Walking in and feeling ‘YES, I’m home’ is a win—every single day it happens.
It’s something we all deserve, whether we own or rent, makes us appreciate where we’re at in life, and nurtures a warm feeling of familiarity and calm. Being in a home that represents our unique personal expression is a comfort in itself.
Your boards and feeds might be groaning with ‘fix-up ideas’ but the secret to achieving a homier feeling rental lies in understanding a few fundamentals.
So before you hit the shops, form a game plan. It’s easy to end up with a home full of stuff that doesn’t really hang together. Will you still love that set of neon pink plant pots you saw on sale at the Ikea checkout in 6 months’ time?
You want to build on items that will come to represent you more over time. And you don’t want to see the same pieces in your friends’ homes.
We’re tackling 4 basic principles of home design here. Nailing these will equip you to style out your home instantly. Big time. In a way that won’t break the bank.
Talking of nails. Before you break out the power tools and carry out that small rear extension you saw on telly, check the rules of your contract.
If anything isn’t clear, ask your Property Management Agent who’ll negotiate with your landlord for you. Some of your ideas may be welcomed or traded with a little light gardening, for instance. Always worth asking.
Stuck with overhead ceiling lights? Change the focus immediately by using a combination of floor lamps, table lamps and flameless candles, instead.
Embrace the natural light you have too, it’s the best kind of lighting, and use mirrors to bounce and reflect the natural light around the rooms. Vary your bulb choices so that your lighting supports whatever you’re doing in the place you’re doing it. For example, you might keep bluer, more daylight-like bulbs for areas where you’re cooking and working, but drop to a warm bulb or Edison filament for places where you’re relaxing and eating in the evening. Use your lighting to set the mood.
It’s a relatively inexpensive way to punch up your space. And when you move on, art can easily ship from place to place.
Create texture by mixing memories and prints, for a wall space that represents not only your history and passions, but your ambitions and taste too, so that every time you breeze past that wall you’re getting a pleasingly holistic hit of you.
Knowing what type of art is your thing can be a journey in itself. It’s something deeply personal, yet publicly displayed which makes it exciting. To find the pieces that resonate and represent you in your home, you need to see plenty of it for starters, East End Prints in east London is a visual feast of fresh art and original limited editions by independent artists. Go, take it all in and let yourself feel inspired. It may be a colour here, a shape there, or a perfectly framed expression. Just go with what speaks to you.
If you’re worried about drilling holes, talk to your landlord or look at solutions like Command Strips. Alternatively, make your own rules and prop your prints against the walls and place them on end on a table or nightstand. Play with dimensions and mix the sizes. A line of medium-sized prints won’t pull your eye. Instead, work on a main focus and then build around it with smaller pieces over time.
When landlords plan their rentals, they generally keep things simple. Ok, that’s if you’re lucky. If you have a white base, that’s something you can work with, adding textures and accents, such as a taupe corner, or a burst of soft peach in a half moon above your bed. These small hits of colour will cosy things up, and add interest and style. They’re inexpensive to do and easy to change if necessary when you move on.
If the house rules forbid the adding of colour, paint some furniture. Colour is that important. It’s easy and impactful. Hit the local market or car boot: bedside tables or dining chairs made of pine are a great place to start. And Chalk Paint is a wonderful material to use to introduce lush colour, and takes minimal prep.
Plants bring a space to life, as they grow and change along with us. They purify the air and biologically make us feel good. But choose your dimensions with care. Plants that are all the same size can make your space look like a garden centre, and we leave that to the experts at Lancaster’s Home & Garden. Instead, go for a hero plant, something bold, something that immediately sparks interest, then build smaller pots around it. And go for a mixture of species, succulents, big leafy show stoppers and grassier types. A combination adds texture. It’ll play with the light differently and add energy to the rooms.
The rest is up to you, and that’s the fun part.
But you’re not alone, we’re here for you in all things home, not just for buying, selling and renting property. If you’d like some design advice or rental advice, speak to us. It’s free, we know our stuff and we’re excited to hear your ideas!
Estates East Team
Call us >> 020 8520 9300
Follow us >> @estateseast
Find your dream home >> estateseast.co.uk
East End Prints is offering Estates East subscribers a 10% discount with the code: EAST_END_LOVE. Go to eastendprints.co.uk. You’ll also be supporting independent artists when you buy. Offer excludes frames and Limited Edition prints.