#HowIRent : Video Home Tour of a Rented Listed Building in East London

We’re already into the third month of the #howirent series – how quickly has that gone by?!

If this is your first time here, let me explain.

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

(In other words its basically myself, and my photographer Kasia Fiszer having a nosey around other renters homes and then documenting it on here ha).

Click here to see the previous posts in this series. Also, I’ve decided to split this post over two pages just because there are so many images I want to share – so dont forget to click over to part 2!

[All the beautiful Photographs in this series have been shot by Kasia Fiszer. This post may contain some affiliate links – please see here for disclosure]

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Are you ready for this??

Its Zeena Shah!

Zeena shah on sofa looking out of the window of her listed building home

Zeena is a woman of many talents and quite frankly juggles ALL the creative roles! Shes an Art Director, Stylist, Print Designer, Author, Illustrator and lifestyle blogger. I know , the word multi-faceted might be apt here.

Zeena has been blogging for over 10 years (you can find her blog here), which I think by right, makes her the blogging OG. While she admits to not blogging as consistently as she once had, she is quite active on her Instagram page, where she shares a collection of beautiful exteriors and fashion inspiration

Just like her exquisite dress sense, Zeena’s apartment is a colourful eclectic haven set within a gorgeous listed building that just screams Miam Art Deco

A pink pastel art deco front door in listed building

Here’s how I got on at her house!


Where do you live?

I live in East London with my fiance. We live in The Strand Building a beautiful listed art deco building in Hackney we like to call the Pink Palace because of it’s stunning pink original 1920’s features.

The communial area of the listed building

How long have you lived in your current home?

We’ve lived in our rented flat for two years now.

What first drew you to this apartment?

I had no idea what to expect when we went to view the building. I’d seen it a hundred times when passing on the bus and always admired the beautiful lace blue grand arch windows but had never had the chance to go inside.

The stairs in the common area of the listed building

The moment we walked into the pink hallway of dreams there was no going back. I remember playing it really cool despite wanting to squeal with excitement.

Zeena standing on the stairs in the communial area of building

How long had you lived in your home before approaching your landlord about decorating it? What was their initial reaction?

As the building is listed there isn’t a lot we are able to do to the property without permission from the powers that be – we wouldn’t be able to paint the walls for example.

View of the living room from the entrance. Large windows facing furniture in the room

We’re incredibly lucky that our land lady is more than happy for us to curate our home as we wish in every other way. We’ve had to be very clever with storage and the way we hang art on the walls.

Gallery wall attached to strings from picture hooks as you arent allowed to make holes in a listed building

– You mentioned that your home is a listed building, how do you work around that when it comes to decorating?

Yes it’s brilliant because it means it’s very well maintained and treasured by its residents. We’ve had to be very clever with the way we decorate.

Dining table next to mid century dresser in the living room.

As it’s such an old flat the storage is terrible and we aren’t able to drill into the walls so the way we hang art on the walls is by using picture rail hooks and string.

Gallery wall using picture hooks hanging from moulding on the wall

We’ve also chosen furniture that doubles up as storage for example our West Elm coffee table and console hide all manner of things inside and out of sight.

Gallery wall above the striped sofa facing the west elm coffee table

-How do you go about choosing items/homeware for your home?

As we’re so limited on space it has to be something we consider, measure up and make sure is semi useful and not solely decorative. Everything needs to double up as a storage solution ideally. Our gorgeous Mustard Made pastel pink locker does just that and I use it to store all of my crafty supplies.

pink Mustard locker in the living room for extra storage next to dining table

A look inside the pink mustard locker . Shelves of craft storage

Have you ever DIYed anything?

In this flat in particular it’s mostly been decorative items as there’s not a lot of room for furniture. I’ve made some of our ceramic bowls and plates.

large industrial style Z letter hanging from picture hooks. Z is hanging just above midentury dresser

Ive stitched some cushions, knotted a collection of macramé plant hangers that we’ve started to hang on the curtain rail as we couldn’t find any curtains to fit the 3 metre drop. I am also know to spray paint things pink every now and again!

pink arm chair in front of large pale blue windows in listed property. Indoor plants suspended from curtain rails

What is the biggest change you’ve made to this home to date?

We’ve changed the layout and brought in our own interior style to the property. It was very different when we moved in.Very sensible I suppose we definitely filled it with life and a whole load of stuff!

Before image of living room when zeena and partner moved into the listed property.Before Image of apartment taken by by Zeena

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Filed under Home & Garden, How I Rent, Interiors

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