(#HowIRent) Video Tour of a Desi Inspired Rented Home in Birmingham

Welcome back to another episode of howirent!

We are almost half way through this series (how quickly has that gone by?) and only 5 days away from the official launch of my new book Home Sweet Rented Home .Whoop!!

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If you’re new here, let me give you a quick run through. I’m Medina, a DIY Blogger, who is absolutely crazy about interiors and decorating my rented home (you can follow my Instagram here). I’ve often felt renters to be a group of people that are over looked in the world of Interior Design, so this year I thought it about time to address 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.]



Rida Suleri-Johnson!

Rida sitting at her table wearing a mustard dress and looking away from the camera

Rida is mama (to two beautiful girls), creative, activist and photographer. She writes occasionally about family travel on her blog and is also quite a powerful voice on Instagram (follow here) when talking about issues surrounding race, representation and inclusion. Rida and I first met at an interior event in Birmingham last year and have since become friends!

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


Tell me a little about yourself? What are your hobbies? What are you passionate about?

I am of Pakistani Welsh heritage and British. I was born in Pakistan and lived there for 7 years before moving to England, so I have lots of fun memories of growing up with my aunts who were more like my cousins.

Rida is standing in front of the bookshelf wearing a mustard yellow dress and laughing

[Mustard dress worn here is from Phaedra Clothing]

I traveled around the world (well more of a hop and skip around the world) for my honeymoon and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done!

Window seat with desi inspired cushions

My hobbies are dancing around, eating good food (that’s a hobby right?), taking pictures and exploring places near and far. I love trees so darn much. I think instead of lots of new builds we should be fixing up old houses and planting trees where new houses would be built.

Where do you live? Who do you live with? Where did you live before?

We live in Birmingham; we being me, my husband Chris and two daughters. Both girls were born in Sussex but we moved back to Birmingham just a few weeks after Dalia was born.

Girl standing on wooden stool and playing with toys on ikea kallax shelf. Her head is to the side and she is sticking her tongue out

What type of house do you live in? Do you know when it was built?

We live in an old Victorian terraced house but it’s been very well modernised whilst maintaining some of the charm.

Corner view of blue fabric sofa in the living room underneath a gallery wall of family photos

Is this a private rented home? How much do you pay for rent monthly

Our home is a two bed privately rented and we pay £850 per month

Fire placed in rented living room next to a crate of wooden book crates

What do you like most about this home? Can you share any before pictures of your home?

We don’t really have any before pictures but we haven’t had to do much in terms of fixing/painting. We are super lucky that the landlord is actually a renovator and so everything was done to a great standard!

Side angle of dining room with rustic wooden paneled wall

I love the dining room the most I think. It has a wooden clad feature wall and I feel it’s the most complete room in the house. It gets beautiful light in too.

Side view of rustic panel feature wall next to a chalk painted dresser

Wall shelves in alcove next to rustic panel wall. Books are arranged by colour on the shelf

Is there anything you dislike?

There’s nothing I dislike as such but I’d love the bathroom floor to be tiled rather than grey lino (but understand it’s handiness!) I think I need to give your removable wallpaper idea a go for that floor!


View of the rented bathroom from the door entrance

How would you describe your decorating style?

I think subtly eclectic ?

Long narrow rented kitchen with scaffolding used as shelf, Books, herbs and desi ornaments placed on shelf.

Haha! I love classic pieces and since you came over, I’ve added a gorgeous rug and cotton linen shade to our bedroom, which has really made it feel more complete! I like timeless pieces of furniture and things that age well.

Front view of the scaffolding shelf. Shelf holds books, bowls, and plants. Onions hang from a basket underneath

Where do you source most of your furniture from?

It’s a mixture of second hand, self made (kind of!) and IKEA! I know people don’t feel IKEA is great for long term, or so I get that sense! But they have pieces that I feel suit short term to life long depending on your need/budget.

Kids play area in the kitchen. Ikea desk with two toddler chairs are seen against a painted blackboard wall


IKEA spice racks used as bookshelves for kids book. Hanger to the side is used to hold girls bags

[Art pictured here is from Hey I’m Sakina]

Describe your relationship with your landlord. How do they feel about you decorating? Is there anything they wouldn’t want you to do?

I need to be brave and ask them! I’d love to paint a wall or two! But I’ve never asked so I don’t really know. I feel like if it was tasteful they wouldn’t mind! Maybe!

Wall shelves in alcove of rented kids room with ikea storage seat underneath. Shelves contain childrens books.

Do you have any favourite brands? Small Business shout outs?

Well I do love

Kids bedroom with painted IKEA RAST drawers

Dolls on top of the ikea rast painted dresser

Oh my god, and Eve Sleep literally do the BEST mattresses (I did work with them I should add BUT it was life changing! Honestly!) We also have a few things from our travels!

Pallet bed against a dark grey wall. Grey pom pom bedding on the bed

Do you have a favourite piece of furniture in your home?

Our bed! For the above reasons! Haha. But also love our table which we bought off of friends, it’s old Muji!

Have you ever done any DIY? If so, can you share what it was?

I have tried a fair few things from up cycling old frames to putting our pallet bed together but I’d like to try some more. You’ve definitely inspired me! Especially that clear window shelving for plants you made! So dreamy!!

diy pallet bed frame under the matteress

How do you feel about renting? Do you ever see yourself buying a home one day?

I don’t mind renting in honesty, it’s never been a big deal for me and it’s so normal in other parts of the world. But in a classist society it’s hard to not feel the pressure / shame about not owning a house!

My husband definitely would love to buy, me? I’d like to buy a holiday apartment abroad first! Haha.

Front view of vintage chest of drawers in the rented bedroom. The dresser has 5 drawers and is missing one knob form the second to last drawer

Do you have a top tip for renters?

I think if you want to do anything up or see potential in a rental property, ask the landlord during a viewing whether they’re open to changes. Setting those boundaries from the off is great so you don’t feel like you’re overstepping or anything. But also, invest in good furniture and furnishings!

Gallery wall of inspirational art. Photos attached using tape.

Sofas, tables, rugs, paintings/photos and lamps are great at making your rental feel like your home in an instant and you can take those with you. Just because you’re somewhere that may not be permanent doesn’t mean that you need to get cheap/throw away pieces.

So what do you think of Rida’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!

Birds eye view of diy pallet bed.

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



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