Ok, deep breath in Medina.
And out… out!! Breathe out woman!
Today is the launch of my new Renters Home Tour series and I’m just so freaking excited (can you tell?)!! It’s been a long time coming, I’ll admit. The idea for this series has been brewing at the back of my mind for what seems like an eternity. And now finally, I get to watch on proudly, as it all comes to life!
WHAT IS THIS RENTED HOME TOUR SERIES ABOUT?
I have always been quite vocal about the fact that I rent. But its only recently, that I’ve begun to talk a little more openly about all the pressures I feel as as a result of that. The embarrassment and shame of not being able to afford my own home. The anxiety of never feeling settled – like at any moment the rug could be pulled out from under my feet. The challenges of decorating within the landlords restrictions and trying to figure out how much of my own investment , was too much?
Can you relate?
Here in the UK, we are just a tad bit obsessed with owning our own homes… ( on reflection, maybe thats where all that perceived pressure comes from). Getting on to the property ladder in this country is everything. Its seen as a sort of right of passage to a higher status in life. And a natural expectation, once you’ve found yourself a decent paying job.
But what do you do if you are struggling to save for an ever increasing deposit and have no choice other than to rent?
You make the most if it, that’s what.
And that’s really what this #howirent series is all about.
A celebration of all the amazing renters out there who have , in spite of all the usual renting constraints, have managed to transform their homes into abodes of personality and style.
I really hope you enjoy!
[Photography by Kasia Fitzer]
A COLORFUL RENTAL HOME TOUR – INTRODUCING THIS MONTHS GUEST!
Well, I’ve kept you guessing long enough, so without further ado, let me introduce you to this months guest.
Emma is an interiors blogger and freelance writer based in London. She loves all things colourful, ‘and anything with a good pattern’. Her stylish blog and Instagram account are the perfect visual examples of her passion for design, interiors and culture.
Our paths first crossed at the 2017 Amara Interior Blog Awards – which saw Emma pick up not one, but two awards! (Side note: surprisingly we only really met in real life late last year – until that point we had always managed to miss each other at blogging events. Bizarre I know, but that didn’t keep us from chatting away on good old Instagram).
I was so pleased when she agreed to come on board as a guest for this series because I really enjoy Emma’s eye for design. Her home is a gorgeous eclectic mix of bohemian and mid century style. I also love how she has effortlessly managed to inject so much character into it, by simply using colourful accessories and well placed furniture
But enough talking from me. Let me just show you.
Passing the mic now….
WATCH THE VIDEO TOUR OF EMMA’S COLOURFUL RENTAL HERE
Where do you live?
I live in South West London in a little place we like to call ‘The Earlsfield Loft’. I live there with my partner Joshua and our Mexican Hotdog (chihuahua cross miniature dachshund), George.
Earlsfield is full of independent cafes, restaurants and shops – it’s a lovely hidden part of London with lots of greenery and a great community. It’s just two stops away from Waterloo so super easy to get into town.
How long have you lived in this house?
It’s just coming up to two years. Two years in April.
Was there a particular feature that drew you to this property when you first saw it? What made you want to rent it?
The fact it wasn’t magnolia was a pretty big seller.
Honestly, finding a place in London that isn’t magnolia with brown carpets is like finding a four-leaf clover.
We were looking for about three weeks before we found this place and thankfully they agreed that a pooch was okay.
I found it after telling my step mum that a roll-top bath would be the dream. Lo and behold, that on my way back to London, this place had just been listed with its, wait for it, roll-top bath. I couldn’t believe it.
I emailed immediately and we went to view it the next day. We had to wait for a week after saying we wanted it as so many others also went for it. I was a mess for the whole week as I knew I had to live here.
The bathroom was, and still is, my favourite place to chill.
I can see you have painted your walls Do you have an agreement with your landlord – if not, how do you work around it?
Yes, we asked our landlord if we could paint the walls. This was our landlord’s first home before they fell pregnant so they had done a good job of decorating it. However, the bedroom walls were dark blue and after a winter living with them, we just couldn’t handle the darkness.
I asked if we could paint it, gave them a colour idea, and they said to go for it. I think it’s a good idea to pitch to your landlord with colours etc so they don’t expect the worst. If they know you’re clued up, they won’t worry about it.
Do you have a favourite room in your home?
That’s a tough one as I love them all for different reasons. The bathroom is definitely where I feel most relaxed – nothing beats a book in the bath – but the bedroom is a haven. I’ve always said that I’ll take the bedroom interior with me wherever I go. It’s so fresh and encapsulates my personality perfectly.
How would you describe your style to anyone who asked?
It’s a mix of bohemian and mid-century. I occasionally describe it as ‘geometric bohemian’ as I like structured shapes. I have a lot of different influences so it’s sometimes hard to make a look cohesive, but I think that we normally get there.
I’m no Marie Kondo; there’s definitely a lot of organised clutter with a lot of things that bring me joy.
I think a lot of people would assume my home would be super colourful but they’re actually wrong here. I’m a fan of colourful things but not necessarily bright colours on the wall.
Do you have any top tips for renters living in a flat?
Always be frank with your landlord.
Explaining the benefits for both parties is sure to give you some leverage to paint.
If you really can’t make changes, work with the colour palettes you have.
Layer rugs, incorporate textures and add personality via vintage items and accessories.
Lean big artwork against walls or use command strips for hanging smaller pieces.
It’s about making a house comfortable for you to come home to, so don’t tap into trends easily and always be true to your core style.
What is the one thing you love about renting?
You don’t have to worry about things like the boiler breaking, leaks or appliances breaking. It’s all handled by someone else!
What is the one thing you dislike about renting?
The fact that you have to go through someone else to decorate. You can’t just rip out a kitchen or a bathroom. We’ve lucked out with both in our current home, but there have been other places I’ve lived where both have been absolute eyesores.
My advice to all landlords would just be to go with plain white tiling and white cupboards if putting in a new kitchen or bathroom. Timeless and still stylish for any potential tenants. P.S If you are a landlord and you’re reading this, get rid of all of your magnolia now – we’re not in the 80s and it didn’t look good then either.
Do you have a go to brand for decorating your home?
I have a few! West elm is probably my favourite for furnishings. When you’re living in unfurnished, I think it’s good to invest in furniture that will last you through to your first owned home. I don’t really believe in buying cheap disposable furniture.
I’d never dream of parting with any of my pieces from west elm. To balance it out, I’ve paired the more expensive items with lots of vintage and charity shop items. Your local charity shop is absolutely your friend!
My go-to paint brand is Earthborn. I’m an ambassador for them this year as I’ve used them so much in our home. They are eco-friendly which is a huge driver for me and they don’t stink out the house.
For accessories I always head to my favourite homeware store in London, W.A.Green. It’s a fusion of all things eclectic and I love the fashion references – there’s lots of Bella Freud and Preen as well as more affordable brands sought from the USA.
So what do you think of Emma’s Home? I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below!
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