Simple Decorating Ideas for Your Rented Home*

When you rent a room or house how far you go when it comes to decorating can be tricky to get right. Some landlords allow you to do pretty much what you like- but there are not many that take that approach. Often, even if they do, part of the deal is that you have to return the property to a neutral state when you leave it. Fortunately putting your own personal mark on your home does not necessarily mean redecorating it. There are lots of alternative approaches which won’t leave a mark. Below are some of my favourites.

(Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

Hang some artwork
By far the easiest and safest option is to use artwork and prints to decorate your walls. You can get any image turned into a work of art by using this canvas printing company. They have been in the business for more than a decade so really know how to make the process as easy as possible.
The fact they will print any image (and do so in a range of sizes) makes it easy to truly personalise each room. Provided the frame you choose is not too heavy you can often hang the prints without having to drill any holes in the walls- when I was in my rented flat I used velcro tabs to put things on the wall, they are strong but the sticky side is specially designed not to leave a residue on the wall.

Other wall hanging options
Mirrors, photo collages, wall stickers and decals are also really good options for putting your stamp on a place. If you choose to hang mirrors it is safer to hang them by drilling into the wall- just be careful not to hit a pipe or cable when you hang them.
When you leave make sure you allow enough time to fill the holes, rub them down, re-sand them and apply a couple of coats of paint, this way the repair job should be good enough to allow you to keep your deposit.
If you use wall stickers make sure they are the kind that can be peeled off without leaving any residue. Again, remove them at least a week before you are due to move out to give yourself enough time to fix any issues. You can also use stickers on doors and windows as well.

Flooring
Flooring has a huge impact on the look and feel of a room, if it is shoddy nothing you do to the rest of the room will make it look much better. Fortunately there is a lot you can do about this problem even if you are on quite a tight budget.
There are plenty of affordable rugs available- for rooms like the kitchen, dining room, toilet or bathroom vinyl flooring is a good option. You can cut it to size and just roll it up when it is time to leave. Be careful not to cut the flooring underneath when you fit it and be sure to buy the type that will not leak colour into the original flooring.

Shelves and hooks
It is best not to hang shelves where possible, instead opting for freestanding shelving units. For the sake of safety remember to secure the units so they don’t fall over, and add filling any holes once you are ready to move to your `to do’ list.
If you need hooks opt for the suction cup kind whenever you can.

Understand the rules
Before you sign the rental contract it is best to understand exactly what is and what is not allowed. You should also familiarise yourself with your rights and obligations as a tenant in the eyes of the law. This article is a good starting point.

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The Fundamentals Of Bedroom Design*

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In one way designing a bedroom is quite simple because it is the one room in your house that is completely your own. If you live with children for instance you will share every other space, but your bedroom can be an oasis to which you retreat when you need a rest after a long day. Otherwise if you are entertaining and you have your friends over you will probably invite them to feel at home in your dining room, living room, your garden and your bathroom of course. However, your bedroom remains just yours. However, it is also a difficult room to design for the exact same reason. Since it is so personal and intimate getting it right is so important. If you do not spend enough time thinking about how your bedroom looks you may find that you cannot relax there. There is so much psychology mixed up with interior design that it sometimes makes you wonder how many decisions are actually conscious rather than performed at the behest of a subconscious feeling or urge. Why, after all, do people like one color over another? There must be a reason but many people would not be able to explain their preference one way or another and would be left saying that they just like a color because they like it.

If there is one thing that is crucial to a good bedroom it is a good bed. One myth that is easily dispelled is that a hard bed is absolutely good for you. Many people confuse a firm bed for a supportive one. However, it all depends on your back and your body’s needs. If you find that a goose down featherbed suits you more, go with that. However whatever bed you choose you should do a lot of research as choosing the wrong one can cause serious back pain and long term problems.

In any case picking a color for your bedroom is important because it can have such a massive impact on how well you sleep. Research from the National Sleep Foundation found that the best color for a bedroom is blue. The reason for this is that receptors in your eyes- called ganglion cells are most receptive to blue shades. These cells inform your brain of information which affects its day to day rhythm. Since the color blue is associated with calmness and peace seeing it as you try to drift off to sleep will help your brain realize that it needs to relax. In fact blue hues in bedrooms have been shown to reduce blood pressure and a person’s heart rate. However if blue is not your style you should go for soothing colors like grays, silvers and neutrals. One important feature of decorating your room is to not to use too many backlit objects like phones or TVs when you are trying to sleep. They inhibit the production of melatonin in your brain which helps you sleep. Switching them off and picking up a book is a better way to have a more restful night.

