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Decorating your rental ~ yay or nay?

(12 Posts)
citychick Mon 08-May-17 14:26:41

I'm just wondering how you decorate your home away from home?

We've been in our rental almost 2 years, and compared to our U.K house, we are living a bit like students!

Have you recreated a carbon copy of your old home or started from scratch? Did you spend a lot or nothing at all?

We took some of our soft furnishings with us ~ bed linen, towels, bed and sofa cushions and some throws. They are a lovely reminder of our UK house, but I'm thinking of changing it. I had some curtains made, but one set are still in a poly bag a year down the line!

We have plenty of wall space, so need to get some more pictures, but the whole apartment needs a paint really and landlords here expect tenants to do that. I've kind of held back as I have no idea how long we'll be living here. IKEA has a large and popular presence here so that's not a problem.

I'd love to hear what you've done to make your house or apartment more homely.

Interior design tips welcome!

Thanks. X

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 09-May-17 00:11:02

We have been away 12 years so wherever we are is our home now. We only live once and living well is a big part of our decision to be expats. I dont see the point of living like a student and lusting for a perfect home I would have left behind.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 09-May-17 00:40:17

Sorry pressed post too quickly!
Will you be shipping any furniture back or do you just want disposable things?

I would start with a "capsule" kit ( like a basic wardrobe)

One good piece of furniture to create a focal point like a great armchair and side table or chest + miror. Or a nice rug to create a contained decorating space.
Definitely add color or something graphic on the walls since you have the space.
Good linens, a candle and a house plant.
Agree curtains/blinds are a great way to bring it all together and unify the look.

Resist the urge to buy lots of pointless local arts and craft to fill the shelves! wait till you find the one good piece you like and will keep forever.

citychick Tue 09-May-17 02:53:22

Laptop, thanks for the reply.

No, don't want to take any big furniture home to uk. It won't translate at all back into our house. Ikea is fine, happy with that.

I dislike nik naks, desperately trying to avoid more clutter anyway.
We have a lovely rug so that's a good start. No plants yet.
We have a wardrobe and chests of drawers. Luckily I don't need corporate wear so DH pretty much has run of the hanging rails.

I had a handyman come round ages ago, but he never came back and avoided my calls. I have someone coming on Thursday so hopefully he will turn up and we can finally get the ceiling lights up!

Fabrics are my thing ~ time to update the bed linen, sort out the curtains, bite the bullet and have the apartment painted. When I had the curtains made, the lady was so awful, grumpy and money grabbing it put me right off any enjoyment of decorating.

We are lucky in that the apartment is very magnolia in colour with no hideous chandeliers or neon lighting.

Storage will always be an issue, but that's not uncommon here.

Thanks for the tips.

ksb76 Tue 09-May-17 12:49:32

We do exactly the same thing - every rental house we have is our home. Never any idea how long we might be in a location, or even that particular house, so just unpack and make it our own right from the start. Our first move was a learning experience - we did not settle and kept second guessing longer term decisions, along the lines of 'is it worth doing / buying X as we are only supposed to be here for X months / years.... What was a 2 year posting turned into 6 and then onto somewhere else rather than back home, so we declared never to live like that again. We now make decisions based on what we want / need in the moment, and if we get moved, so be it.

citychick Wed 10-May-17 06:46:15

thanks ksb
good to hear others thoughts

Cornishware Wed 10-May-17 10:07:21

I used big decal stickers and borders, wouldn't use them in UK but this cut down on the vast amount of white walls and just peeled off when we left.

PrimeraVez Thu 11-May-17 11:21:23

We painted a few feature walls (everything else is bog standard magnolia) and have hung lots of pictures using clever hooks that don't require any drilling.

We also have a house full of Ikea stuff (although 6 years later, it's starting to fall apart - we were only meant to be here 2 years) but I things like rugs, cushions, throws make a big difference. We also have a big palm tree in the corner of the room which looks really cool and stops it looking so bare.

PrimeraVez Thu 11-May-17 11:23:42

I meant to say - we arrived with literally nothing and so had to start from scratch, all the way from white goods, to furniture, curtains etc. It definitely took a good 1-2 years for it to feel like home. At first we held off on painting, hanging pictures etc but it just felt like a temporary rental. It was only 1-2 years later that we realized we weren't going anywhere that we decided to make it feel more homely and it was totally worth the effort.

We're actually moving again in August and I'm dreading starting over again!

PotPlantAddict Thu 11-May-17 12:47:36

If you love fabrics I would definitely recommend investing in a sewing machine and having a go at making your own cushions and curtains.

Its a lot cheaper to buy a meter of lovely fabric than pre-made cushions, and eyelet curtains tape makes curtain making extremely easy.

If you need blinds then buying the IKEA basics and covering them in your own fabric is a nifty and cheap solution, loads of tutorials online for hacking IKEA items.

citychick Fri 12-May-17 08:17:08

thanks everyone.
I'm in Hong kong so fabric is plentiful as are curtain makers etc.
have decided to keep the curtains i had made and use them. they are lovely. plants will make a huge difference as will changing the sofa cushions.
covering IKEA blinds ~ what a great idea!
we are getting there ~ i suppose I had forgotten how long it takes to create a home.
have a lovely weekend. smile

fussychica Fri 12-May-17 12:08:04

We rent a holiday home full time but stay there about half the year. We have repainted it white and cleaned it to within an inch of its life. We brought some surplus pictures from home, bedding, towels, throws and cushions and will buy a new rug for the lounge when we return on our next trip to make it cosy for the winter. I would love to buy furniture, particularly a sofa, but a. Would have nowhere to store the stuff that's here and b. If we give up the rental that would be dead money. However that didn't stop me buying 2 lovely loungers for the terrace, a parasol and a coffee table!

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