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Home tour: small updates for a rental apartment

Melia’s London apartment is packed with easy-to-achieve updates for making a rented space feel like home. ‘Small changes can make a big difference,’ she says. She shares her ideas.

Bring life into the living room

Melia’s furniture layout reflects how she and her husband, Henrik, like to use the space. ‘We don’t watch TV,’ she says. ‘So why place the sofa facing a wall?’ Instead, they focused on entertaining and relaxing, with a cosy reading and display corner, plus a large dining table that also serves as a home for Melia’s “plant family”. ‘I’m quite attached to my plants and enjoy looking after them and bringing nature inside.’

If renting means you’re not able to make big changes to your home, there are simple things you can do to make it a nicer, more nurturing place to be, without it costing you your deposit
Melia, social media specialist, UK

Make more of a compact kitchen

Think of simple ways to maximise storage, practicality and personality. Magnetic wall strips for knives, rails for hanging pots, and wire baskets and racks are great, low-fuss storage solutions. Plants and pictures add colour and character. ‘Rearranging pots on the windowsill and putting up menus of favourite restaurants on the wall makes me feel happy,’ says Melia.

Big decorating and organisation projects take time, patience and money. My tip is to start small and just go for it

Energise your bedroom

For an instant refresh, try updating bed linen and curtains: ‘It transforms the feel of the room without having to do anything to the walls.’ Other small details, such as small displays and hanging personal touches – like Melia’s handmade flower wreath – complete the space.

Add natural updates to neutral furniture

A pale birch plywood top and statement bonsai soften Melia’s chest of drawers and help break up the all-white look in her bedroom. ‘I find bringing a sense of the outdoors inside is soothing,’ she says. ‘It’s also a good way of creating an impact without relying on pictures, paint or wallpaper.’

Room for change

‘We love this apartment for its high ceilings and the quirky charm of the building. There’s a lot we can’t change, but we’ve learned to work with its limitations. Just moving the furniture around can create a whole new feel.’

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by

Interior designer: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Michael Sinclair
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