Home renters never imagine staying in one place forever and usually don’t but that doesn’t mean they have to live with the basic, boring walls, carpets, windows and general style that rental houses come with. There are several simple, easy steps one can take that can turn that house for rent into a home.

* Furniture: When buying furniture stay away from matched sets, instead look for one of a kind pieces that will bring character and charm to a room. If you’re considering a lamp then look for a lampshade this is unique, when searching for a bed, look for a funky headboard. Enhance your living room couch with a end table that has intricately carved legs or is made from wrought iron. These added pieces will bring a level of style and sophistication to your home helping rid the place of the blahs rentals suffer from.

* Carpet: Although you probably won’t be able to replace the carpet a great first step is to steam clean it. From there a cool area rug can liven any dull carpet. Don’t be afraid to use color and patterns here, especially if you’re dealing with the traditional brown or beige carpet scheme.

* Windows: The standard-issue blinds that come in most houses for rent don’t have to be a sore spot, try topping them with a valance. Simply place a rod (try to keep it decorative here) over the window and then take some unique fabric (again with the decorative here) and drape it over the rod. There are plenty of photos with examples of this technique online, do a Google image search for valance and you’ll understand the idea.

* Wall: It’s not uncommon for a landlord to allow a tenant to paint walls, providing they repaint them before leaving and if your landlord is of such an attitude then this is one area you can make a dramatic difference in transforming your rental house into a home that reflects your personality. If your landlord is not of such ilk there are alternatives including; covering the wall with fabric, again keeping color in mind, or using a folding screen or even an old funky door against the wall. These last two won’t change the color but can certainly bring personality into the room. Using bookshelves and stocking them with not only books but unique pottery, glassware and knick knacks (don’t go crazy here) is another alternative to dressing up a white wall.

Whether it’s a rental house or a home you are buying, taking the time to find pieces, colors and using some or all of the techniques above will turn your house for rent into your home to live in, no matter how long that is.