Small Spaces: How to Style a Rented Home

Words by Alice Florence Orr and Carolina LinsSeven Minute Read

From borrowed to brilliant: discover We Do Wood's Nomad Chair

While there are upsides to renting a property, a common dilemma is how to style your space in a way that will make it feel like home, while also being mindful that you will eventually have to move. Terrible bathroom tiles, boring paintwork, and single glazing can be the least of your troubles in a rental. But when you're limited by plain walls and unflattering fittings, adding touches of your personality will transform any space from borrowed to brilliant — and it's easier than you think.

There are many positive reasons to rent a home, rather than buying it. Maintenance and repairs are out of your hands, leaving you with fewer household tasks on your to-do list. Renting also allows you the flexibility to change locations every few years, if you so desire — that means you could be renting in a big city, then move to the countryside for a change of scene with only a few months notice. It's an exciting way to live, if a touch unpredictable. But if you embrace the ebbs and flows of renting, it can be a rewarding experience, and decorating your rented home is no exception.

Finding the right homeware to compliment the renting lifestyle can be tricky. That's why we spoke to our team members on their best tips for decorating a rented home. Trust us — as renters themselves, they know a thing or two about uplifting an interior.

Take it With You | Soft Furnishings

Part of the precarious nature of renting is knowing that you might need to move in a few years time. But that doesn't mean you should sacrifice on style. Investing in quality soft furnishings, such as bed linen, allows you to create a sense of hygge without committing to furniture you can't carry with you. "I only invest in things I can fit in my car," recommended our Senior Marketing Manager, Megan. "I'll invest in kitchen equipment, curtains and plants — they've got to be portable."

Our Head of Partnerships, Edy, believes in the power of home decor to transform a space. "Not only is it more affordable, it makes a huge difference to the room." Rugs, bed linen, towels and throws can be easily updated and repaired. Whatever your style, whether Scandi minimalism or Mid-century modern, a statement cushion or piece of wall art can tie mismatched furnishings together without breaking the bank.

Illuminate your Home | Statement Lighting

Lighting can often be a tricky element of your interior to get right. It creates the ambience and feel of your space, making it an essential feature that's so often overlooked. A statement ceiling light might be out of the scope of most renters, but accent and tasking lights are your best friends. Think desk lamps, floor lights and even a decorative lamp — we love this splurge from Santa & Cole. But if you're looking for something more practical, a multifunctional desk lamp from Galula adds a modern style and makes the perfect work buddy.

Ambient lighting helps to create the feel and tone of your space. Our Copywriter, Saj, is passionate about creating an atmosphere with light. "Ambient lamps are perfect for relaxing and watching television — they're the main light source and can be anything from a chandelier to a couple of well placed lamps. Use your imagination!"

Make It Yours | The Small Details

Our Junior Brand Partnerships Manager, Tanne, always keeps her friend's handmade ceramics close by, no matter what city she is living in. Since the start of the pandemic, Tanne has lived in three different countries and struggled to find a sense of home. "A lovely wool blanket. Drinking hot tea from my friend's mug. There's nothing more comforting than that."

If you take time to focus on the details, a space starts to become your own. Little touches like candles, kitchen equipment, and vases have infinite possibilities — they're also a great way of supporting small, independent designers. Trust us, IKEA hacks are not your only option.

A Space For Friends | Dining Essentials

Dressing your dining table is a functional and easy way of adding elegance to a rented space. It even has a name: tablescaping. We think of it as "form and functionality meets flatlay". And the best part is that not everything needs to perfectly match. Different shades in a similar palette is all you need to create cohesion and stick to a tonal theme. Alternatively, clash patterns and colours for a dramatic effect. Try blue and orange, like Studio Hausen's bold glassware. These features will give your space a unique flourish and delight your guests.

Here at Bombinate, we are passionate about storytelling. Hearing our team's tips for turning their rented apartments into homes inspires us to curate pieces for modern living by hosting brands that align with our values. We believe that products that are made with good intentions will help us all live well, which is why we only choose brands that match our four pillars.

However small, whether it's yours or rented, it's all about smart use of space and giving it your own touch. Home is a feeling you can recreate using the right tools — smart storage solutions, chairs, tables, decor and other details — that turn a simple space into a cosy home.

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