If you’ve been reading along for a while you might know we moved into our own rented flat in February 2016. If you’ve ever lived in a rented place you’ll know how difficult it can be to really make it feel like your own space.
Both Lee and I have previously rented mouldy student digs, so we were both excited to move into a flat that was in a much better condition. Plus, we’ve been really lucky that our landlord has allowed us to paint the flat to help freshen it up.
This really helped up make our rented place feel more like ours, as we removed all traces of previous tenants and freshened the walls up. I’d say we are pretty settled in our flat now, and finally put our personal touch on it. So I thought I’d share with you all my favourite tips and tricks for helping make a rented house feel like a home.
COVER THE WALLS IN ARTWORK
Using artwork has always been one of my favourite ways to add a personal touch to a rented place. I’m always trying to find new ways to add artwork without spending a fortune.
One of the first rooms we re-decorated was our hallway. It’s probably one of the darkest spaces in the flat, with no natural light and not that much space. First off we added a few coats of bright white paint – goodbye magnolia! Added a little side unit from Ikea, both for decoration and storing shoes in. And finally created a little gallery wall to help break up some of the blandness.
The gallery wall has been a work in progress for a while now. I’ve tried my best to create these pieces on a budget. From downloadable printables from Pinterest, using postcards and creating designs in photoshop. The majority of the prints in the hallway have been done on the cheap. So when Old English Co got in touch a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to review a few of their products I knew straight away I’d pick prints to finally finish off our hallway.
As our gallery wall has a theme of black, white with a pop of orange. So I settled on two black and white prints to finally complete the design. As avid plant parents, I felt this monstera leaf print* was a perfect addition to our hallway. It’s simple, effective and really beautiful quality.
The second print I opted for was this our lovely home* quote, as it felt pretty appropriate and it’s so damn cute! I sometimes have to stop myself from constantly putting up handwritten quote prints around our flat, but they’re my favourite and always look so stylish.
The final print I chose was this gin and tonic printt* which I thought would be perfect for our newly decorated kitchen. I opted for the reverse style in duck egg blue as it fit well with our colour scheme. But was sent the original black and gold style, which is still gorgeous, but I’m going to have to rethink the location of the print as it looks a little odd in our kitchen now.
FILL YOUR SPACE WITH PLANTS
When we first moved in we picked up a couple of plants from Ikea – its an unwritten rule isn’t it? But due to lack of knowledge and overwatering on my part these quickly wilted away. But over the past year or so we have been slowly building our plant collection. We’ve even bought a few books with tips on how not to kill your houseplants, and they’re helping us loads!
We now have about 25 plants around the flat, plus a few cuttings to hopefully grow into new ones. Our collection has grown massively over the past couple of months and I love it. There’s something so relaxing about having plants around the place. It gives us something to focus on, to tend too and to keep alive. Plants are also really good for improving air quality too so that’s an added plus.
I thought I’d give a little rundown of some of the plants we have and how easy they are to look after, or not look after. With a few of my top tips!
- Get a moss stick – in the wild Swiss cheese plants use their surroundings to support themselves. Moss sticks are a great way of ensuring your plant grows big and strong and gives it something to use as support
- Mist regularly – they love moisture and too much dry air can cause issues. Central heating can create really dry air so regularly mist the leaves and moss stick with a little water to keep the humidity up.
- Wipe the leaves – this goes for a lot of indoor plants, but wipe the leaves down. Being indoor they can get a little dusty from time to time. Give them a wipe down with a damp cloth and they’ll be as good as new.
- Don’t over water – I find this is one of the easiest plants to look after. When the leaves start to droop a little give it a water and they perk right up. We made the mistake of overwatering ours which turned the leaves a little yellow. Waiting for the leaves to droop before watering is working well for us and it’s looking as healthy as ever.
Cacti and succulents
- Don’t fuss over them too much – succulents were one of the first plants I managed to kill through overwatering. In the winter you only need to water them two or three times a month, summer is a little more regularly. But the key is to not give them loads, or they’ll rot away like mine did.
- Bright sunlight – Cati love being in well in light bright places. Ours live on our window and require very little attention. I think I’ve only watered them 3-4 times in the past year and a half and they’ve not died yet. So I must be doing something right.
ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH
Adding personal touches is one of my favourite thing about home decor. Through little trinkets, photographs and memoirs you can really add personality to a home. We don’t have very many trinkets around the flat, but a few of our decorative items really mean a lot to me and it’s always fun to add snippets of yourself through your decor.
Personal touches don’t have to just be limited to photographs – one of my favourite parts of our entire flat is a personalised illustration above our bed. It was a gift from my friend Sarah and I was so touched by it, and love how much the illustration looks like Lee and myself! I decided to pop this up above our bed, alongside two letter prints of our initials. The illustration even matches with the side of the bed we sleep on – how perfect!