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Home of Juniper wish list and discount

My homewares radar was triggered again recently with the discovery of yet another online emporium to browse- Home of Juniper. Focusing on “conscientious consumerism” Home of Juniper sells a wide range of products including kitchenware, stationery, home decor, jewellery and gifts. They are proud to support both British producers and ethical craftsmanship from further afield bringing us a beautifully curated site full of unusual and quirky treasures.
Being the way I am, I couldn’t not put together a wish list to share with you- I also (being the giving person that I am) have a discount code to share which will give you 10% off and free shipping on any purchase until the end of June- details at the end of this post.
As you can see, I’ve fallen hard for the kitchenware. I love the rustic look of the tea set and espresso cups whilst the coaster (so true) and shakespeare quote banner were just lovely finishing touches I couldn’t help but include.
As promised, you can get 10% off and free shipping on your order until the end of June by using the code daisychain at the checkout. Do report back with what takes your fancy and let me know what you’re treating yourself to.

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A Cox and Cox Homewares Wish List*

If you’ve spent any length of time reading my blog you’ll have worked out by now that I have a thing for homewares (thanks Mum!) This went in to complete over-drive when I was living in my flat and now I’m back in the parental home I’m yet to reign it in, spending an inordinate amount of time planning ahead to when I move out again.

I have a regular selection of sites that I like to browse, Cox and Cox being one of them- and it’s from there that today’s wish list came about.

It’s all a bit cliche but right now I can’t get enough of clean design with a girly twist. Pinks, greys and copper are seriously floating my boat and if I could deck my future abode out entirely in these colours I would be a very happy girl.

I dream of having wooden floors that I can cover in big, luxurious rugs, statement chairs for curling up and reading in with piles of blankets all around in complimentary shades. I’d even be prepared to part with my currently favoured bold printed bedding in favour of pastel quilted pieces- again accessorised with a blanket and cushion mountain to make my bed the cosiest place on earth.

In my head I have visions of high ceilings, bookcases rammed full of my favourite reads and a couple of cats roaming around just waiting to curl up on my feet. In reality what I’m likely to end up with is a small flat with haphazard furniture, a couple of small rugs, novelty printed bedding sets and one cat that prefers to chew toes rather than curl up on them and keep them warm.

At least I have the internet to keep my dream alive!

What would your ideal home look like and where are your favourite places to browse for homewares and inspiration?

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Moving or Improving?*

Well, this feels like a terribly grown up post to be writing- there’s nothing like thinking about buying your own home to make you realise you actually are an adult and there is a LOT more to be considered than you assume when you’re younger and home ownership is just a pipe dream.

That’s not to say that right now I’m actively looking to buy, but with a bit of luck in the next twelve months or so I might be able to do this and it’s never too early to start thinking about it- it’s probably one of the biggest steps in any person’s life so when Slater Gordon Property Solicitors challenged me to think about everything that needs considering when you take that leap in to potential home ownership.

I’ve always been clear in my mind where it is I’d like to buy my first home, which I suppose both helps and hinders because I’ll be limited to what properties are available BUT it will give me direction in my search. I think the main obstacle that I will come up against (despite you know, actually getting the mortgage and sorting out the finances) is that I really want to live in a converted Victorian property so making sure the flat/house is in good structural order is essential. Given that my budget will likely only extend to a flat the other two issues I’m likely to come up against are size- it might be fine for me on my own, but should I meet someone and start a family for example, will it be big enough to accommodate if moving again isn’t an immediate option? The second issue which I believe is a common issue when buying a flat is that of Leasehold- that brings with it maintenance fees, an annual ground rent and potential restrictions on any big alterations, owning pets or subletting.
I also thought I’d share this infographic provided by Gordon Property Solicitors which contains some interesting facts and figures about buying your own home, and for non first time buyers the pros/cons of making improvement to your current home rather than the upheaval of a house move.
I’m aware that this post is very much only skimming the surface of the subject and I obviously have no real experience as of yet so I’d be really interested in anyone wanting to share their stories and advice about buying their own home- leave them in the comments!

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