What to do when paint and nails just aren’t an option. Words Emma Markezic.
Photographer: Mark RoperStylist: Michelle Ball
Use mirrors. It’s the oldest interiors trick in the book – using mirrors to reflect the outside in and make the room look twice the size at the same time. A large standing mirror is a little bit of an investment, but one that will always go with any décor no matter how much you switch it up.
Install a gallery wall. The magic of 3M hooks means you can have a stunning gallery wall, even in a rented home. Choose light frames and have at it – there’s really no limit to how big your gallery wall collection can be (save the size of your apartment). Let prints, paintings and photographs all mix and mingle.
Invest in the good stuff. One way to make sure no one’s paying any attention to your paint-chipped cabinets is by wowing them with your wares – investing is beautiful crockery, cutlery, table linens and soft furnishings means your place will feel luxe in spite of itself.
Photographer: Zara Home
Go crazy with colour. One of the best ways to distract people from your shabby carpets and rental beige walls is with colour. Whether it’s in your furniture, cushions or the art on your walls; the brighter, the better.
Photographer: Marcel Aucar
Use oversized rugs. Floors are one thing it’s particularly hard to change if you rent, but an oversized rug will hide many sins, essentially becoming a second carpet. Don’t be afraid to fill the entire room.
Bring the outdoors in. Houseplants are your friend, but don’t think you have to stop at a fern at two. Get creative by tending to succulents, creepers and even fruit trees. As long as they’re getting the light and water they crave, you’d be surprised by what you can grow (and what a difference it makes to your interior).
Use lighting to your advantage. You don’t have to make do with the bare bulbs your rental comes with – getting creative with lights is a cheap and easy way to turn a small space from wanting to welcoming. Lamps, novelty lights, fairy lights, festoon lights and string bulbs will all add that little extra glow.
Photographer: Zoe McMahon
Cheat a little bit. This tip is probably not endorsed by the rental board, but if you’re planning to be in your hired home for a while, why not try just a touch of paint to brighten the place up, such as on a doorway or small feature wall. All you have to do it paint it back again before you leave.