Last week I moved into a furnished apartment with one of my best friends. Before this I also rented, but apart from uni houses (which definitely aren’t anything to go off), fully furnished is completely new territory to me.
Making any rented space feel like home can be tricky, I’m already pinning for the day I can actually paint a wall somewhere I live. But, even when renting a fully furnished property there’s definitely things that can be done to make it feel like your own.
A bit about our apartment…
So, we’ve actually got really lucky with the furniture, and our apartment is only a couple of years old and nicely decorated – which I’m aware does make this post a whole lot easier. The walls are either white or Farrow and Ball Elephants Breathe which is a warm mid grey. I’m SO glad there is a bit of colour on the walls, it just makes it feels like less of a rented space with our stuff in and more like a home.
1. Use prints
Since discovering Desenio a couple of years back they’ve been part of every home (and pretty much every room) I’ve decorated. It’s an affordable way to add personality and character to any space, and for me their wall art has shaped the colour scheme and theme that I’ve decided to go for with my new bedroom. I find the gallery wall tool so handy to see how different prints work together, and how different frames change things too.
I’m really drawn to light, neutral shades at the moment so went for The Line Exhibition No1 poster as the main print in my bedroom. I loved the contrast of the neutral tones with black so decided to stick with that, and get the contrasting black frame to go with it. We’ve also added some prints to the unit in our living room, it’s quite a big space to fill so the prints add a little more division for each section and fill it nicely.
We also went for a couple of quotes. I love how quotes look alongside patterns and prints, and think they compliment each other really well. I did buy another print that isn’t displayed here, but you can view all of the prints and frames I picked up using this link.
My code “JODIEXMELISSA” gives 25% off prints* across all Desenio sites until midnight 29th of March.
*Except for frames and handpicked/personalised prints
2. Cushions and throws
My husband *might* loathe the decorative pillows on the bed when he comes to stay, but they really make a space feel cosy and it’s the perfect way to add a different colour scheme. I’ve gone for a natural green in my bedroom and it’s completely changed the room and just bought everything together.
I know not every landlord/ agency will allow this, but often if you can add something to a property that’s valuable to the next tenant they will be *hopefully* happy for you to leave it (that’s my experience as a landlord/ renter anyway, but of-course ask your landlord). Shelves are additional storage and a perfect place to add your own touch to a room through decorative accessories and photos.
A good rug takes a room from done to complete. We have wooden flooring in our living area so we’re on the hunt for the perfect rug to tie everything together. They really do make one hell of a difference, and it’s something easy to pack away and take with you to your next place – winning!
5. A fancy candle or diffuser
How do I justify fancy candles? Well, luckily I’ve never been stupid enough to tell my husband how expensive they are (I joke, he doesn’t mind what I burn my money on). On a serious note, they burn better, make your home smell amazing and double up as decoration. In my opinion there’s nothing more joyous than being able to light a nice candle and have your home smell amazing. Automatically it makes it feel more cosy and a place you want to be.
6. Plants/ greenery
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I have far too many house plants. They can disguise anything from dodgy pipes or ugly radiators – pretty much anything! They’re also calming and just make a space somewhere you would really want to be. You can also incorporate nice plant pots into your colour scheme/ theme to tie everything together. If you’re not already on the house plant hype I definitely recommend (even if you have to go faux greenery to save any neglected plants, it’s worth it).
7. Add decorative touches & keepsakes
Simply adding other small decorations is cost effective and makes an instant difference. It’s little things like table runners, faux flowers, decorative vases, photo frames. All of these things are worth having and dotting around your home. Changing the light fitting is also a wise idea too.
8. Make it practical
I’ve downsized from a 3 bedroom house in the rural countryside to a city centre two bedroom apartment. It’s quite tight for space and making it practical yet cosy is my number one priority. It’s small things like utilising hooks for walls and the back of doors, using wardrobe and draw organisers that really make the space feel.
9. Think of different heights
My mum used to be a property developer and this is something she’s helped me figure out over the years. I know I’ve mentioned shelves and having hanging indoor planters, they’re all things that add a bit of height and can make a massive difference. It’s things like having prints on the walls, lampshades and taller objects in a room that can really make it feel complete. Plus it balances out a lot of furniture we tend to have at a lower level.
10. Use different textures
Last but not least, another little tip when it comes to choosing soft furnishings. Use different textures so it’s not so boring and flat. This isn’t something I’d ever thought about before until I accidentally started to switch things up and noticed how much better it looked. I’ve bought some linen cushions, I’ve got rattan accessories and cotton bedsheets. Together they stand out so much more than simply using cotton for absolutely everything. It’s a small tweak that can really make a massive difference to the overall feel of a room.
I really hope if you are renting a furnished property, or even unfurnished this post has been useful! If you have any other tips I would like to know in the comments.
This blog post was written in collaboration with Desenio