Sunday, 10 July 2016

Personalising a rented home

Before buying our home me and the hubby rented a flat for two years, a time I look back on fondly as it was the first place we lived together, just after getting engaged. 

Whilst the benefits of renting can be huge - a landlord on call should anything go wrong, the ability to move around easier, and often the chance to live somewhere you couldn't afford to buy (for me it was a city centre) - a downside is obviously being unable to redecorate, however there are other ways to leave your own stamp on a home. 
During our time living there we were saving like mad to buy our first home and get married (in hindsight, probably far too ambitious to be doing both at the same time!), and I spent a lot of time and effort trying to make it more homely whilst on such a tight budget, so thought I'd share some of my tips.


The main issue we struggled with was the fact that our flat came ready-furnished. Whilst practically this was very handy (and absolutely necessary for us, financially), I found that this made styling quite difficult - particularly as we were stuck with some rather unsightly bits (think a moth-eaten wicker coffee table and contrasting navy and red sofas!).

My main tip for living in a rented property would be, if you can, to invest in some pieces you will be able to take with you once you move. Our main problem was that we had nowhere to store the large pieces of furniture that came with the house whilst we were living there - so we were unfortunately stuck with the garish sofas and had to be a bit more creative - which is where soft furnishing come into play...

Soft Furnishings 

Using items such as cream throws over the sofas and complementary cushions and rugs can make a huge difference in transforming a room. A neutral coloured rug and some complementary cushions can tie everything together a bit more. 


My favourite part! I'm a huge fan of artificial flowers and think they can really finish off a space, creating a stylish and luxurious feel. My go-to bunches are currently these £1.99 per stem beauties from The Range. They come in both cream and pink and I must have 20 of them around my house by now! 

Candles obviously give a room a more cosy feel, as well as a beautiful smell, of course. White cotton tea lights from Wilko were my favourites while we lived there - £1.50 for a pack of 30! I stored them (and still do) in an old jar which I tied a ribbon round. 

In my kitchen I use country-style accessories such as storing pasta in a jar, and having vintage scales on display, which can transform the feel of the space without having a decorate at all. 


I found that soft lighting wasn't always readily available in the rented properties I've lived in, so table or floor lamps can add an often much-needed cosy atmosphere to a room. I've also put some fairy lights into a lantern to add some ambience. 

A floor lamp is always a great way of creating some additional mood lighting in a room - and you can often pick up some for less than £20 from places like Ikea. 


A lovely fresh set of sheets can make all the difference when trying to create a bedroom you love. Primark do some really pretty duvet sets for little more than a tenner (I still use this one in our spare room) and some carefully placed complementary cushions can really finish off this look. 

Wall Art

Rented properties can often suffer from lots of bare walls, and if your landlords are anything like mine were, aren't too happy for tenants to fill them up with pictures/posters/photos. While nails/blue tac/sellotape can sometimes be a worry for the paintwork I found picture hooks were a much better idea. Obviously check with your landlord beforehand, but we were able to put up prints and even a mini gallery wall with them. This is the one we have in our current home, put up using picture hooks. The shelf in our spare room (above) is also put up simply with picture hooks.  

If not, what about some carefully draped fairy lights? Have a look at my 'Personalising a rented property' board over on Pinterest for some more great ideas, and you can pin the image below if you want to revisit it later:

Hope this has been helpful, what are your tips for decorating a rented property?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx



  1. What a lovely read, and some very helpful tips. I have recently started renting again after separating from my husband in February and have found it difficult to make things feel homely. I'm Loving the wall art u have created so Il definatly give that a go :) xx

    1. Hi Sharene, thanks so much for your lovely comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the post and found it helpful! Let me know how your wall art goes, I'd love to have a look! Xx

    2. Great 😊 Il post a pic when it's complete xx

  2. Nice home. I love to decorate my home just like you, It is little bit difficult to shift new home, So rented home become more complex to decorate. Find the Luxury Duvet Sets bed cover to keep the body warm at affordable price in Dubai.


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