I have been working with two lovely clients recently, helping them revamp their flat and sourcing cool (and affordable obvs, you know the Stella + the Stars motto!) pieces of furniture and accessories. Both projects are very exciting but also slightly more challenging than usual: they are both rentals... We can't repaint the walls (no grey! insert massive crying face emoji here) or have wallpaper, we can't make too many holes in the walls (argh, artwork limitations!), and we can't really spend too much on big pieces (they just rarely fit the next place), BUT, and this is an important one hence the capitals. I have been known to be resourceful. And just because you don't own your place doesn't mean you can't jazz it up, cover the sometimes ugly bits and make it look cooler. Here are five easy and affordable ways you can bring temporary personality and style to your rented property without upsetting your landlord...
1. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! Throws, cushions, lamps, trinkets, candle holders. JUST LET YOURSELF GO! Choose textured throws and cushions for your sofa and bed, throw a sheepskin on an old or cheap chair here (read my recent post on this old trick), add a copper vase with faux plants there, invest in a statement flocked floor lamp. If you can't change the structure or the colours, just go big on the accessories, and you will be amazed how you can just transform the look of a room with cleverly chosen decorative pieces.
2. Just rug it out. You're renting so chances are, you haven't chosen the flooring of the property. And you've ended up with slightly bland cream-coloured carpet throughout, tired looking wooden floors or even worse, laminate. Either way, no biggie, just cover it all up with beautiful statement rugs. Rugs can completely transform a room, add texture and character, and are super duper easy to pack, unpack, transport and store, so you can just take them with you next time you move. I am partial to a vintage Moroccan rug but they can potentially lead to bankruptcy so I recently found affordable alternatives from the high street that won't break the bank. See my selection here. For one of my clients, we sourced a stunning Boucherouite rug online. They are more affordable than Beni Ourain ones and much more colourful.
3. Get arty (without damaging your walls). Nothing adds personality to a home like artwork. Original paintings, limited editions, photographs, posters, prints, who cares. As long as you like something and it reflects your personality, frame it and show it off. I have two favourite (and easy peasy) ways of displaying art on a wall without making it look like someone fired a machine gun at it. Numero uno: IKEA picture ledges - one ledge, two holes, but the possibility of displaying an endless number of frames - and Numero dos: 3M picture hanging strips - no fuss no muss, but more importantly no holes.
4. Add personality with a quirky collection. Oh I do like a collection. We've recently sorted out a clever and cheap way of displaying Mr Stella + the Stars's collection of vintage Star Wars figurines. If your rented place appears a bit bland and soulless, displaying a collection of quirky items instantly adds personality to the space. And you don't need to drill a millions holes in the walls. Top of a dresser, in a standalone bookshelf, in a glass display cabinet... There are a lot of ways to show off your collectibles.
5. Go green. Indoor plants, fresh flowers, or even faux plants or flowers are all great ways to add character (and bring a little bit of the outdoors indoor) to a room withouth spending a fortune or investing in chunky pieces that you will struggle to move to your next property. You know Abigail Ahern is my go-to place for faux plants. Her collection of fake cactus is out of this world. I also recently invested in a couple of succulents (real ones! Wish me luck...) for the living room. Just adds a little je ne sais quoi to the room. And they are cheap as chips and more importantly low maintenance.
Voila! There are many more ways to add personality to a space without altering the structure of a room or damaging the walls or floors (I'll probably do another post soon with more tips!) but this is a great way to get going if you have just moved into a rented property and don't know where to start.
PS: In totally unrelated news, Stella + the Stars has been nominated in the Amara Interior Blog Awards in the Best Newcomer category (massive YAY). If you're a fan of Le Blog, and have 16 seconds to spare, please pretty please, vote for us so we can make it to the shortlist and attend the fancy pants awards ceremony (which happens to take place at one of my fave places in London Town: the Ham Yard Hotel, designed by interiors genius Kit Kemp...) CLICK HERE TO VOTE and thank you!