• Kissed by Betty

Kissed by Betty Top 5 Creative Interior Renting Tips and Guide

As someone that has rented all of their adult life I have tried to put finger to key and share with you my top interior renting tips.....

1. Floors

The first thing I always look at in a property is the floor! Maybe a habit of not looking up enough and why I always judge a man by the shoes he is wearing (not advisable) but over the years I have lived with some dodgy coloured carpets! Something you just can’t change when you’re renting! So my advice is embrace it! You can do this by matching certain accessories of the room in that colour, by adding accents of the same colour throughout the space by using cushions or picking out curtains (will come onto that next!) using the same colour or a fleck of it in the design, this will distract the eye and bring the room together.

If when moving in you haven’t found the carpets to be professionally cleaned (ask your letting agency why!) and then either organise or hire a carpet cleaner (local hardware and dry cleaners usually offer this service and if you hire for a day its not too expensive) as just having a clean carpet can really boost and make that space feel better.

I will also never say no to a rug! Not only hiding a multiple of sins it can add colour and texture to a space. I’m personally a big fan of cowhide rugs OK I said it…. they have to be one of the most practical types of flooring other than vinyl and under floor heating. Having two young kids, a puppy and cat, I don’t need to explain the amount of spillages that have occurred in our household and every time it just wipes clean and dries fast! If though you don’t feel comfortable with the real thing – KBB sells an incredible range of show stopping Faux Rugs, which are all machine washable!

2. Dress those Naked Walls or Cracks

So moving up to thhose walls!

Some landlords are all good with you painting them and some just request that you paint it back to the original colour on leaving the property. In this case my advice is NOT to go dark! As yummy as it seems at the time, it’s not as fun when coming to pack up your home while simultaneously painting the 38th coat of white paint. You can add depth and warmth with curtains and wall hangings, IKEA have a great and reasonable range of curtains and I recommend full length (this then allows them to move with you to every home and adds a sense of luxury at the same time). Wall hangings are a top tip! And it doesn’t just have to be a painting. Whilst traveling in my 20’s I picked up some incredible printed throws and blankets – which hung in the right spot, can create a great focal point. Here at KBB we stock some incredible artwork and something I am always passionate about having in my home, choosing a statement print can really add to giving a room a wow factor. Another top tip are mirrors! They not only prevent you from walking out the door with smudged mascara etched into your cheek – they can create light and sense of space in small areas of the home. Being a big Carbooter and charity shopper, I have picked up some incredible bargain mirrors, some I have even given a Betty Kiss and matched the frame in accents of colour to the room it will be living in.

2. Soft Furnishings

Who doesn’t love a pointless cushion! I know I do! I’m a huge fan of cushions and throws and beautiful bed linen. In all my rented homes I have found having similar colour pallets for each room and done this by accessorising the room with cushions and throws. I’m also a huge fan of a faux sheep skin rugs and have managed to re vamp even my dining room chairs, just by adding a sheep skin to the seat of the chair and voila a new dining room feel! And when the sun is out I will drag what I have inside out and drape it over my very outdated garden rattan furniture. Bringing the indoor out (eBay is a great source for these types of rugs). Here at KBB we have a incredible range of fun and quirky cushions all machine washable – a top tip though when looking and buying cushions, just go for the covers and then you can chop and change cushions depending on your mood without taking up storage space.

Bed Linen!! I love this one! I’m a big fan of making the bedroom as calm as place as possible and when renting it’s a great tip also for kids bedrooms. Selecting the right bed covers is literally the most important part to creating the feel of any bedroom, as your bed is the main focal point. So choose wisely! Debenhams is not somewhere I would ever associate with this- but they have one of the best ranges of duvets covers and feather duvets sets! (I never forget when they had a 50% sale on and I rushed in to get my 78.9 tog feather duvet and walking out of the store I bumped into the boy who at school everybody drooled over (I’m 35 at this point and he was 37) He was still as hot as ever and I literally had that watermelon moment of “I just bought an amazing duvet with 50% off “. Cringe!

