For a large part – potentially even the entirety – of our lives, we live in rented spaces. This is by and large a positive thing as it offers us the possibility of living all over the place during our lives, but there are certainly downsides to renting. Ignoring the fact that we don’t own a house, the next biggest problem is definitely decorating. Or, at least, the challenge of making the space feel personal. A place that feels like a home, although it may not be one for long. Painting walls is completely out of the question, and if you know you’re leaving in a year even rearranging feels unnecessary. So, here are a few easy fixes for how to liven up your home, even if it’s rented.
Always begin with lighting. If you walk into a room and something doesn’t quite work, it’s almost always the lighting. For a rented space, it’s not worth going through the stress of fitted lights or pendants. Desk lamps and floor lamps will be your friends, particularly Northern's Buddy Floor Lamp. The sleek, minimalist lamp has a contemporary look and casts an ambient light wherever its multi-directional shade is pointed. The fact that it’s so easy to install and so timeless in its design makes it perfect for any rental property.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller, try the Menu Hashira Table Lamp. The architecture-inspired cylindrical design of the Menu light takes its cues from the translucent fabric of Japanese lanterns and window blinds, softly spreading the light in multiple directions.
Decorating a rental property has a lot of benefits that you may not think of immediately. Don’t look at decorating as less than decorating a home you own, but an opportunity that not owning affords you; so, you can focus your decorating energy into more of the fun stuff – and, more importantly, the items that will travel with you. Those special purchases don’t get more desirable than audio, especially when they look as good as the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker.
The classic multi-room speaker not only looks great thanks to its slim, sculpted design, but it’s one of those special pieces that will will work with all interiors. You can easily connect wirelessly to any device and enjoy the powerful 480-watt sound in whatever colour, fabric and material that you choose.
Soft furnishings around the house – in the form of bedding, cushions, rugs and throws – are the easiest way to add personality to a rented property with minimal effort. Experimenting with texture will not only make the space feel a lot homier but will also elevate the dynamism of the space through the contrast of colour, comfort and texture. One of the most important and most general rules of creating a calm space is to minimise everything. So, opt to build a base of neutral colours for soft furnishings and invest in understated bedding by the likes of Piglet and Beddable. Remember that as the seasons change, so should your bedding. Read our guide to summer bedding.
You can adopt the same neutral colour palette across other key soft furnishings such as a classic melange Nordic Knots Rug and a coordinating melange cushion from Hem. These key colours will form the foundation for every room – and for any other house you may move to – and after that, the smaller touches of cushions, art and accessories will add character and colour to the interior.
Hidden storage – or storage that is so well-designed that it doesn’t even look like storage – is a good place to start when it comes to building up a multi-functional interior. Book cases, ladders and shelving systems all fit the bill. With its minimalist design and easy-to-arrange, multi-configuration design, Engelbrechts’ Poise Shelving System is the perfect storage solution. It’s lightweight and portable and has the special ability of keeping objects and accessories out of the way while storing them in plain view.
When it comes to searching for the right pieces of art and home decoration, the tactic is to remember you’re looking for ways to change a room that won’t impact it irreversibly. That’s why candles, ornaments and home accessories like the Fritz Hansen Basket and LOOPALU’s White Nose Vase are real winners. The neutral colours and textured surfaces of both accessories are intriguing enough to spark attention and beautifully crafted so that they will remain timeless in the face of trends and whatever the next interior you find home in.
There’s no denying that natural elements like plants can bring a fair amount of variety to your home, but best of all, there’s absolutely no wall-mounting required, so there’s no stress of leaving any lasting damage. Especially, if you pick out a few low-maintenance plants and stylish pots to house them in, such as Vitamin’s I.V. Plant Pot. With its very own drip feed, it’s the perfect plant pot for anyone who struggles to keep their house plants alive (guilty).
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