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Whether you’re subletting for the semester or settling down for the next few years as you save up for your first home, you want to make sure your rental feels like home. Even though you don’t own the property and might not be able to make any permanent changes, you can certainly brighten the place up and create a beautiful temporary home that feels personal, warm and inviting.

Bring the outdoors in. Houseplants are all the rage right now, particularly succulents, and it’s not hard to see why. Surrounding yourself with greenery has been linked to improved mood, heightened productivity and lowered rates of seasonal depression. Even cold, grey high-rise apartments look livelier with a few plants. Just remember to give them the love and attention they need or you’ll soon have a mess of dead leaves to clean up.

Lay down a vintage rug. If your apartment has hardwood floors, you can easily find a vintage area rug in your local thrift store—or on an online boutique—that will help spice things up. Rugs are a trendy way to personalize a living area, eliminate mud and dirt, and add a boost of colour to an otherwise drab living space. Area rugs come in a virtually endless array of colours and patterns that will suit even the most unique style personality.

Set the mood. Soft blueish lighting is said to increase feelings of happiness and comfort. If you’re feeling trapped in your temporary rental, one very small and inexpensive way to make the space feel instantly more inviting is placing lamps in high-traffic areas. Low-level lamp lighting will also help you drift off to sleep more comfortably than harsh overhead lights.

Hang up some paintings. Wall art—whether it’s an original watercolour by your best friend or a print of your favourite Van Gogh—instantaneously adds character and personality to your space. Everyone needs art in their lives, and you don’t have to forego wall decor just because you’re renting.

Buy a statement mirror. If your rental is uncomfortably small, you might feel a bit claustrophobic. Mirrors create the illusion of more space and make even the narrowest room feel wider. For a more spacious and inviting home, mirror placement can make all the difference. The larger, the better.