Whether you are renting for six months or a couple of years, you shouldn’t have to stare at blank walls or boring floors in your apartment. You deserve better.
Making your own apartment feel like home can be hard when you rent. Don't worry, we found the UK’s top three interior designers who rent themselves and asked them to share their secrets to legendary leaseholds for those on a budget, live alone or if you’re time-poor.
For those on a budget
When Natalie from Budget Home Interior Design moved into her Nottingham flat, she became an interior decorating scientist. Natalie ran every test to make sure her decorating hacks were bank balance friendly and did not damage any surface.
Here’s her under £10 tip that won’t cost you your deposit.
Natalie: Washi tape and sticky back vinyl are a renter’s favourite product. With Washi tape, you can design your own wallpaper. You get to make your own patterns and wallpaper rather than buying the terrible off the shelf stuff and it’s easy.
Hack the things you can’t change in your rental. I used sticky back vinyl to completely change the look of an old fireplace to look like marble. It completely changes the look of the room and is easily removed.
Protip: Heat the washi tape with a hairdryer before taking it off the wall to leave no marks.
For the minimalist who wants to buy one thing to make a space feel like home
Liverpool creative Allie Davies runs @allie_davies and I’ll Just Go Home. Her one piece of advice for a low effort way to transform your apartment is (drum roll) house plants.
Allie: I've been known to kill a cactus in the past, so I definitely did not see myself becoming a plant mum, but the flat was still feeling a bit bare after moving in.
As soon as I got my plant back home, something clicked! They give me something to focus on, and I quite like the sense of responsibility, it can be weirdly comforting when living alone. They're definitely good for your mental health.
Protip: If you want more than just an **aesthetic**, choose air-filtering plants. Ask your local florist or use this Nasa approved list.
For those who don’t want to change everything back
Emma Jane Palin’s Margate rental was her dream place, but when her contract was reduced to six months, she had a choice to make: live in a place that would feel like a stepping stone or make the most of her short time there.
Emma: Often times when you sign a rental contract it feels like you are restricted from doing anything. Don’t let that put you off.
Paint makes a world of difference but because it takes time to apply and paint over when you leave, it can be a barrier for a lot of people. But if you speak to your landlord before you put paint on the wall, you might be surprised. They may want to keep it that way. They get a new wall and you get to live in a place you love.
Protip: If you move around a lot invest in key items that you’ll want to keep in three years. Keep in mind the size and versatility of the item before purchasing. Mirrors are easy but if you buy bigger items like a sofa, you’ll want it to fit in your next property.
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