Interior Design Ideas for a Rental Flat
Just to clarify, before I begin this post, I have not started another side hustle as an interior designer. Nope, I just moved and watched about 810 different ‘flat tour’ and ‘DIY’ videos on YouTube.
My personal favourites/recommendations being:
I’m moving! Again.
So I’ve lived in London since August 2017 and I am moving for the third time. I have loved living in my little studio flat for about 18 months, and honestly I’m moving simply for space-sake.
I had an ephiphany after New Year’s, whist suffering from norovirus, that I no longer wanted to be sleeping in the same room that I cook my food, eat it, and suffer from norovirus. It’s not hygienic.
As such, I began looking for a place. With the luxury of having no deadline and a set idea of where I wanted to move to – in this case South London – I set about looking.
But this post isn’t about the looking process. Instead it’s about the Interior Design process.
My new home
My new flat is a one bed maisonette that comes with a full kitchen (minus a freezer, but with a dryer?!) a separate bedroom, living room and a bathroom with a tub! In London that is the quadfecta!
But, also, this flat comes completely unfurnished. And as someone who has only ever lived in furnished flats that meant spending some of my parents hard-earn cash. I know that is such a middle-class white girl thing to say, but sadly it is true. However, my parents will be paid back every penny (plus interest in hugs) the moment I get my next pay cheque.
What money I do have spare, after paying the deposit, the holding fee and booking the moving van is going to go on basic home furnishings.
Since this is my first unfurnished, full-grown flat, I decided to think of it more as an interior design project than a ‘get-whatever-is-cheap-and-hope-it-works’ flat that I’ve previously lived in.
Deciding on a theme
So, after binge-watching multiple YouTube channels I discovered I needed to do three things. Firstly, I needed to decide on a theme.
I chose to do this just for the living room and bedroom, as the bathroom and kitchen are basically themed anyway based on their tilings. The kitchen is orange and the bathroom is white.
The living room and bedroom though are plain so I have decided that the theme is pink, white and grey. I originally thought about doing more grey, white and green but I found it harder to find green pieces that I liked, but I found quite a few that I liked in pink. Plus I have a ton of pink already, being a millennial.
Create a moodboard for each room
Next up was probably my favourite thing of this whole project. I created a moodboard for each room. In the case of the living room I created two – one of the furniture and the other of the gallery wall I’m planning.
Now these pieces are not necessarily the pieces I am buying (except the furniture, which is the furniture I have got) but rather pieces I like and think would work well together.
The whole point of the moodboard is to find like-items that tie well together, and keep your overall theme intact.
These are my initial ideas. Oh, and by the way I created these moodboards on Canva.
I’m trying to keep the bedroom simple and plain. This room isn’t very big so I don’t want the furnishings to overwhelm it. Hence there won’t be many.
The Living Room
The living room is the largest room in the house and not only a living room but also my dining room and study. I want it to be relaxing and a place to chill, but also a room that I feel able to to get my head down and do my work.
A lot of the pieces of furniture I bought for my studio flat are going to go in this room i.e. the table, bookcase, coffee table and rug. Only the sofa is brand new, and all the other items are ones I like the style and colour of and as such, am sourcing.
Since I don’t have a desk I’ll be using my dining table as my workspace so it’s key to me to find chairs that are comfortable. That doesn’t necessarily mean brand new, but something sturdy and soft rather than your typical wooden or leather dining chairs.
Another aspect of the living room I’m going to create is a gallery wall.
I have a ton of artwork already, so this moodpboard was really my way of playing around with shapes and textures to see what kind of style I like.
I really like the hanging clock and chain artwork as I think it changes it up from your typical framed photos. I’m also not big on hanging photos around my house for some reason, so I’m going to go for prints and art rather than personal photos.
Like I said before, the bathroom is mostly white, so I’m sticking with that theme in the items that I bring in.
Since I already have things like a toilet roll basket and a hand wash/toiletry set I’m not going to replace everything. Instead I’m just going bring in a few key pieces to decorate. Plus hang up some fun tongue-in-cheek artwork if I can.
And lastly the kitchen.
Again, I’ve already got a ton of mason jars with dry goods from living zero waste – so no need to go out and buy a ton of those. I do want to get a cutlery drawer as my current space doesn’t have drawers but my new one does and I don’t want my cutlery just laying about.
I also want to replace my pots and pans, as some of mine have seen better days.
In addition, I wanted to get a few functional decor pieces for things like my bread and utensils as currently my studio kitchenette storage is more of a ‘wherever you can find room’ rather than a well-thought out interior design.
But those are my moodboards and my general thought process for decorating the flat.
The third thing to do when doing the interior design for a rental, is source materials. By that I mean shopping around.
I love a bargain so I’m intending on going to multiple thrift stores and vintage fairs down in South London when I move. I’m also regularly looking on eBay and Gumtree to see what bargains I can find.
In addition to thrifting though, I am looking at furniture stores like IKEA, Habitat, Wayfair and Made to find some extra furniture like chairs and bookshelves. And H&M home, Etsy and TK Maxx for home decor and finishing extra touches.
When I find the right pieces for the right price I’ll get them. There’s no rush, and it’s not like I have a ton of money to spend having just paid all of my moving costs – plus I still owe my parents! – but it’s a nice project to have to work on. And with the moodboards and the YouTube videos I’ve found an easy way to stay on track and design my rental flat just the way I want too.