How to Style Your Rented Apartment

09 Dec 2021 Alex

One of the most exciting things about moving house is thinking about how to put your own stamp on your new place and having seen the space already, you should have a good idea of what you’re going to be working with. However, if you’re renting, you might be a little concerned about exactly how much you can do with your landlord’s approval.

Whether they’re furnished or unfurnished, Quintain Living residents are free to decorate their Wembley Park apartments however they want, from painting the walls to mounting a TV or putting up pictures to make the space more cosy and, most importantly, more them. We even have an in-house maintenance team that can help you out with any changes you wish to make. As long as the apartment is handed back in its original condition, almost anything goes when it comes to adding decorations to the space. 

Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about styling your rented apartment,with some practical advice on what you can do, and what you should probably be avoiding altogether. 

Can You Decorate a Rented Apartment?

Generally speaking, most landlords in London aren’t singing from the rooftops when tenants make structural changes to their properties. However, provided the rental agreement says it’s fine to do so, residents are allowed to redecorate the space within reason. It can’t hurt to give it a good read through your contract to see exactly what’s allowed, but as a general rule of thumb, don’t confuse decorating with renovating. If you’re looking to do anything that requires structural changes, always check with your landlord first.

How to Decorate Your Rented Apartment

Styling a newly rented apartment means coming up with a plan first. Otherwise, in all the excitement, you might end up buying all kinds of non-matching stuff and simply hoping it will miraculously come together later.

That said, before you do anything - no matter how small - be sure to take pictures of your apartment in its original state. This will give you (and your landlord) a point of reference for how things should look on moving day later. Store these in the cloud so you won’t lose them, and once this is done, you can start getting creative!

Paint your walls

Whether you want to go for a simple shade of grey, or you’re keen to unleash your inner artist, the right coat of paint can really transform any living space. And since it’s one of the main things landlords are generally happy for you to change, you should try to get the most out of it. In a bid to do so, you may even be able to paint the ceiling and shelves too - just remember to check the rental agreement first, Picasso. 

Walls painted white - or magnolia, eggshell or any other barely-perceptible shade - will always give off a bit of a clinical vibe, and in combination with constant natural light, they might even lead to those dreaded stress headaches or migraines. Darker, softer tones are generally a better bet, while going for a more neutral and consistent wall colour can give you the freedom to figure out how other elements help to round off the space in general. 

Hang pictures

A great way to personalise a rented space is to hang artwork, photographs, posters, or anything else your heart desires on the walls. But a quick suggestion - if you’re planning on doing this, never use nails in the walls, as this is one of the quickest ways to forfeit some of your deposit. Besides, you don’t want to be polyfilling the walls like a madman in a scramble before handing the keys back to the landlord.  

A picture rail will help you to avoid this altogether, and gives you the chance to hang different pieces across your rooms. These are ideal if you have a smaller space to work with, giving you the freedom to express yourself and the versatility to change what’s on display as new inspiration strikes. 

Choose your own furniture

Renting and decorating an unfurnished apartment means bringing in your own furniture. If you’re on the lookout for a new couch or dining table set before the big move, it’s best to take a long-term view towards buying these. Getting your hands on good quality furniture up front might feel like a steep investment now, but will pay for itself thanks to less maintenance and avoiding earlier-than-usual replacement costs later. 

If you’re moving into one of Quintain Living’s apartments, we’re happy to point you in the right direction of a few reputable suppliers in the area, including the local artisanal homeware available from Wembley Park Market and an IKEA just a ten minute drive away in Neasden. If you’d prefer to have furniture included in the rental already (we can’t blame you if you’re on a tight schedule), talk to our team about our options for furnished apartments, which will still leave room for you to add your own touches to the space. 

Home is where the plant is

Choosing indoor plants for your apartment is an easy way to decorate without having to do all that much. After all, you can never have too much greenery, brightening up various rooms and acting as a natural air purifier. Taking care of houseplants can also be an instant mood booster, and dare we say that plants are like mini pets - albeit pets which don’t make noise, need to be walked, or cleaned up after.

If you’re a first-time plant owner, try a small ficus tree behind the couch at first. If you’ve got shelf space, a handful of succulents are a good idea too, as they don’t need as much water or maintenance as other common house plants. A small herb garden on a balcony space can be practical and sustainable too, and give you some great home-grown ingredients for your next dinner party to boot.

Redecorating Before You Move Out

Of course, as much as you might want your rented apartment to be your forever home, once you move out, it’s officially time for reverse decoration - that means getting your current apartment back to its original state. This would be a good time to go through the fine print of your rental agreement again, referring back to your original inventory and the photos you took when you moved in before the key handover date. 

Our team doesn’t like to make too much of a fuss when it comes to how residents leave their apartment - it really is as simple as handing the space back in the same way it was on day one.

And if you’re moving into your first Quintain Living apartment, you’ll be met with more benefits than just the scope to decorate your space as you see fit. We’re talking open-air gardens, co-working areas and even a dedicated, around-the-clock concierge service. But how you end up styling the space is totally up to you.

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