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3 (Rental-Friendly) Interiors Trends I’m Loving Right Now

As many of you know, renting in Dublin can be tough. As editor of Image Interiors & Living, I see the most beautiful, inspiring homes in the country on a regular basis. As someone who has been renting in Dublin for almost ten years, I’ve seen the most depressing, uninspiring spaces masquerading as homes on an all-too regular basis. It’s hard to find places that are nicely furnished, or, better yet, come unfurnished and give you the freedom to do your thing. 

All too many times when renting, I’ve made do with what was there, grumbling inwardly every time I returned home to a magnolia wall, a greying china ball light fixture, or a shiny black leather armchair. But places like Justina Blakeney’s ‘jungalow‘ give me hope, and remind me that you absolutely can put your own personality on a rental space, ugly tiles be dammed. So here are three spring/summer interiors trends that I’m loving right now, and that are easy to work into a rental space. I promise this post will not contain: beautiful white-washed wooden floors (because what rental has those?), gorgeous kitchen cabinets (ditto) or things that require you to paint extensively/drill holes (though some landlords are cool with that).

5 rental friendly interiors trends to update your space for spring.

Pops of yellow. The quickest, easiest and cheeriest way to brighten up a room. Cover that pine dining table in a simple, neutral tablecloth (Meadows & Byrne do some nice ones, and the Linen Casual range from Casamance is beautiful) and add in a bright light fixture, crockery, or even the odd tea towel. The spring/summer update from Helen James at Dunnes has some nice citrus hits.
[pic spotted on Intwine ]

5 rental friendly interiors trends to update your space for spring.

Plants, plants everywhere. Botanicals are big this season, but it’s my humble opinion that they should be big every year, especially in rental spaces. Houseplants add colour, texture, and freshness, while different vessels and containers let you play with shapes to add interest to dull mantles, window ledges and coffee tables. My recently-purchased burro’s tail succulent is still the star of my mantlepiece. Dublin has really upped its house plant game of late – Appassionata on Drury St is brilliant for super low-maintenance air plants and potted flowers, while The Garden, Powerscourt and Temple Bar, always stocks a brilliant collection of succulents and cacti. Both are almost impossible to kill (that doesn’t mean I haven’t offed a few.). Ikea usually a have decent selection (dangerously easy to impulse buy on your way out), including some nice hanging plants, and I’ve picked up the odd fern or pretty potted plant in Woodies. [pic]

5 rental friendly interiors trends to update your space for spring.

Ladders + lights. Ladders have been trending for a while now, and, living in a rental, it’s easy to see why – no drilling or screws are required, they offer storage for everything from towels to magazines and kind of just look cool propped up and draped with pretty fairy lights in that weird corner you don’t know what do with it. I’ve had my eye on this cute dip-dye number from Irish company Snug for a while now. Those little cotton ball lights are super handy too; I have two sets – one, Mexican themed (natch) from Cable and Cotton, and the other a beautiful combo of white and neutral shades (a present from lovely Rincy) that I have draped around a giant branch to greet me at the front door. [pic]

 So that’s it! Are you living in a rental? If so, I’d love to hear what you’re doing to put your stamp on it.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, I’m always adding ideas and lusting after other people’s cool spaces in this Pinterest board.

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  • Reply
    Alex - The Interior DIYer
    April 15, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I sometimes forget I’m not the only one who has to put up with ugly tiles, builders kitchens and ugly leather sofas! Our landlord spent 6 hours in IKEA one day and fitted out the e.n.t.i.r.e apartment. No word of a lie. I love IKEA, but it means if I then want to buy something from IKEA, our apartment quickly starts to look like a catalogue.

    I think we need to start a Renters Anonymous group. We can all share what we’d really love to do to our apartments – paneled walls, kitchen islands, open layouts and legit bathroom storage.

    p.s. I need a ladder like nobodies business. Unfortunately, I have a black thumb, so faux plants will have to do.

    • Reply
      April 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Alex, I think you are SERIOUSLY on to something about the support group! And totally hear you on the Ikea thing; while I too love it, our place looked a little too like a flatpack paradise when we first moved in. Oh and have you tried cacti or succulents? As the lady said to me on the bus when I was bringing my burro’s tail succulent home “they thrive in neglect”. Seriously! I don’t even want to tell you how many ferns I’ve killed, but these guys have survived.

  • Reply
    Nicola Brady
    April 15, 2015 at 8:37 am

    I’ve just moved into a rental and while it could be a lot worse, there’s a lot of blank space to work with!

    My biggest issue is the walls – they’re all a very pale yellow/cream. The landlord has actually said he’ll repaint so hopefully we’ll be rid of it soon, with a nicer neural, but I’m not sure it’ll happen. I’ve been contemplating repainting my bedroom, too.

    But in terms of little things, so far it’s been rugs over carpet stains (shudder) I found some great ones in H&M while I was in Finland – you can order online with parcel motel. The quality of all their homewares is really good.

    And picture collages. I love those Velcro wall fastenings – you don’t have to hammer anything and they don’t leave a mark when you take them down.

    I’ve also tried to make my bed a focal point with blankets and bright pillows.

    • Reply
      April 15, 2015 at 6:09 pm

      Omg, I totally forgot about Parcel Motel! *buys everything on the Zara Home wbsite*

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