I’m Alexandra. An American girl living in Dublin, Ireland. I honestly document my adventures in travel, food, beauty, and expat life on a budget.

5 Tips to Make Rented Accommodation Abroad Feel Like Home

5 Tips to Make Rented Accommodation Abroad Feel Like Home

One of the key differences between rented accommodation in Ireland (and other parts of Europe) and America is that your accommodation comes furnished in Ireland. I know that some places in America do this too, but it definitely wouldn’t be the norm. Moving into a place that is furnished can hinder the process of making the space your own so I am going to share some tips and tricks to make your rental feel like home for cheap.


When my boyfriend and I moved into our apartment it came furnished with the ugliest and most uncomfortable matching loveseat and chair. We had the landlord take these away and replaced it with an IKEA futon we bought secondhand. We brought a chair we already owned with us and without any further decorating at that point, the apartment already felt more like ours. Not in the market to buy furniture? An inexpensive throw blanket can make all the difference tossed over what you have. 


Rugs are an affordable way to bring a room together. We have hardwood floors so having a soft rug makes the sitting room feel homier. If you live near an IKEA they have plenty of reasonably priced rugs. The one in our sitting room is from IKEA and was around €50. If you don’t live near an IKEA, check your local charity shop!


Find a store in your new town that sells low-cost candles and stock up! They look nice on mantles, shelves, in the kitchen, bathroom – really wherever you want them. Burn them and you will be so cozy you’ll forget you’re in a rental!  If you have a favorite from home, bring it over with you. I love the 'Autumn' candle from Bath & Body Works so I keep one in Ireland to burn during the fall months.


All the frames in my apartment are from IKEA or Tiger and cost less than €10. Get frames you can put on tables or mantles but also frames to hang. The hanging frames help to fill up empty space on walls. Rented accommodation typically has white/cream walls that can feel a bit stark so having something on them makes your space feel a little less mental hospital, and a lot more like yours.


If you can keep a real plant alive, get one! If you would kill a real plant, get a fake one! Bringing a bit of green into your space will make it snugger and add a bit of color. I opt for fake myself, but they still look nice. And treat yourself to some fresh flowers every now and then!

I hope these pointers help you in making your rental feel more like your own home.

P.S. - I will not make any commission if you do purchase any of the items linked or tagged in this post. 

*Cover image original to Candid Alexandra

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