Even though we all like our homes to reflect a little of our own style and personality, it can be difficult to make your house feel like a ‘home’ when you’re renting. Of course you can add your own furniture, pop some photos on the mantlepiece and throw down some colourful cushions, but the bare bones of the property – the walls – generally need to remain untouched. So how can you make a room feel cosy, comfortable and ‘yours’ when you’re restricted to magnolia paint and prohibited from wallpapering? Well, my solution is wall-art – and I’m talking some pretty large pieces too!
When you can’t repaint a room or add a feature wall, investing in artwork is a great way to add personality and colour to an otherwise bland, rented apartment. Landlords tend to allow framed images to be hung on walls, as long as they are correctly fitted with picture-hooks etc – but don’t quote me on this, always be sure to check your tenancy agreement before you start to drill! If your landlord is happy for pictures to be hung on walls, you can make a big difference to your living space with some wall art and it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune either..!I’m a huge advocate of using posters to change the feeling of a room, to add colour and pattern to a bare wall, or to define a space for a specific use. And we all know that posters are one of the most thrifty pieces of wall art that money can buy – that’s why we plastered our teenage bedroom walls with low-cost posters! But I’m going one step smarter than simply blu-tacking a poster to the wall, I’m suggesting that you frame your posters and even group them together to create a gallery wall of coordinating (or contrasting, for that matter) images.
And seeing as I love maps so much (remember my Map Geek articles last year??) I decided that a map would be the ideal solution for my living room. No more wallpapering for me; I can make a big impact with just a 120 x 100cm poster and it fills the space above my sofa perfectly. A huge poster of this size certainly gives the room a focal point and ties together all of the colours in the room. World maps are easy – and relatively cheap – to find, and always tend to be the largest prints around. But I don’t only want to stick to traditional world maps – I love something a little more arty and abstract and that’s where the collection at Posterlounge comes in.
Of course, they have numerous world maps, historical maps and entirely accurate maps to choose from but the one map that really caught my eye was an abstract version of Paris. I picked out this poster for my living room for two reasons; firstly, it contains all the colours that are already in my mid-century inspired living room (coordinating with my vintage record boxes and cushions) and secondly, because Paris is where my husband and I went on honeymoon all those years ago.
Even though the Paris map is rather offbeat (and more pattern than map) it’s still accurate, with a beautiful bright blue Seine running through it, and it shows all the places we visited while we were staying in Paris. Who wouldn’t want a cartoon-esque image of the Eiffel tower and Notre Dame on their wall? The more I look at the poster the more cute details I find so it definitely adds an eye-catching focal point to the living room space, drawing you in to look closer. I’ve just taped it up with washi tape today to get a feel of the colours and print in the room, and I love it already. I don’t want to take it down but I’m going to roll it back up into the tube until I have a suitable frame for it. What do you think of this idea for adding a little personality to a rented house? Do you have any other low-cost decorating tips for putting your stamp on a place when you’re on a budget? What have you done to make your rented apartment feel more like a home? Please let me know by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me your photos to @Cassiefairy – I’d love to hear your ideas!