Tuesday, 18 August 2015

11 Ways To Improve Your Rented Apartment WITHOUT Getting Evicted!

how to improve rented flat/apartment/house, how to improve rented house, how to improve rented apartment and flat. Landlord won't let me re-decorate
Everyone at some point in their life struggles with the perils of living in rented accommodation. The annoyance of living with a weird green carpet in a uni house or dated sideboards in the flat you and your boyfriend live in can really start to make some people tick..

When you're in rented accommodation, try to make the most of what you have. Take a look at the space you have to work with and find the most cost-effective ways to make it yours. Sometimes you do have to suck it up and live with the green carpet in your uni bedroom but sometimes you can totally change something to make your Pinterest home board come to life. It's all about saving money for a mortgage at the end of the day so remember, even if your landlord does magically grant you permission to change worktops and put down laminate flooring, do you really want to spend all that money on a place that isn't yours? I've put down my top ideas into a list for you to read and hopefully this will help someone out there.


1. Your house will never look like a bloggers paradise. 
It's easy to look on Pinterest and wonder how these rooms are so perfect but the reality is that most of them have been photographed straight after being done up, ready to sell. Also, when your favourite blogger takes a photo of her desk, she's done a lot more than just snap a picture to make it look good. Take a took at where something is pinned from, usually it's Apartment Therapy or a similar website. You need to find a way to incorporate those ideas into a temporary space.

You're the one living there. Remember to make things work for you. Don't spend hundreds of pounds in Ikea because Sarah from bloggingbabe23.com has this amazing yellow chair and table set you just HAVE to have, even if it overpowers your entire bedroom.


2. White is fun. I promise. 
White reflects light and makes a room feel more airy and spacious. Most modern and new-build apartments have white walls as it's a neutral colour that can match almost any decor, and decor is key when you have white walls. Pops of colour and artwork on the walls make a room look totally different. If you're in a  rented accommodation that's a bit older, you can pick up paint pretty cheap these days and if you're painting a neutral colour, your landlord is likely to give permission as long as you make sure you do a tidy and neat job of it.

3. Sparking up your lighting. 
Lighting can be a huge issue in rented places. Sometimes bulbs can be very dim and make your bedroom feel like something from The Walking Dead. There are simple solutions for this. Super bright bulbs can be bought online for about £10, just make sure they fit.

You can buy some quirky lampshades to make your room less boring if you don't like a lightbulb hanging there being it's boring self, but these can dim a room quite a bit. If you're still not satisfied with your lighting, You can grab a great looking lamps for under £20 these days and are so ignored in the decor world but there are so many amazing designs out there and you just need to search for them.

4. Wall decor shopping is more fun than buying clothes (maybe)
There are relatively cheap photo frames you can buy from places like Wilko and Homebase, and Etsy sell some beautiful and unique prints. Hanging pictures makes a place look so much more put together. Having plain walls can make a place feel sterile.

Photos and art can really define a boring white bedroom as yours. Get a friend to help you put up artwork as sometimes you can't see how crooked a photo is until someone else points it out. Use a level if you are going to struggle, or live on your own and need artwork up asap to channel your inner Blair Waldorf. If your landlord doesn't allow for wall fixtures there are stick-back ones that don't damage paint you can use for light frames or canvas'.

what would blair waldorf do poster
Get this amazing Blair Waldorf print HERE!
Image belongs to the Etsy store linked.












5. Rugs exist for a reason...
You can grab a rug for £20 these days and they can make a big difference over a dusty old carpet or boring wooden floor. Take a look on Pinterest for some inspiration, but don't just buy a faux sheep rug because your favourite blogger has it. Maybe a grey rug would look better with your white floor. You can buy long rugs for hallways, and even buy a decorative doormat. Geometric rugs look especially good on plain floors. Rugs are best bought online from stores on eBay or Amazon as they are way cheaper than stores and shipping costs are generally included in the price.

6. Don't clutter.
If you have a stack of boxes in the living room you've been 'meaning to recycle' or a suitcase in the corner of your bedroom with junk in it, it's going to make you feel cluttered. Do you need that suitcase? Is it going on holiday anytime soon now that you're paying stupid a amount of rent to live in the city? If not, get rid of it. Give it away on Gumtree or even sell it. Don't store junk around, because it will make your room feel cluttered.

7. Instant worktops are cool and can be used for more than blog pictures.
Instant and sticky back worktop sheets have become pretty popular with bloggers for backgrounds, but using them for their real use can really add an element of luxury to a rented kitchen. They are so easy to stick down and can cover up a dated worktop in minutes. You can pick up a 2m roll of faux marble or granite for £5 here.

8. Kitchen decor is more than just bread bins.
Leaving your kitchen boring and plain is not the way to go. If you're strapped for cash, make your space look put together within your kitchen utensils. Hang some colourful or fun looking silicone utensils for a great pop of colour or buy some worktop granite slabs, they make the space look more put together. You can grab the slabs in the B&M store for £5!

