Super creative Hayley Stuart has set Instagram alight with her crafty ideas, transforming a soulless rental property in to a family home laden with personality. Over to Hayley for her top tips on making it home when it isn’t your own.
My husband and I have been renting for the past ten years in various houses, with various rules regarding what we are allowed to do in terms of decorating.
Some landlords and super strict and don’t allow even a simple photo on the wall whereas some are a lot more flexible, normally if you have a long term contract in place. Luckily our current landlords are really laid back and when I asked what we were allowed to do they simply said “it’s your home” so I took that as anything goes apart from structural changes. We are fortunate as the house has some lovely features such as fireplaces and 1930s cottage doors but I knew we wouldn’t be here forever so decided to find ways to decorate in my style but only in ways that are reversible.
The kitchen was bland but not offensive, so I made some new tan leather drawer and cupboard pulls. To make the handles I bought a couple of strips of leather from eBay, cut them in to six inch strips, folded in half and then drilled a hole through the leather for the bolt to slide through. I also bought some tile stickers from eBay which I must say look very convincing. My dad laid a new herringbone vinyl floor (again very realistic) which obviously isn’t removable but in my opinion improves the kitchen a lot.
Our utility room was horrible when we moved in. It was a bland haven for spiders with a freezing cold concrete floor and I hated going out there. One day I decided to stop ignoring it and make it in to a space I could enjoy. I used Pixerstick from Pixers to cover the worktops and cupboard doors and found an off cut of carpet from a local selling site. It was drastic results on a minimal budget and I have to say I think it’s now my favourite room.
I have also used Pixerstick self adhesive wallpaper in my sons room, which was ridiculously easy to apply and is completely removeable.
I have used Farrow and Ball Down Pipe to create feature walls in the dining room and kitchen which can be painted over when we depart.
Most of our shelving is scaffolding boards which of course have to be drilled in to the wall. The holes are pretty easy to fill when you leave a property but if you really don’t want to drill then book cases and shelving units are definitely the way to go. If you live in a period property and have a picture rail running around the top of the wall, you can hang a shelf from it using rope and picture rail hooks, like the one above our bed.
For artwork and mirrors (that aren’t too heavy) I always use command picture hanging strips. Used correctly they work so well and allow you to have a gallery wall without any damage.
You don’t have to spend a lot to spruce up your rental because if you invest in the things you can take with you but enjoy now then it’s a win, win!
I hope I have inspired you to make some temporary changes.
Liking what you see? Next week we’ve got Hayley’s cottage in its full glory in our latest home tour. Excited? Yep we are too. See you on Monday.
Photography by Adam Crohill