(#howirent): Video tour of a Maximalist Rented Apartment Decorated with Contact paper

Video tour of a maximalist style rented Apartment in Birmingham UK. This rental has been injected with colour and personality through the use of contact paper


Welcome back to another episode of howirent! If this is your first time visiting, hello!  Let me give you a quick run through.

Decorated living room with contact papper

I’m Medina, a DIY Blogger and  Author of Home Sweet Rented Home). I am absolutely crazy about interiors and decorating my rented home. For years, I’d felt renters to be a group of people that are often  over looked in the world of Interior Design, so this year I thought it about time I addressed that.

#HowiRent is a monthly home tour series I started that champions renters, who in spite of all the usual renting constraints, have managed to transform their homes into abodes of personality and style. Click here to see the previous guests in this series.

[All of the beautiful photographs below have been shot by Kasia Fiszer.]



Maisie-violet Rees!

Maisie sitting on a velvet sofa smiling at the camera

Maisie is a 31 year old interior instagrammer, born and bred Birmingham (not too far from me). She works as a Creative Assistant Manager for Harvey Nichols where she is responsible for window dressing, implementing interior schemes, signage and graphics. Maisie is currently on a 3 month sabbatical. During this time,   she has kept herself quite busy, pursuing her love for interiors, creating a website (which is NOW LIVE)  and working on a range of DIY and Upclycling creative projects.

In her words ‘ It’s been great, everyday is like Friday 😂’

I really hope you enjoy this tour. Over to Maisie!




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Where do you live? Who do you live with?

I live  Birmingham in a lovely little place called Kings Heath.There’s lots of independent business here, cafes, restaurants, shops, which I love mooching in on the weekends.

Shot of living room interior from the doorway - featuring velvet sofa

I live with my boyfriend Matt who is the head chef at a restaurant round the corner from where we live. He’s a very talented chef so I’m fed well, and luckily he didn’t mind me plastering the kitchen in leopard print 

view of fireplace just below a picture rail

Do you have any pets?

We recently got a cat called Pablo, he loves attention and is adorable (when he’s not trying to climb the curtains that is)

View of velvet sofa with gallery wall
What first drew you to this home?

I loved how high the ceilings were, how big the rooms were and that it had a lovely patio and garden area. When I viewed it, the people living here really looked after the house and you could tell they loved living here. Also it’s in a great location close to the high street and a big park too.

Colourful cushions places on green velvet sofa below a gallery wall

Can you share how much rent you pay per month? 

Both of us pay £350 each per month, so the rent is £700pcm in total.

narrow entrance way decorated with contact paper

What type of house do you live in? 

We live in a garden flat in a 1950’s semi detached house.

Can you share any before pictures of your home? 

I have a couple of the living room.

How long have you lived here?

We have been here just over a year.

Maximalist style bedroom interiors decorated with contact paper

What is your relationship like with your landlord/agency?

The agency are really helpful which is reassuring, as I’ve dealt with my fair share of unprofessional lettings agents . The landlord visited the house once and appreciated the fact that we want where we live to be a home and that we’ve made it our own.

View of bedroom window in the maximalist style bedroom

 How would you describe your decorating  style? 

I’d say it is maximalist, colourful and eclectic. I love adding splash’s of colour and pattern in my home (as you can probably tell) as well as combining it with lots of monochrome.

View of bed against a faux panel wall created with contact paper

I noticed you like to decorate with contact paper (sticky vinyl) – can you share any tips?

Yes! I love using vinyl and washi tape around the house, it’s a great way for renters to add character and colour to there place without having to paint or wallpaper. 

Leopard print dresser below a vintage frame

Maisie sitting on a bed reading a book

Using washi tape and vinyl doesn’t have to fiddly or time consuming, adding the odd bit to your plain kitchen cupboard or around a door frame can accentuate and add detail to mundane things in your home.

Black and white feature wall created using contact paper

Alternatively, if you want to go all out, you could cut up small bits of a couple of different colours and create a confetti feature wall, and the best bit about it all is that it peels straight off when you move out!

Bookcase filled with books organised by colour

Where do you source most of your furniture from?

A mix of places, in my spare time I love rummaging through charity shops for one off pieces I can upcycle, that cost me a fraction of the price I’d get in most furniture shops. There also great for things like photo frames, old bits of art work and small furnishings, I’ve found some great second hand stuff on Facebook market place too.

Colouful gallery wall with washi tape

I do go to bigger interiors stores for things like sofas and soft furnishings and I love me an IKEA trip. I’ve ruffled through the occasional skip too . I found 2 chairs in a skip outside a hotel and had one of them upholstered in pink velvet, and they other one I painted black and drew on a leopard print pattern.

Gallery wall with neon frame and art

Any favourite brands? Small Business shout outs? 

I love filling my house with art, wether that be  local artists or from people I’ve discovered on Instagram, I’ve been able to covered walls and create focal points in my flat just by hanging artwork.

I love artists

Monochrome geometric wall created with contact paper

And we have a great local upholsterer Neil Deakin from Bearwood Upholstery who’s transformed furniture I’ve got in charity shops into eye catching contemporary pieces.
I have purchased a lot of accessories from Made.com, but IKEA is also great for accessories as well as fabrics and projects to upcycle.

View of rented bathroom with leopard print colourful towels

 Where do you get inspiration from?

 Anywhere and everywhere, I studied graphic design at university and continue to pursue my passion for art by visiting galleries and have been influenced by many of my favourite artists such as the pop movement, Ellen Gallagher and photographer David La Chapelle.
My mom is very creative and growing our house was always the one people loved coming to for the wacky wall paper and hand painted wall murals that my mom painted, so I’ve definitely been inspired by her style and creativity.

Kitchen cupboards decorated with contact paper
How do you feel about renting? Do you ever see yourself buying a home one day?

I don’t mind it, I’ve spent the last year making this flat our own it would a shame to just up and leave now, so I’m happy here for the foreseeable future, but I’d love to own my property one day. As long as I’m surrounded by all the things I love and make me feel happy then wether the roof over my head is rented or brought doesn’t bother me too much.  

Monochrome black and white wall in the kitchen decorated with contact paper
Would you decorate differently if you were to own a home?

I think so, I’d certainly be making more permanent changes like painting walls and putting up wallpaper which you I haven’t done in this flat, mainly out of laziness rather then not being allowed to!
I’ve created a couple of bold feature walls in the flat with removable vinyl and washi tape which I love for now, but I think Id create slightly toned down versions if I brought a house!

Upcycled tins used as utensil holders
Can you share any renter friendly DIYS you’ve done recently?

I upcycled my bedside table and did another recently for my partner which only cost me £2 from a charity shop. I completely transformed it with some black furniture paint and wallpaper and as it’s quite a small project so  took no time at all.
I always have a supply of paint, brushes, wallpaper scraps, a toolkit and craft essentials so I can crack on with a project without having to dash out and buy stuff.

Plants pots decorated with contact paper on top of a cabinet
Name one DIY product you cant live without?

Oh that’s tough! Either spray paint or washi tape. I’m quite impatient so spray painting is great for instant transformations but washi tape is fantastic for adding small details or creating feature walls that would usually take quite some time if you were painting it.

So what do you think of Maisie’s rented home? I would love to hear your thoughts. As always your support and shares are always appreciated. You can also share your rented homes on Instagram using #HowIRent. Don’t forget to Leave a comment below!

If you liked this rented home tour with contact paper , you might also like these other interior posts!



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