9. Your bathroom doesn't have to be boring!
Most rental bathrooms are small with not much space for storage so every detail counts. Add a shower caddy and make sure to put on some door hooks for towels and bath robes. If you can't whack a nail into your door, buy some stick on or suction hooks. They're not pretty, but can paint them if you really hate the plain style. Available here for £1.50.

10. Plants aren't hard to look after.
Plants are one of the cheapest ways to make a room look so much more lively. They're an easy way to bring some colour into a room, especially if you choose an unusual succulent. Cactus' are a great choice because they require hardly any looking after, they are relatively cheap too and sometimes even flower! You can pick plants up at Ikea and Homebase for as little as £3!

11. Clothing racks save space and look chic
Clothing racks aren't just for car boots anymore and they're way cheaper than a wardrobe. At £30 for a basic sized one, you're saving a lot of money. They also save so much space in a bedroom and you can line up your shoes underneath. Most of them are totally transportable and you can take them apart and put them back together within 5 minutes. Great for while you're at uni too if you have more clothes than you know what to do with.


The best stores for homeware and decorating:

Tiger - This store is one of the cheapest and best quality stores to buy home stuff from. They do little colourful rugs for £3, cute candles.. They don't sell online though so it's pretty much whatever you find in store, that's what you get. It's pretty easy to get carried away and buy junk like a £4 mini shopping trolley though, so I tend to skip these novelty sections and walk round the other way, straight to the candles and home items.

Dunelm Mill -  This is a fabulously affordable store! They sell bedding, cake tins, bathroom accessories, the list is endless! They do some nice furniture too, if you like a classic look. I love this store and could spend hours in there!

Homebase - Great for succulents when you're not near an Ikea store. They also do some good lamps and sell a range of products like paint and decorating tools.

Wilko - This store isn't everywhere but you can buy online, unlike Tiger. They do really cheap homeware, and seem to do everything from utensils to paint. It's a great shop with a  range of things. They do quite cheap cutlery and plates too, great for going to uni.

Primark - Some great bedsheets and super cheap candles and accessories for shelves, offices and bedside tables. It's all cheap as chips too so go and see what your nearest store has, chances are you'll be suprised. Primark has turned very Urban Outfitter-esque lately and has some great finds!

BHS - Expensive for what you get sometimes, but there are some great finds in here and some are pretty unique too. Just remember to shop around and see if you can get the thing you want for less before you spend money in there.

Homesense/TK Maxx  - You have to grab something while you see it in these stores as most of it is one off. The clearance sections can be really good in these stores for finding items that are so easy to fix or spruce up for as little as £2! Check it out and you'll be surprised.

B&M - This store is great for stuff like saucepans and random finds you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. I'd recommend it more for the boring things you have to buy for your flat or house but  it's still great to see what they have. They do some pretty cheap furniture and pillows as well.

H&M / ZARA - I've popped these two together as they both have pretty small homeware sections but are making a definite dent in the homeware world! H&M is a bloggers paradise, incorporating copper and marble most recently has proved to be a huge hit and I can't wait to see what they release next! Zara is more of a traditional style and has some beautiful lamps and decorations but unfortunately isn't cheap at all.

And lastly... IKEA! - It's not always the easiest place to get to, and you need a pretty huge car to fit all those flat pack boxes, but anything you buy here is great value and easy to put together. It's a good starting point for when you need basic furniture and they have such a huge range of products that you're bound to find something you love. It's all simplistic and fun, and they do several colours of everything. It's also a pretty fun place to go...


Shops I don't recommend buying homewares in:

Next - Most of prices aren't very purse-friendly and if I'm honest, the homewares you can buy in here can be found in shops like Wilko for less, or elsewhere online. It's pretty generic and nothing is unique that cannot be found elsewhere for £8 less.

Shabby chic stores - Sorry to say it, but most of the independent shabby chic stores around these days are way overpriced. I'm all for supporting local business', but when they want £400 for a dressing table, it's complete overkill. You can easily make your own shabby chic homewares if you look up tutorials and it's so cheap to do it. It's time-consuming, but worth it, and you can even sell these re-creations afterward when you're bored of them, after all, shabby chic is just worn out furniture painted pale colours!


What do you do to your space to make it 'yours'?




Natasha Kendall Blog

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42 comments

  1. Fantastic post with some really great ideas here. I am in the process of getting rid of the clutter that's just been building up in the two years we've been here. It's GOT to go. Love the thought of white room and colour, I saw a nursery decorated like this once, all white walls and furniture but colourful boxes, lights and rugs. It makes a huge difference and a beautiful contrast.

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    1. It's so easy to change decor when you have white walls! I think the furthest I'll go with colour on my walls when I have a house is grey! X

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  2. Great tips here. I'm currently looking for my own place and with the price of rent in London I couldn't afford to do it up with expensive things.

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    1. I live in Cambridge, so rent is just a fraction cheaper than London so I feel your pain! It's so frustrating trying to make a place look nice AND save up for a house! x

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    2. Great tips. Thanks for sharing the post with me. I was also thinking of buying some rugs for my new home.

