As a gal who’s pretty obsessed with interiors – as in, I used to browse the homeware section of the Argos catalogue as a child, just for bants (yes I was very cool) – I’ve spent most of my adult life not really being able to gain much practical experience.
This is mainly because I’ve moved around a lot over the last ten years. At 18 I went from my mum’s house to uni, where I lived in three different houses (all with increasing levels of ick, naturally), then moved to my dad’s before I started renting with Lauren aged 22.
Our first house was a dingy hovel that we only stayed in for six months – which was six months too long with those foul carpets, lemmie tell ya – before moving into our last house, which we were in for four years. That house was actually nice; but as a rented place that had very much been decorated to someone else’s tastes (red damask feature wall, I’m looking at you hun), there was still only so much we could do in terms of making it ‘ours’.
Last year, because owning a property before the age of 50 would be kind of nice, we moved to a smaller rented flat so that we could save a bit more money. And this flat is BEAUTIFUL. The Margot Robbie of flats. With grey wood floors and white walls, it’s modern and minimal and (sorry) very worthy of the ‘gram.
It was such a blank canvas that it was almost a bit daunting deciding what to do with it, but below are the seven things that I’ve found have helped us when styling each room.
(Psst, there’s also a cheeky discount code for Bloom Magic flowers below, so keep reading for that!)
1. Frame your prints. A simple way to make that transition from student pad to council-tax-paying adult home is to frame all of your images. Whether you use photos or artsy prints, adding simple frames turns your mish-mash Blue Tacked collage into a Insta-worthy gallery wall.
2. Introduce some life. And by this I mean actual living things. No not necessarily a pet, because they don’t always live up to the cuddly expectations (see our cat, the unaffectionate arsehole that we now have to look after her for life because lol responsibilities) – but plants and flowers. They add colour, fresh scents and just a bit of life to what can otherwise be a slightly bland sea of flatpack Ikea furniture.
I was recently sent this stunning bouquet* from Bloom Magic, complete with a super chic hat box that I will definitely be re-using for future bunches. If you haven’t heard of them yet, Bloom Magic are a flower delivery company from Ireland that now deliver all over the UK. They’ve worked with the best floral designers to create a fresh, unique online catalogue of blooms and bouquets that can be sent with next day delivery.
If you’ve got an interiors-obsessed friend then I think one of these colourful bouquets is the perfect present for any birthday or spesh occasion. (Bloom Magic have also kindly given me a discount code for any readers looking to place an order. Just use CLAIRE10 at the checkout for 10% off!)
3. Tidy it. Really boring but true. Keeping a flat or house tidy is one of the biggest ways to keep it looking chic, because nothing kills your Scandi vibes quicker than Pringles tubes and stacks of ASOS parcels in your growing ‘to-return’ pile.
4. Add some colour. This was tough for me with our grey-and-white scheme that was 100% me already, but I really found that having one or two accent colours in each room helped give that room its own identity, break up the monochrome and make everything look a bit more ‘together’.
5. Mix your textures. Even with a minimal colour scheme, you can transform your room from basic to boujee simply by adding some texture. Knitted throws and fluffy rugs are cheap to pick up and also a good way to bring in some of those accent colours.
6. Make it yours. I think a bit of personalisation goes a long way. I don’t think I’ll ever be the sort of person to have a giant photo of myself on a canvas above the fireplace, but small touches that show who you are can be a lovely – and still v. chic – addition to a room.
Lauren and I have our little copper L and C things and a few framed photos of friends. I also have my rose gold Bottega bottle that I’ve made into a vase, so it looks kind of cool and boujee but also gives a little hint to my personality (ie Prosecco-guzzling lout).
7. Out with the old. One of the biggest mistakes I made while home-hopping over the last ten years was trying to make certain items work in every different house. From random trinket trays and photo frames to duvet sets and cushions, my desire to not waste things led to everything looking a bit thrown together.
Don’t cling on to something just because you spent £23.99 on it at TK Maxx four years ago – to really change the appearance of a room, you might have to get rid of the older things that just don’t fit (like your nan)(heehee I JOKE).
I hope these tips have helped if you’re thinking of giving your home a little makeover! Thank you to Bloom Magic for sponsoring this post, and don’t forget you can use the Bloom Magic discount code CLAIRE10 for money off your own lovely bouquet! You can visit their website here.