This content was written by Amy Davies Pereira of Little House in London on behalf of Essential Living.
Before I owned my home, I rented for many years. I learned very quickly that just because you’re renting, it doesn’t mean you can’t put your own stamp on a property. With a little creativity, some savvy shopping, you may be surprised by what you can achieve.
I picked up lots of tips and tricks in my rental years, and still use many of them now to quickly update a tired looking room.
The first thing we need to talk about are walls, many landlords are more than happy for their properties to be painted by a tenant and will often cover the cost (it doesn’t hurt to ask!) Keep wall colours neutral, a property is often let in whites, greys or creams, and all are very easy to work with.
Art is a fabulous way to add a bit of your own personality to a room, and don’t worry, there are ways of hanging it that avoid any damage. If your property is period then utilise picture rails. If not, check out Command Strips, they are life, picture hanging has never been so easy and mess free.
Desenio, King & McGaw and Not On The High Street all have a vast selection of affordable art prints to suit all tastes, their abstract, photographic and typography prints work amazing together to create a stunning gallery wall. Try Ikea or Wilko for cost effective frames, or trawl your local charity shops for vintage art and frames. You can change the look of a whole room by hanging an A2 framed poster, go big and bold if you’re looking for a real colour pop.
Another way to add pattern to a plain backdrop are wall decals, Etsy has a wide selection, they are as easy to apply and remove and leave no residue. Some companies offer a bespoke service where you can create your own design. Another renters dream is removable wallpaper, the collection Wall Pops is fun and quirky.
Brighten up a room with plants, faux or real they add a lived in quality to a space. Go for a large Monstera to overhaul a drab corner, or try add trailing plants to shelves and window sills. Marks & Spencer stock a vast selection of flora and fauna, much of it online and can be delivered to your door for ease. Try Abigail Ahern for amazing faux blooms, plants and a great selection of home accessories too.
Whether the flooring in your home is wooden, carpeted or lino, disguising a floor you wouldn’t have necessarily chosen is easily covered by a rug. Try Gumtree for vintage finds or French connection for affordable statement pieces. I’m a big fan of the rug collection at Next Home, from hallway runners to bath mats they’ve pretty much got it covered.
If you’re renting unfurnished and need to invest in furniture, then don’t buy pieces that are too large. Think about a modular sofa that can be broken up and fit into smaller spaces in your next home, DFS have an amazing range. Extendable tables are also great space savers. If the property is let with a sofa and you want to change the colour, then the trusty throw is your best friend.
Soft furnishings and accessories are so oh so important when adding your the final touches to a room, candles add a homely glow and scent. Lampshades are easy to replace and can change the light and feel of a space instantly, try Homesense for both. Change up the curtains, Dunelm have a great selection and check out the temporary pleated blinds at John Lewis, which you can fit in minutes.
Lastly, try creating a moodboard before you start, Canva and Pinterest are great tools for this. Whether you own or rent, your home is your castle, enjoy it and make your pad a space to be proud of.