      Fatima | www.blogsbyfa.com

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  3. Found this post really helpful! I'm moving into university accommodation next month and have just started planning my dorm room. Going to consider these tips :) Thanks!

    www.kayteevivienne.blogspot.com

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    1. Ah good luck for uni!! You'll have a great time :) x

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  4. This is a great post, I think the point about Bloggers paradise is especially right, the homeware shop suggests are good too, I've not looked in BHS for a long time!

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    1. BHS is pretty good value for money as well, they do some cute lighting! Very under-rated :) x

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  5. Great post - wish I'd read this back at uni when I had to put up with living in dreadful rented accommodation! Still in the same boat now, so I'm sure some of your tips will be useful to me xx

    Kacie - The Rare Welsh Bit

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  6. Great post. I agree with what you said about Next being too pricey.

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  7. We live in rented accommodation and with kids it is a nightmare to have it looking how I really want it too. Great tips!

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  8. This is such a great post! I thing rugs make a perfect addition to anyone's home, it has in my rented accommodation. :)

    Daniella | Freshly Pressed Beauty

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  9. We live in rented and it is hard not to be able to do as you wish to your home. We love adding rugs around our home and recently have started to use removable tape to place stuff on the wall without causing holes!

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    1. It really is annoying! Rugs are a great addition though :)

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  10. Bookmarking this for future use as this will be me very soon!

    Thanks

    Catstello | www.cattitudeandco.uk

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  11. This is a great post and I think no clutter is the key for me . Wish I had seen this when I was still renting x

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    1. I'm trying to limit myself to under the bed for clutter :)

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  12. I am in rented accommodation, these are fab tips! I have a lot of decluttering to do!

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    1. Me too! It's so ridiculous how much stuff I have, I need an attic but I'm in a flat :(

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  13. Pictures, I'm with you there. I remember though not being allowed to hang pictures in rented accommodation though. Weren't allowed to drill a screw in to hang things from. If anyone is in that situation use Bostick White tack and cardboard photoframes. Weighs loads less so it works.

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    1. It's so annoying, especially when you want to make a room look more interesting! I wish landlords put some ready-made screws in to hang things off. They charge enough in rent! x

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  14. I love the ideas you have shared for making rented accommodation look beautiful, it is such a struggle to decorate when you are limited to what you're able to change! Especially hanging anything on the wall!

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  15. Great post - my daughter has just moved into her first house share at Uni and I will definitely tell her some of these fab ideas :) Kaz x

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  16. Pinterest has a lot to answer for when it comes to home decor... I mean there are so many and too many perfect white spaces! x

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  17. I hated living in rented accommodation as it can be so difficult to 'make it your own'. You have some great tips here though. I wish you'd written this 6 years ago when we were in a council property ;) lol

    http://withlovefromlou.co.uk

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  18. What some lovely ideas, I'm sure it must be hard to make rented places feel like home when you can't just do anything you want. x

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  19. I'm planning on moving to Manchester in the next year and this has actually helped me because 99% I'll be renting x

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  20. Some super amazing tips here! I love tip number one about it not looking like a bloggers paradise lol we've just renovated our home and there are days (occasional days lol) where I step back and think yeah this is totally a interior magazine house - but it's literally one corner, not the rest of the house!!

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  21. We have been renting since relocating 3 years ago, I found some great sticky strips off Amazon that don't leave a mark so I've been able to hand small pictures and canvases up with them, I have big pieces of furniture so that tends to distract the eye away from the awful woodchip wallpaper!

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  22. These are great tips - and not just for renters, I've taken away a lot from this as a homeowner :D

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  23. Love the tips hun, even with owning your own home you can't always do it up straight away or it needs more work then you thought, I love shabby chic, loving your tips hun x

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  24. Some fabulous tips, I love white walls they always look so clean and fresh x

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  25. The tips in this article are great and they will be just as applicable when you own your home as they are while you are renting. The only tip I would add is to treat yourself to a sewing machine, a basic one or even a 2nd hand one. You then can have unique cushion covers, throws, and curtains at a fraction of the price of any store.

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  26. I LOVE this post! We live in a very large rented house and at times it just feels so very overwhelming to make it 'ours'! I hate the idea of living in an ugly purely functional house and yet that is exaclty what I feel I do a lot of the time! I will be trying out these ideas to try and make my home a little more 'mine'! I manages small areas of rooms but before I know it they are filled with toys and clutter again! You are right though... we live here so it won't ever look like one of those pinterest pics!!

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  27. This post is really helpful to me as we are currently in rented accommodation. The owner plans to sell at some point so we are hoping to have our deposit ready and can make an offer :)

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  28. Plants is the big one! Any plant makes a house, a home :)

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  29. Plants is the big one! Any plant makes a house, a home :)

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  30. Plants is the big one! Any plant makes a house, a home :)

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  31. We are just moving to a new rented house and these tips are great, thank you for sharing them and the shops you recommend - I am going to be checking these out over the next few months!

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