Renter-Friendly Styling Tips

Interior Styling

Making your mark and injecting your personal taste into a new space can seem like a daunting task, especially for those who live in rental properties. Unlike homeowners who can choose to update key features such as flooring to completely transform a room, renters have to work around existing features, which can make creating a stylish and balanced design scheme a more complicated task. 


Yet personalising your space will not only make it feel more comfortable and livable, it can also  greatly improve your mood and make daily life much more enjoyable. So don’t be fooled into thinking that because you don’t own the space you should sacrifice on style or be limited in your decorating and interior styling choices. 


Below are a number of styling and decorating tips that could turn a rental house into a home without upsetting the landlord. 

Add Colour, Pattern & Texture with Soft Furnishings and Textiles

Adding soft furnishings and textiles is often the simplest and most effective way of expressing your sense of style in a rental property. For example, a handful of animal print cushions could be all it takes to elevate an otherwise plain bedroom setting or velvet cushions could be used to incorporate a new colour and texture to your living space. One great benefit of styling your space in this way is that it’s non-invasive and can be changed at the drop of a hat making it perfect not only for renters but also for those who may not be ready to commit to more permanent design or styling choices. Smaller soft furnishings such as cushion covers can also be taken with you to your next property and are generally an affordable way of adding a decorative touch to your interior scheme.  

Another way of incorporating textiles into your interior design scheme and in turn making your rental feel more homely is to add or update the window dressings to your rooms. Many rentals will have practical, yet uninspiring, blinds or dated curtains that may not match your aesthetic. Updating old curtains and hanging something more contemporary such as linen curtains can drastically change the overall look of space, making it feel lighter, brighter and more open. Love pattern and textiles? You may decide to go bold with your fabric choices and opt for patterned curtains but take into consideration that large blocks of pattern may be overpowering in smaller spaces.

Update Tired Flooring with Rugs

Flooring has a huge impact on the overall appearance of a room. You’ll often find that the flooring in many rental properties has been chosen because of practicality rather than how it contributes to the look of the room. Rugs are an excellent choice for those wanting to introduce both colour and texture to a space whilst also covering a worn carpet or scratched floorboards. Rugs can also be strategically placed to create different zones within a living space, which can be helpful in more open plan rooms. 


When choosing the perfect rug for your room it’s important to consider if your intended rug is large enough for the space. Choosing a rug that is too small is a common interior styling mistake, a good rule of thumb is to choose a rug that covers the majority of your room, or if you are laying a rug to create different zones within a space then opt for a rug that is large enough to accommodate all of the furniture within the zone. 


Rugs can be an expensive purchase depending on the size and material they are made from but keep in mind that a good quality rug can be an investment that will serve you well for a number of years. If you’re looking for a more affordable rug then opt for a simple jute rug or consider layering a number of smaller rugs to get a unique, layered look that is large enough for your space. This layering technique works well with irregular shaped rugs, like natural cowhides, that are often too small for their intended space or where their irregular shape makes them difficult to position. 


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Add Life to Your Space with Greenery

Using greenery inside your space is a simple yet effective way of adding visual interest. Depending on the plants or flowers you choose to incorporate, this styling trick can be much more cost effective than buying artwork or other trend driven interior accessories. What’s more, unlike other home decor products, plants will not become outdated over time. Many indoor plants will also be beneficial to your interior, purifying the air and giving a calming effect to the room. 

Image Source: @thishouse5000 via Instagram

As well as being able to rearrange your greenery quickly and easily, decorating with greenery also allows you to achieve a truly unique look by using different types of plants and experimenting with the way to choose to display them. For a casual, understated look dress your plain planters with a hessian fabric pot cover or a natural rope basket. Macrame plant hangers are another great way to display houseplants, especially vining varieties such as pothos and philodendrons. Suspending your greenery could also help make a room appear taller as having details in the higher portions of the room will draw the eye up towards the ceiling. 


Play with Paint

Don’t be afraid to pick up a paintbrush and experiment with colour, a coat of paint could be all it takes to completely transform a space. Even if you’re quite happy with the basic white shade the landlords used, it’s a good idea to look into other white paint options and find a hue that’s perfect for you and your space. You’d be surprised at just how many shades and hues of white there are so choose a handful of samples and apply a few coats to your intended walls before choosing your favourite. If you do an excellent job at painting, chances are your landlord won’t notice so you can leave the walls as is if or when you leave the property. 


If you decide you want to go a little bolder with your colour choices it may be best to get your landlord's approval first. You’ll often find many landlords won’t mind you adding a lick of paint as long as you’re prepared to leave the property as you found it and repaint the walls white if/when you decide to move on. 


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Colour is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to interior decorating so it's important that you consider your colour choices carefully. Using a light, neutral tone in a smaller space will trick the eye into thinking the space is much larger. On the other hand using darker colours will make a room look and feel smaller, which could in turn make it feel more enveloping and perfect for an intimate bedroom setting. 


Focusing on non-invasive, reversible design solutions is key when decorating and styling your rental property. It’s important to remember that you won’t be in one particular property forever, so choose to invest your money in items and furniture that you can take with you. Investing in the right pieces will make styling any property, making it undoubtedly yours a much easier task. Holmes Living offers a range of products and services that will help you to make your mark on any property. Whether you want interior styling advice, custom made cushion covers produced to your unique specifications or you feel a product sourcing service would help you find furniture or decorative items that will remain both practical and stylish for years to come, contact Holmes Living today and create the interior you’ve always wanted.

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