Right getting back to the point – to create that all-important bedroom! Throws and cushions also add that sense of luxury (top tip Large Square pillows). Most beds you have two pillows each, so why not look at getting a square one and then your regular shape one. This creates height and softness to the bed, better still they’re really comfy. I got mine from Next Home a couple of years back and they have stood the test of many Netflix films and pillow fights!

3. Lighting

Ok when renting we can’t change any of the fitted lights! But you can add your own lamps and lampshades - lighting is such a key part to any home and toning down brightness in a room is the only way to create that homely warmth. If you have hanging lampshades that are already in the property and not to your taste or style, there is no reason why you can’t safely store them and add your own (just make sure you don’t forget to swap them back when you come to move out!). At KBB we use a Devon based supplier who makes all the lampshades by hand, many of which have some really fun wallpaper prints on the inside but there are lots of companies and artists out there creating some wonderful designs and something that can instantly change and tie a room together. Lamps - I use loads of lamps all over my home, as I love low lighting on dark nights. The kitchen is somewhere we don’t often think of placing a lamp! In my current home I have quite a narrow kitchen space with ugly spotlights – so I have placed 3! yes 3 lamps in the corners of the worktops and come the evening they make the space so warm and cosy and well we all know when we have friends over you have no doubt spent hours tidying your living room, only to find you have spent to entire evening all huddled together in the kitchen. With this theory in mind don’t forget if you have a wide hallway or entrance hall - adding a lamp with a quirky lampshade would change the space from just being a walk through to a feature.

4. Green Fingers

I am quite partial to house and garden plants. I am a keen gardener and have spent many hours investing in sorting out rental gardens! And now at the grand age of nearly 39 and to embark on my next move I have learnt “Pot Plants”. Investing money in to someone else’s is garden is not the way to go and you don’t want to find your self a year in having to move to another home and leaving your well spent money in the ground! Now with lots of garden centers and even super markets, selling some incredible garden accessories you can find some really creative garden pots and ornaments, while pretty much able to grow anything in them from veg to cactus (I am going to write my top garden pot tips soon!).

House Plants these are not only meant to be super good for cleaning the air in the home and bringing in some ‘Chi’ to the space, they also add a sense of life into a room. If you know you are likely to let your plant shrivel up and end up in your compost bin – then look at faux plants. In recent years this has become a hot trend for many interior companies selling some incredible realistic plants and flowers! Saving the painstaking task of remembering to water and feed you just simply have to dust! Olive leaves and eucalyptus branches being up there on trending sites as well as the come back of the 70’s macramé plant hanger which is still very much on trend. Supporting the independent artist Etsy or Instagram search sites for macramé makers is where I tend to purchase my pot hangers. My bathroom is currently full of a mixture of faux and real plants and a top tip for watering is to fill up the bath with cool water (if you can leave the water over night something scientific happens to the chemicals or properties in it (someone garden friend told me) and then you can place all your plants in one go, giving them time for the roots to suck up all of that good water!

My Final Thought - Live in Your Rental Home

This might be more just personal for me or to the friends I know who are renting. I long for my forever home and renting has come about through personal circumstances. In the United Kingdom we look upon owning your own home as a measure of success, where as in large parts of Europe renting is the done thing. Please don’t ever measure yourself on why or how you came to live in the home you are in. I’m forever justifying my home by saying “well of course if it was my home… I would do this” and its only with age and clarity I have come to appreciate the meaning of having a roof and safe walls and its not how or who you are paying. Renting is no less than having a mortgage; in fact there are many benefits as long as you have a good landlord. If a tile blows off or the walls begin to crack you don’t have to worry. It is though important to make it your haven, as we all work hard and deserve at the end of our day to enjoy the space we live in.

I hope some the knowledge I have gained over the years has helped in giving you some added tools to create the perfect interior while renting your home and not what to say if you ever buy a bargain duvet.

Please do feel free to message me as I am always happy to help give you any further advice and guidance and I cover all budgets.

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