When it comes to renting a home, it's quite likely you'll discover plain white walls, beige flooring and unflattering lighting, and when it comes furnished, it can be a challenge to personalise a space that's filled with someone else's stuff. But that shouldn't stop you living in a bland box. Here are 10 ideas for a stylish, cosy home:
1/10 Prop up pictures
The easiest way to make a rented space feel like a home is by filling it with stuff you love. Instead of drilling holes in walls, prop up personal framed pictures on a shelf and style with vintage books and other lovely props for a stylish shelf in seconds.
2/10 Use clever fixings
If you'd like to add colour and pattern to your walls but are worried about leaving marks, you still can with nifty 3M Command Strips, essential in any styling kit! Use it to hang picture frames and photographs without creating holes or damaging walls – you can still achieve a stylish look.
3/10 Create a wallpaper panel
Yes you can have wallpaper! Rejuvinate bland walls with wallpaper without getting out the paste. All you need to do is cover a sheet of MDF with your favourite wallpaper. Create one large feature wall or use three panels to make a work of art. Don't underestimate the power of a cushion, or two, either – they'll wake up a sofa in a jiffy!
4/10 Go for savvy storage
Bring character to a room and save space by using free-standing shelves. Freestanding furniture means there's no need to fix it to the wall and it can look totally striking.
The Conran collection, Marks & Spencer
5/10 Cover up boring wall tiles
Updating a rented kitchen or bathroom can be trickier to tackle than the others, but they can still be revamped. Unattractive bathroom and kitchen tiles can be covered up with retro-style waterproof stickers. In an instant, you've added colour and pattern!
6/10 Transform a table
Disguise an ugly kitchen table with cute oilcloth fabric for a gorgeous setting you'll love to sit at. Simply staple it to the underneath of the tabletop.
Find similar at Notonthehighstreet.com
7/10 Hide shabby floors
You're probably either stuck with plain beige carpet or laminate flooring in your new rented pad, but even though you can't change the actual flooring, you can hide it! So make flooring less boring and disguise tired carpet or broken floorboards with a statement rug.
8/10 Add a colour pop
Bright accessories and fabrics are great ways to change the look and feel of a room. There's no need to alter the room or invest a lot of money, just have a quick change of bed linen. When picking out new sheets, be brave and pick a pattern that will liven up the plainest of rooms.
9/10 Flower power
Decorate your space with real or faux flowers to add a friendly, colourful touch to your home. Either buy ready-set in resin or pick up lots of little vases and glasses from charity shops or car boot sales and fill with flowers to your heart's content.
Faux floral arrangements
Grey Rose by Jane Packer, Debenhams
10/10 Be clever with lighting
Good lighting is essential to making your rental property feel like your own. Opt for an interesting pendant, table or floor lamp to give your space style and character.
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Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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