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How To Make Your Home Your Own When You Are Renting

With so many people renting now, young and old, how do you make a rented property feel like home? Can you live with someone else's furniture? Can you decorate? Can you put stuff on the walls? It really boils down to your landlord and what he/she will accept. grillo-designs.com has made renting an art form, and a successful DIY and home improvement business out of her decorating ideas for renting, so clearly it can be done, and in her case, with bells on. The key thing is to buy a few things you love to add your personality to the space, and buy stuff you can take with you when you move on. So I thought I would share a few ideas to show how you can stamp your own personality in a rented home whether its buying a sofa in a box or just adding plants.



One thing you can't do without is seating and the great thing about this sofa is it comes in a box! It's a modular sofa, so you choose how many pieces you want, so you can start small with one or two pieces and then add to it later on if you move somewhere bigger, and maybe turn it into a corner sofa. They can be assembled in five minutes with no tools required, it simply slots together, and the boxes are light enough to be lifted by one person, so stairs aren't a problem. It comes with a 15 year guarantee and prices start from £330. Genius. And instead of making holes in the walls, prop pictures up on a console table to create your look.

Model 03 in Teal, Swyft


Shelving is something else you always need, again buy modular pieces that you can add to, ikea have the best, and cheapest ranges, the Flysta is similar to this. Then you can put your favourite pieces, books or add colour on the shelves without damaging the walls. All the lovely things in this picture are from H&M Home


Zone your space, especially if it's a big room, or lucky you, a loft. If you are allowed, paint one wall in a strong shade, then place your furniture in a group in front of it, with a colourful rug and coffee table, then put up some pictures. Pouffes are really useful in a rented space too, for extra seating or as a side table. House by John Lewis Perch Coffee Table, Almond, £99, Harry Floor Lamp, Grey, £55, Tiger cushion, £20, John Lewis & Partners Bundle Large 3 Seater Sofa, £999, John Lewis


Working from home? Most of us are and will be for the foreseeable future, so choose a piece that works as a desk/shelving unit, doesn't take up much space and won't look out of place in a living room. Put plants on it to bring some life into the room and use an armchair or dining chair that you already have rather than buying a dedicated office chair Fulton ladder desk, £129, Dunelm


No self-respecting home should be without a drinks trolley these days. Cocktail hour has come into its own during lockdown hasn't it? They can be wheeled around and double up as another surface too. An accent chair and unusual rug will bring in your personality and can be taken with you. Fabulous Golden drinks trolley, £498, Gold 'Rock On' hand, £16.95, Audenza



Adding a statement lamp is a great way to get your own look. This one is the Teo Overreach floor lamp, £149, the sofa is the Fallyn both from Made Studio.

Side tables are always useful and this one is so clever, a tray table with a handle so you can carry it from the kitchen to the living room or bedroom. Burvik, £22 ikea


If you've inherited a bed, chances are it won't have a headboard, so make your bedroom your own with an upholstered headboard that either clips onto the bed or stands behind it. It will add colour if the room is neutral (and so many of them are) and makes reading in bed much more comfortable! Add cushions in your chosen colour scheme too Headboards from £99, Next


Bedside tables are a must, for a reading lamp, your phone, etc and can be used in other parts of the home too. This set would work equally well in the living space, or have one in each room.

Gatsby Birdcage nest of tables, £279, Cuckooland



If you've got the space a dressing table is lovely to have. This compact version could double up as a desk too. Plants and planters are another way to add colour, design and your own look to a space and don't cost a lot - simple but effective. Cavill dressing table, £445, Tress mustard velvet chair, £375, Abuo planters, £45 Oliver Bonas


And of course, the obvious one, add your own style with cushions, art and accessories.

Cushions from £30 and Textured Stripe lampshade from £69, Clarissa Hulse

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