I feel so fortunate living in beautiful Sydney, and just like anything truly beautiful, it isn’t cheap. Admittedly my family also choose to live in a harbourside suburb with the highest per capital income in Australia, but hey, I’d rather live close to the city, parks and beaches. It’s leafy and safe.
That is not to say anything disparaging about other ‘burbs in Sydney, we all make our choices and who am I to judge. Even if I wanted to buy an apartment in Sydney in an “entry level” locale, we still couldn’t do it, my daughter wouldn’t be able to go to a top-notch public school like she does and my husband, who sails and mountain bikes, as well as being a photographer, would be too far from his beloved harbour and bushland.
That is not to say anything disparaging about other ‘burbs in Sydney, we all make our choices and who am I to judge. Even if I wanted to buy an apartment in Sydney in an “entry level” locale, (we still couldn’t do it) and my daughter wouldn’t be able to go to a top-notch public school like she does, and my husband, who sails and rides mountain bikes, as well as being a photographer, would be too far from his beloved harbour and bushland.
We’ve had to learn to embrace being a good tenant and how to care for property whilst still enjoying it.
Rather than lament the fact that our homes will be owned by other people, I look for opportunities the enhance/hide or heal the decor of my home.
Many rentals have those vile circa eighties vertical blinds and most are original so in horrible conditions. Take heart, however, these are easy to switch out. Take them down, store them to return when you move out and inject some personality into your home.
El crappo kitchen and bathroom hardware can be switched out to more stylish, yet still affordable versions.
You can return the originals when you leave, but the difference new curtains or blinds can make is immeasurable. Another tip is to swap the kitchen and bathroom hardware, with stylish, affordable versions at hardware superstores like Bunnings.
No Business Like Throw Business(or pillows either)
Adding some knitted or faux fur throws about the place can create warmth and reinforce key colours in your palette. This is the most cost effective way to accessories. Explore textures (faux flokati pillows, suede textured cushions, thick wool rug) to enrich the room, not fill it with more junk.
A Desirable Bedroom
The bedroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. Choose signature pieces to “make” the room. Instead of standout architectural or built-in features, choose items that stand out, in your own style of course, that are portable and say something about you.
These gorgeously vintage inspired beds do verge on the feminine (well, a lot really), but in my life the bedroom is my sanctuary. Sure Mike sleeps there (as well as the only other thing a couple should do in their bed), but I make it a haven, with my dressing table, a small desk, my closet. He always has a shed of sorts (currently it is our sunroom) where he can be a man and hoard stuff that “might come in handy one day”. But the bedroom is my domain. I choose the linen, the colour palette, pillows etc. It is a place to relax, seduce, love, beautify, sleep and rejuvenate.
Faux fur is a great way to add texture and luxury and rugs are fantastic for rental homes as they can cover not-so-perfect carpet. Using removable hooks, to create a frames collage (left wall above) mean you won’t have issues with having to repaint due to holes. I try to keep my palette at home to neutrals (black, brown, cream, white, gold, silver and hints of warm pink. I carry this theme through towels, bed linen (most of which came from Target, they have a stunning 1000 thread count set) and general soft furnishings.
I love statement furniture, mixed with the affordable Ikea-genre functional pieces, because there isn’t too much going on, and the focus is on one or two special pieces commanding attention. Tufted, quilted, Chesterfield style upholstery is very popular, opulent and looks luxurious, but you need to be careful you don’t overdo the “girliness” of the room, when using pieces like this, lest you upset the more blokey members of the house.
A sofa such as the Taupe Bel Air, above, is a sweeping line that softens a room’s angles, but you need “white space” around it, so it doesn’t look crowded. I would also use one or 2 throw pillows, no more.
Rug it up
Nothing will cover the previous tenants “wear and tear”, so investing in some gorgeous floor rugs and runners.
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Sources: popsugar.com , Temple and Webster and Apartment Therapy.