See how you can make your rented home cosier... read more
Not all of us are lucky enough to own our home so we turn to renting instead. Renting is great and means you get your own little place to call your own but you are often limited to how you can decorate it and putting your own personal touches on it. The lovely Sara from Sara And Catherine’s Tales shows us how she turned her rented home into a beautiful family home that perfectly reflects her style…
Me and my husband moved around a lot: just imagine that we went through two international moves in less than 9 months. All this moving meant I never felt like I belonged anywhere and I never had enough time to create that reassuring feeling of a warm family home. Instead, the properties we lived in always felt temporary and unfinished.
When, less than a year ago, my husband told me about the possibility of moving back to London I felt like jumping of joy. It was totally unexpected and so random that I still can’t believe that it really happened. In my life, I’ve lived in 4 different countries but none was ever so close to my heart as London. I missed England dearly while I was away; it’s rather odd, considering I’m not British but London is the only place where I feel at home.
I always dreamed of living in a Victorian conversion and finally my dream came true. At the moment we are renting but, as it looks like we are finally settled, I’m one hundred percent committed to making this house cosy by mixing patterns and layering colours, recreating the British traditional style. I hope that I can show you that even if you don’t own your home, you can still put your stamp on it and make it feel like a home. Obviously, I’m daydreaming of our own house and hopefully that will come one day as well.
I will now take you through a mini tour of my house so you can have a glimpse of my work so far (I’m far from done but shhh, don’t tell my husband!).
This was the first room to be completed, as this is where we spend most of our time. For the first time I dared to mix different patterns: florals, checked and neutrals. It felt like a bold move but I wanted to give it a try. Some gorgeous Instagram accounts gave me great inspiration in that regard.
I like my rooms to feel light and airy so I try not to over decorate; I mostly use white accessories and I add a dash of colour with flowers or fabrics. I never know what to hang on the walls, as I fear an untidy result. The large distressed metal clock is perfect for a big wall and I know that it won’t bore me in the long run: its sleek shape doesn’t make the walls look too busy and it’s a great fit for every style.
Wicker baskets are my best friends when it comes to hiding kids clutter. I have several of them throughout the house but the most convenient are the Kubu trunks as they have the added bonus of a lid, which is perfect when you need to keep dust and dog hair away.
The built in shelves are rather a challenge and they are only partially filled; I’m trying not to rush the process and buy pieces that can blend together: I’m the queen of faffing so the look is in constant evolution. As much as I love reading, I don’t like books on display: call me a maniac but I like a clean effect and books just don’t do the trick for me.
At the moment I’m styling the units, combining white frames with black and white photos and some always needed storage solutions. I’ve paired two sets of the Josette boxes to keep some of the most precious possessions: hospital bracelets, memorabilia from birthdays, some special cards, the first pacifier, tiny onesies and so on. Harvey and Catherine will both have a couple of those: hopefully it will help them to cherish some lovely memories and remember how loved they’ve always been.
Redecorating this room was quite a lengthy process. We used to have a huge black fabric headboard, which I was so happy to replace with a more subtle white bed: the room lit up instantly. As one of the walls is painted in a pistachio colour, I decided to style the room combining different shades of duck green. The Wisteria collection creates a very harmonious ensemble here and blends beautifully with the Fenn Hedgerow shades. Fresh flowers are an occasional treat and make the room even cosier. I’m pleased with the final result: it has a soothing feeling that helps me to unwind each time I step in.
Catherine has the girliest room ever: she is obsessed with pink, princesses, butterflies and, most of all, glitter. Her room still needs some finishing touches and a bedside table is first on my list. Life has been pretty hectic lately so, for the time being, the Bella Butterfly box sets replace a bed side table brilliantly: they are cute, sturdy and perfect for her little treasures. The Bella Butterfly stickers decorate the walls beautifully with no drilling involved (a must when renting). They can easily be replaced in case her taste changes. Catherine loves her room and more and more she enjoys spending time there, especially “reading” her books.
This is my second favourite room in the house: it has that country/cottage feel that I was after for ages. I must confess that I’m not a big cook, in fact I don’t like cooking at all. Baking on the other hand gives me great pleasure and so does setting up a beautiful table, both for my guests and for the four of us. On this occasion I have used the Whitby check tablecloth combined with the seaspray fabric placemat: Catherine loves it when she can dine with proper grown up tableware and so do I.
Cake is, of course, a must and I always colour the frosting: it makes such a difference and the cake looks far more attractive (plus you can hide a messy looking dessert if your little assistant did any damage to it, trust me it happens all the time).
I hope you like this mini home tour, the rest of the rooms are far from finished and my winter project will be a playroom so I will be keeping myself busy! What about you? Do you have any projects for the upcoming season? I would love to hear about your plans.
How lovely is Sara’s home?! How have you made your rented home into your dream home? Let us know below or on Twitter @LauraAshleyUK