are great to secure privacy as well as keep the sunlight out when needed. Some student apartments come with blinds however not always. Curtains on the other hand are rare in such apartments, however, can add great texture to the place and make it cozy and homey. You can find great variety of such fixtures in IKEA and Jysk.
Showcase your valuables
A great way to make any place personal is showcasing your memorabilia from travels or items that hold a deep meaning. Although shelves are a common way to do so – especially the skinny picture shelves like these, consider using metal memo boards for pictures or concert tickets.
My favourite way to showcase favourite items is the transparant box from IKEA as seen on the right. It adds a fun touch to the place and keeps your precious items safe.
Add more textile
Different coloured textiles like pillows and carpets as well as the previously mentioned curtains add the coziness that is so appreciated in Denmark. What is so great about pillows is that you only need to get a couple and once you get tired of the look of it or it just doesn’t feel right anymore – change the pillowcase. This works great with seasonal items like colours that are in trend or themed pillows (like Christmas). It’s a little investment that can go long way (and into many future homes).
Carpets are great to add a little fluff under your feet and can be great to make a rental place feel like your own.
Get a green pet!
Plants are the best way to bring some life in your home and are great investment if you are not up for getting fresh cut flowers once in a while. And yes, most of us live the busy lives of a student and work, so if you are worried about becoming the next plant serial killer, there are many great fake plant options that are just as nice and take close to no upkeep (apart from the occasional dusting).
Plantorama and Bilka’s garden section has a number of amazing, affordable plants but you can find some great ones at your local grocery store or everyones favourite – IKEA.