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12 tips for rental renos

Not owning your home shouldn’t stop it being a perfect place to live…

Paint saint Some landlords don’t mind you painting the walls – but always ask them first! You’ll obviously be paying for the paint, but it could be worth it if you see yourself there for a few years.

Light up It’s against the rules to hang pictures on the walls of your rental property, but chunky or statement floor lamps are a great way to fill wall space and also light your living area in a more cosy and less clinical manner.

Kitchen cool Distract from unslightly kitchen tiles or grotty cupboards by making foodie displays from oil pourers, pestle and mortars and rustic sauce bottles. Blu-tac inspirational food pics onto grotty cupboards and get rid of unidentified smells with vases full of fresh rosemary.

Window dresser Ugly curtains or boring blinds? Drape cream muslin fabric around your curtain rail and trail to the ground to soften your windows and add texture.

Pic trick You can’t cover the walls with photo frames, so why not display your snaps using old wooden pegs? You can hang them from a rusty multiple skirt hanger, wires or string, pop them in a bottle for display or stick them on the fridge with funky magnets.

Wall whizz If you’ve found a wallpaper you love, paste it onto a screen or room divider. Lean it up against an unsightly wall or use it to separate larger rooms into zones.

Rug-a-dub-dub Invest in a big statement rug to distract from old, stained carpets or cold, hard floors. The best thing is – you can take it with you to the next place!

Hot cot Make your bed the focus of the room. Decorate it with classy cushions, pop a couple of statement lamps on bedside tables, get an upholstered bedhead made or stack old books on an existing solid bedhead. Throws and a chest at the foot of the bed complete the pretty picture.

Shelf it If you can’t express yourself on the walls, do it with a bookcase. Display your personality on shelves with photos, ornaments, books, candles and inspirational quotes.

Bathroom brainwave Tatty tiles and discoloured bathroom suites are common in rental properties. Buy some vibrant-coloured towels, scented candles and bowls of pot pourri to distract from the dated space.

Fresh flowers Beautifully scented blooms never fail to brighten up any drab room. Buying fresh flowers regularly (or picking them from your garden) will ensure that your pad always smells, looks and feels just lovely.

Jolly trolley If you don’t have enough space in your kitchen, grab a large kitchen trolley from Ikea to stack serving bowls, cookbooks, utensils or sauces on. You can move it around the room and even use it as an island to alter the layout of the room.