For years we rented in London as we moved around for both mine and my husbands jobs. We constantly moved into expensive 1 bedroom apartments and flats that came with a set of VERY strict rules on decorating.
- no holes in walls
- no painting
- no wallpaper
- no major decorating or DIY work to be undertaken without prior checking and written permission etc.
Now anyone that knows me, knows that I adore getting my teeth into a brand new empty canvas, so not decorating for me was excruciating. I constantly found myself saying things like “when we buy I will do” When we own, I will build” .. and so on. Then one day I just thought to myself.. If I wait until we own a home.. I might never live in anything stylish and THAT thought frightened me more, so I started to compile a list of deposit friendly updates, styling & decor that meant I could make our apartment feel more like home and less like a rental. I found that I could add warmth, depth, pattern, colour and character to my home and not have an irate landlord at the end of it all. So here goes… my #toppicks to get you through the rental period of your life with style and personality.
Let’s talk about the two biggest issues when renting. Walls & floors.
So you have just moved in and you are not allowed to paint or add permanent wallpaper. Don’t worry we have some ways to resolve this.
Did you know that wayfair do “temporary” wallpaper.. so it is self adhesive and goes up and comes down as easy as pie? They have a range of styles that come in different patterns and colour schemes.
Painting is off the cards you say? Does that mean bye bye to colour in your home? Certainly not. Just because you cannot add colour to your walls, doesn’t mean it needs to be lacking from your scheme or style over all. Try painting up large pieces of furniture with some bold darker colour like graphite or black, against crisp white walls.. or add a pop of colour to large pieces and then carry that colour through with soft furnishings, florals and more.
Look how amazing and full of character this bright set is , offsetting against the plain walls. Does this look boring? far from it. Everyone feels they have to add colour to walls to reclaim the style, but it’s just as important to pick the right furniture to create a feeling of warmth and a homely feel that reflects your own style. (photo courtesy of apartment therapy via pinterest)
How about a funky feel to your home? add a wall treatment that is removable in the future. Popular right now is the use of washi tape. It comes in a fantastic array of colours, patterns and styles. You could create a geometric wall pattern with it and display bold chunky furniture against it for lots of storage.
(photo credit hearthandmade uk via pinterest)
Moving swiftly onto flooring. Most of the rentals I ever lived in suffered from terribly cheap flooring. There are a few ways to go about making this more live able.
- if you have carpet and it is not to your taste. You can (with your landlords permission) lift the carpet and store somewhere safe and dry to relay once you are set to leave. This may not be a popular idea.. so one I used regularly was huge “area rugs” to zone my living spaces and to provide more of “my style” on the floors than the landlords. This worked especially well for my bank balance too, because as some large area rugs can be quite expensive. I used a lovely Ikea hack of stitching together four smaller rugs to make one large one. This took a bit of time, but saved lots of pennies to invest elsewhere. Area rugs are very large rugs which cover almost all of the room space and leave just a small border all the way around. If stitching is not your thing.. we LOVED this tutorial we found on pinterest.. have a peek.. the easy peasy way to a large rug of your choice, style and pattern is here
- If you have solid flooring underneath and it just aint making your stylish heart very warm.. why not have a peek at some of the most amazing vinyl flooring on the market right now? There are full vinyl lays and smaller vinyl tiles which can create looks to match natural wood (some are even textured for the feel of wood) check out this little company for some incredible look & feel flooring vinyl lays… click here . The great thing about this flooring is that a good floor fitter will be able to lay this down secured without any adhesive, meaning that lifting it in future is easy and leaves no residue that needs cleaning up.
- NOW if you have your landlords permission to update your floors a little.. and you want something easy and DIY to do .. then you cannot go wrong with stylish vinyl tiles. Some of the patterns now are incredibly realistic and add a real pop of colour or personality to your home in a very short period of time. see here for more info
AND there you have it… Walls & Floors covered.. literally 😉
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So that’s it for part 1… in the next part we will be talking about furniture, investing in unique pieces and looking at how to add your specific style to grab attention.
Thanks for reading you lovely lot