Making a home away from home

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The pull of a major city can be irresistible, and few big cities have the allure and character offered by the UK capital of London. Thousands migrate to London every week to take advantage of the many opportunities it offers in education, employment and entertainment. Leaving your home to build a new life in a major metropolis the size of London can be challenging, so it is important that you make your London home one that suits you.

Accommodation in London is cramped, but you can do several things that will recreate the comfortable feel of the type of home you’ve always known. Even smaller spaces can be airy and luxurious, while rented accommodation can be adapted in clever ways to feel like it is your home and not just a rented property. Here are a few ideas for making your new London dwelling a home away from home.

Make unpacking a priority

Unpacking your many boxes can be a tedious affair, and it is not uncommon for people to still have unpacked boxes from moving years ago. Instead, focus on unpacking as much as possible right away, getting outside help if necessary. The sooner you have your personal belongings out on display, the sooner you will feel like the new dwelling is a home.

Decorate the walls

If you’ve moved into a furnished, rented property, you could be somewhat limited when it comes to the changes you can make. Most landlords would accept some wall decorations, so fix your favourite photographs or artworks to the wall to lend a homelier feel to the property. If it is a long-term letting or your own home, you could have the option of changing the paintwork, so brighten things up by painting that dull white wall a bright yellow or highlight the carpet skirting with a stand-out colour.

Give rooms a light and airy feel

The smaller sizes of homes in London can make rooms feel confined and cramped. Try to get as much light into a room as you can. Avoid placing objects in positions that block windows, and opt for window coverings that let in a lot of light. Window shutters are an excellent choice, allowing you to completely open the area around the window to let light stream into your home. Café style shutters are excellent ways to allow light into a room while also ensuring privacy.

Fill your home with plants and flowers

Even a rented property can benefit from this strategy. Give your home a cosy, natural feel by adding potted plants, dried flowers and regular top-ups of fresh flowers if possible. Few things create a cosier environment than plants, and no landlord would begrudge you for it as long as you take care not to spill water on fixtures and fittings. Some plants last a lifetime and can move with you to your next home, creating a lovely sense of consistency.

Get creative with your storage

A new home can often feel uninviting because it is not tidy and organised. If your new dwelling has a lack of storage space, don’t let that put you off clearing the clutter. Cheap, compact and disposable yet stylish storage is readily available and will help you tidy your home so that it feels more inviting. You can even use attractive storage to add decorative flair to your home. For example, tastefully arranged, colourful boxes can easily brighten up a room.

Add a collection of rugs

Another rental-friendly way to warm up a home is by adding rugs to your rooms. Spaces ranging from your hallway to the bathroom can benefit from the snug, warm feel of a soft rug. Rugs are also potent tools for decorating a room. If you’re not allowed to change the bland walls, you can certainly spruce up a room by adding a pretty, colourful rug.

Improve the interior lighting

Many properties, especially if they are rented, come with a limited supply of ceiling or wall-mounted lights. If your house has been feeling dark and brooding at night, consider purchasing some floor lamps or a bedside lamp to create more illumination in the evenings. Affordable and easy to move to your next property, portable lights can instantly change the way you perceive your home once the sun goes down.

Moving to a new city brings many unknowns into your life, but you can easily transform your new home into a living space in which you are supremely comfortable. Let your London home be a sanctuary that you can retreat to for rest and relaxation while getting ready for the next day in the big city.

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