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Thursday, July 22, 2010

5 ideas for decorating a rental

A lovely reader wrote to me looking for some tips to decorate a rental and I promised to share some of my ideas here. Some of the ideas work equally well for owner-occupied homes if you aren't after a permanent change.

1. Wallpapered panels

Just because you live in a rental, doesn't mean you can't enjoy wallpaper on a large scale. My suggestion is to use large pieces of plywood/MDF, paper it with your favourite pattern and then frame with a thin border. The panels would look great on any bare walls or as a bed head.

See an example here of the wallpapered and then framed panel in my studio. Mine is fixed to the wall but yours doesn't need to be. Try leaning against a wall or table or hang as a piece of art (please check you can do so first).

If you prefer not to display wallpaper in this way and on a large scale, perhaps you might like to add a hint of pattern to your home by lining drawers with any type of decorative paper that will make you smile when you open them.

2. Large leaning mirrors

Lean large ornate mirrors against walls for extra glam and to open up spaces. Perfectly suited for a bedroom or bathroom. Just be sure it is safe and won't topple, especially if you have curious kids. You can fix the mirror to the wall and still have it leaning but please check if you can make holes in the wall before attempting this.

3. Swap out the pendant lights or shades

Make sure you keep the old ones to replace again when you leave. Do check that this too won't cause issues.

4. Window covering for privacy

If your kitchen window stares straight into another person's home try covering with decorative film for a little extra privacy. Just be sure the film doesn't leave behind a sticky residue.

5. Storage solutions

Storage can sometimes be an issue in rentals. A bookcase filled with pretty boxes can be used as storage. Try kikki-k for a nice selection of cloth storage boxes.

A study desk can also double as storage and hide computer wires by covering with a bold fabric to hide away the contents underneath.

Do you have any decorating tips for rentals? Perhaps you live in a rental yourself and have found a clever storage solution? I would love to hear your thoughts on decorating rentals.

(1. Apartment Therapy, ish and chi; 2. Real Living, avante garde design; 3. Shade of Light; 4. The Happy Home Blog {it is a painted stencil but gives an idea of what decorative film can look like with the right pattern}, Brume; 5. ish and chi, Absolutely Beautiful Things)







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