If you’re anything like me, when you’re an lover of interior design it can be quite annoying with rental properties that you can’t fully put your stamp on it. When you have that eureka moment of what that room could look like and then you realise that oh, tough luck – the creamy magnolia wall and navy blue carpet are here to stay. So rather than fight it, why not embrace it and create a space that feels cosy and as ‘you’ as you can possibly make it?
To get you inspired, I have rounded up some ideas of things I feel have really made a difference our teeny rental flat in London to make it homely.
1. Embrace Rugs
Now this is isn’t a phrase I use often, but let me tell you – you need to embrace those bloomin’ lovely rugs. And in all their shapes and sizes at that. As we were in the process of trying to cosy up our lounge, nothing made more of a difference than getting a snuggly shaggy rug and plonking it in the middle of the room to bring that extra comfort level to proceedings. It didn’t cost much in the grand scheme of things and is definitely something we will take to our new home, wherever that may be.
2. Invest in good lighting
As Mickey Flanagan once said, nothing beats a bit of ‘ambi-enceee’ when it comes to setting the scene. Hate that pine cabinet in the corner? Put on some mood lighting. Can’t deal with those hideous carpets? Put on some mood lighting. Great lighting can literally hide a multitude of sins and is actually one thing I feel is well worth investing in. If you know there’s a certain style you will always love, invest in individual lighting in this style, so it can be moved around the various flats and houses you move into. I have a floor standing tripod lamp and a side table lamp with a pineapple base that I invested in and I absolutely love them They were so worth it – they cosy things up nicely and they’re always one of the first things guests spot when they come to visit.
3. Learn to love leaning
Weird subtitle I know, but you need embrace the ability to ‘lean’ things as a way to personalise your walls without making a permanent mark. We have things leaning literally everywhere, from mirrors to picture frames on shelves. So before you hit that nail into the wall with all the while knowing you will most likely incur a fine, think about how it looks propped up instead. You’ll surprise yourself how creative you can get.
4. Use book shelves as focal points
With so many cheap options of bookcases in IKEA or opportunities to transform old ones yourself, this is a great way to open up areas for personalisation. But don’t just go piling all your books on the shelves any which way, oh no no! Curate that ‘shelfie’! Mix books stacked with nic nacs, photo frames, candles – whatever you fancy. Then when you get bored, just mix things up again and try something different.
5. Beautify your bed
If you’re a city dweller like me with a rather tiny bedroom, there’s a strong likelihood your bed will be a big – if not – the only focal point in your room, so use this opportunity as your perfect canvas. Spend time choosing a colour scheme and choose sheets, scatter cushions and blankets accordingly. Snuggle that place up! With your lamp alongside you for ‘ambience’, you’ll be well on your way to ultimate cosy.
6. Bring it to life, literally
I know so many friends who felt their homes weren’t quite complete without a few plants to take care of. Not only are these lovely green things proven to be psychologically beneficial, they really give it that home-like trait when you feel like there’s something there to take care of. I’m a huge fan of big tree plants such as monstera plants or fiddle fig trees and herbs are fab too – easy to look after and dual purpose. A tip for upping the plant factor with minimal effort is to throw some fake plants into the mix. Your friends will be none-the-wiser as to what’s real and what’s not, so prepare to watch them as they stand in awe at your green fingered ways.
7. Scent your home with candles and diffusers
We all know that familiar smell of when we return home to our parents, that scent of fond memories and cosiness. So why not embrace the same idea by creating a particular scent to your home that you look forward to coming home to too? You can do this with a reed diffuser or just by lighting candles in the evening. The nicest thing too is that when you do come to move, that scent will always remind you of those wonderful memories made in that particular home.
8. Invest in pieces you know you’ll always love
The last thing you want to do is buy everything especially for the rental property you currently live in. Not only will you likely rush the purchase and keep them cheap and cheerful, it’s also unlikely you’ll be wanting to take them with you onto the next place. So you really need to think about those things that are going to be versatile in whatever space you find yourself in and really choose pieces you love. Good examples of these sorts of items are lamps and rugs as mentioned earlier, mirrors, art and stand alone pieces of decoration that you know you’ll always want in your home.
Photo Credits: Miami Design District / Home Designing / Sheerluxe / Amara / Pop Sugar / Urban Outfitters / Etsy