DECORATING OUR RENTAL

Not a house we'd normally be attracted to, but a good rental in a lovely location

Not a house we’d normally be attracted to, but a good rental in a lovely location

We’ve been in our rental house for a year now, which means that I have now spent twelve whole months living in my own personal decorating hell: a house of magnolia! I’m surrounded by the colour. Every single room is magnolia. And as if that isn’t bad enough for a colour fiend like me, the entire house is carpeted in beige. I completely understand why my lovely landlady has furnished it this way, to keep things neutral for future tenants, but I just don’t want to live with it myself if possible. Sadly I don’t think we can do anything about the carpet just yet, so I’m going to have to just turn a blind eye. But the walls on the other hand are a different matter, and I think it’s jolly well time I started livening them up with some colour and pattern.

Luckily the Lovely Landlady (her official name) gave us permission to decorate when we first moved in, so it’s just been a case of saving some pennies and waiting for my schemes for each room to come together. It’s these schemes, or the beginnings of them anyway, that I’d like to share with you over the next week or two, so that you can join me in my journey as I slowly decorate this house and put our own stamp on it.

Dotty welcoming you in

Dotty welcoming you in

You might be wondering why on earth we’re about to start decorating a house we don’t own, so in case you are, I’ll just explain a little bit more. My surroundings are really important to me, and really effect my mood and my sense of security and contentment. When I’m in a space that I’ve decorated myself, surrounded by furniture, objects, art and textiles that I absolutely love and that I’ve put together in a way that brings me joy, I feel an indescribable sense of happiness. I felt like that in my last home and I want to feel like that here too. I’m tired of not enjoying my surroundings.

The living room

The living room. Not our own light by the way, just in case you were wondering!

Curtains from hell! And our old sofa, throws and cushions from our last place

Curtains are not my cup of tea! And our old sofa, throws and cushions from our last place, ‘dressed’ by my husband…bless.

And the other factor is that we know we’re going to be in this rental long-term, and in my opinion, decorating this home to our taste and having a couple of years in a space we really enjoy is worth spending money that we won’t necessarily recoup. Of course, we’re not going to do anything major to the house. All the furniture and accessories we buy will be able to go with us when we move, so it’s only really wallpaper, paint and the labour costs of the decorator that we’ll be investing into the rental. Well, that’s if we don’t do anything to the kitchen and bathroom, but that’s a different matter entirely! For now, we’re going to be doing the easier and cheaper rooms.

Mabel gets about doesn't she?!

Mabel gets about doesn’t she?!

the study

The study-cum-snug

If you’ve been with me since the start of this blog, or you’ve visited my interior design website and seen my last home in Knutsford, you’ll notice that some of the upcoming schemes, particularly for the downstairs rooms, are a lot more traditional than the ones in my apartment. My tastes in decorating styles are actually really eclectic anyway, which is something that helps with my day job as I can switch my style to suit the client. But what I’ve also realised is that when decorating our own homes, I’m actually quite influenced by the style and location of the property I’m decorating. My absolutely favourite style of decorating is Hollywood Regency combined with some Palm Beach chic, and a dash of boho; but I’ve never had the correct house to do it in! That’s one of the (many) reasons why my husband and I have a five year plan to move to California!

Our bedroom on moving-in day

Our bedroom on moving-in day

Under-the-eaves guest bedroom

Under-the-eaves guest bedroom

But the house we’ve moved to is quite traditional in feel. It’s not actually a house we’d normally be drawn to; I’m always attracted to pretty period properties, full of features, so a utilitarian looking 1930’s house was certainly not on our wish list. We nearly didn’t view it as my husband didn’t like the look of it on the internet, but the estate agent persuaded us as he said it was in the most lovely setting. And he was right. It’s semi-rural, with fields to the front and back, very quiet and peaceful, with a pub 10 minutes away, and town a ten minute drive. It’s perfect for location. But interior wise, it has definitely led me to creating schemes that I certainly wouldn’t choose had I ended up in a different sort of house. But that’s fine, because I like them well enough and it’s good for me to explore another creative avenue that normally I wouldn’t choose.

Dotty prowling round the guest bedroom

Dotty prowling round the guest bedroom

A little box room which I will grandly refer to as the dressing room!

A little box room which I will grandly refer to as the dressing room!

So over the next week or two I’ll be sharing with you the beginnings of each scheme, in case you want to come on my decorating journey with me. I only have the beginnings of each by the way! Nothing’s fleshed out, so please don’t be expecting lots of wonderful moodboards. But the beginning is the hard bit for me; once I’ve got a starting point, I can go off on my travels, and start sourcing all the lovely things I’ll need to execute what’s in my head. And as I find the perfect side table or make a decision on this fabric or that, I’ll share with you what I’m up to and keep you posted, so you can see how I create my rooms.

What attracted us to the house....the peace and quiet

What attracted us to the house….the peace and quiet

As always, I’d love your comments. Or for you to share with me what you’re up to project-wise, have you got any decorating on the go? I’d love to hear about it x

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