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Renting an apartment in London short-term? How to make your short term let feel more homely

London | 4 MIN READ

A short term lease has so many fantastic benefits, but one thing that always makes prospective tenants unsure about them is restrictions on decorating – and making your apartment a home when you’re living there for such a short period of time. 

At Dolphin Square, we specialise in short term apartments in the heart of Pimlico. Over the years we’ve built a firm understanding of the pros and cons, but when it comes to finding a place to call your own, we don’t think anyone should be forced to live out of their suitcase. 

That’s why we’ve put together this dedicated post – helping you feel right at home, however long for, through making the most of what’s there instead of making do. 

The ultimate list of ways to make your rental feel more homely

So, how to make an apartment feel like home? It’s all about those little, personal touches that make a big difference to how you see your new surroundings. Here are a few suggestions from our accommodation experts. 

1) Furnish with pride

Although short term apartments are typically favoured among renters due to being furnished, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring in a few of your own ideas... 

Storage: Not only can storage be a clever way to make the most of your space (think under-bed roller solutions or hinged footstools), it can also be a way of injecting your personality into your apartment. For example, a few simple boxes stored on top of a cupboard or wardrobe can add pattern or a pop of colour.

Rugs: Rugs are a great way to visually break up a space and define clear areas. Again, you can show off your personal taste with a colour or print that speaks to you. 

Bookcases: You might think that a bookcase is just for books (or CDs and DVDs), but what about using them to display favourite picture frames, holiday mementos and even plants? You could even supplement a bedside table with a small bookcase, giving you added shelving without the need to screw anything into the wall.

2) Highly decorated

Decorations are a great way of making your short term lease feel a bit more permanent. Here are a few ideas…

Flowers & plants: The perfect way to bring the outside in, draw the eye and, of course, create a pleasing scent in your space, you can display them in various ways – for example, pot plants, jugs and vases, or even a window trough. 

Throws & cushions: Not just a way to make your space cosy, these have the added benefit of warmth and comfort. You can also move them around your apartment as you see fit – on your bed, for example, or why not try hanging your throw?

3) Let there be light

A few choice lightning solutions can elevate a dark and dingy short term flat and make all the difference when décor feels cold and impersonal. Here are our tips…  

Lamps: Whether free-standing, string lights or a table lamp, these are both practical and a way to bring personality into your accommodation, adding warmth and colour, as well as light. 

Mirrors: A few strategically-placed mirrors can reflect light around your apartment and give the illusion it’s bigger and brighter than it is. Not all mirrors need to be hung – you could lean a floor-length mirror against a wall or try a pedestal or dressing-table style on a bookcase or window ledge.

Candles: Homely and with optional scent, these create a comforting glow in even the starkest of spaces. Some prefer never to light them, and of course, check your building regulations if you’re unsure (and never leave them lit and unattended).

4) Tech it to the max

It might seem strange that tech can make your short term flat feel homely, but there are a few clever ways of doing just that…

Alexa: Whether it’s setting alarms and reminders, reading out recipes while in the kitchen, or streaming music in your living space, virtual assistants bring all the benefits of ‘shared living’ without arguing about whose turn it is to wash the dishes. 

TV: Whether you choose to watch TV on the box or on a device like an iPad or laptop, nothing says ‘welcome home’ like your favourite shows ready to watch at the touch of a button. 

Speaker system: Few things set the scene better than music – from hosting friends, to working out at home, or simply recreating the depth and sound of the cinema when watching a movie. 

5) Accessorise all areas

We’ve already touched on the big impact that decorations can make, but what about a few simple accessories? Here are a few things to consider in your short term lease…

Mugs: No longer are mugs just a boring and functional bit of crockery. Instead, they can inject a spot of colour, fun and humour into your rental property, and can be put on display as much as they can be used for drinking. 

Shower curtain: If you’re lucky enough to have a combined bath and shower in your rental, then why not incorporate a patterned shower curtain? Keep the one your short term flat came with, and swap it out at the end (bonus – you won’t need to worry about cleaning it!).

Magnets:  Add a splash of colour to fridges or radiators with funky magnets – even better if they’re of places you’ve travelled to.

Home is where the heart is

We hope you’ve enjoyed our ideas on making an apartment a home – with tips whether you’re looking for short term apartments here in London, or anywhere else around the world. From clever storage solutions to ways to incorporate your favourite prints and patterns, and even lighting hacks, there’s a lot you can do to put your own stamp on your short term lease. 

At Dolphin Square, we offer our tenants spacious and comfortable surroundings that feel like home, whether you’re staying one week or six months. Close to zone 1 with plenty of transport links, and with accommodation that includes top-of-the-range amenities and facilities, discover more about our short term rentals here.

We look forward to meeting you!