Over the weekend Rob and I gave our living room a mini makeover. We live in a rented house, which means we’re quite limited to what we can do to our home, although our landlords did a great job in the first place. But it’s nice to inject a little character into your space and that can be quite tricky when you can’t change the walls or floors.
So, on Saturday we decided to freshen things up. First step – hiring a carpet cleaner. We have a cream carpet in our living room (WHY?) which was looking decidedly dirty… although I had no idea just HOW filthy it was. The colour of the water in the Rug Doctor (yep, that’s the name of this particular brand of carpet cleaner) was disgusting but also fascinating. Who knew it could suck up so much? Rob went over the carpet a few times and the difference is amazing – the entire room looks so much brighter. Well worth the £21.99 it cost to hire the cleaner.
With the carpet cleaned and the rest of the room dusted down, I set about adding in that elusive ‘character’. Here are some photos of the results…
I’ve been collecting old books for about a year – I try to buy ones I’ve actually read (or want to read) so I haven’t got a huge amount, but I think they look amazing displayed around the house. Modern book spines just aren’t the same. I stack them on shelves around the living room, mixing them in with other thrifted treats (I love matryoshka dolls and old tins). When sprucing up the room we threw out an old side table, so I stacked some of the bigger books to serve as a stand for the lamp (which is from Ikea).
Hanging things on the walls of rented properties is a risky business – in the past I’ve been charged for BluTac marks, so you really do have to be careful. I generally opt for the ‘get ’em up there and worry about it later’ approach, so I’d suggest having a tube of PolyFilla on hand for moving out day.
On our walls we have a mix of frames with photos and prints inside. TK Maxx is amazing for framed prints, but I also collect frames at car boots and charity shops. The silver antlers were a TK Maxx find a few weeks ago – Rob has walked into them twice but they remain on the wall… for now.
My favourite thing about our house is the wood burning stove. If I ever own a house of my own, this is the first thing I’d put in. There’s nothing better than throwing on some logs on a cold day, and the stove itself is a beautiful focal point in the room.
I try not to clutter up the hearth with too much stuff – some candles, a family photo and a bunch of bright, cheap blooms usually do the trick (I move them when the fire’s on). We collected a load of logs from my mum’s house at the weekend – if you can deal with the odd woodlouse sneaking across your carpet, chopped logs always look great out on display. The canvas print of Paris is just something cheap I found at a charity shop but it fits perfectly against the wall.
Finally, a few gratuitous shots of Travis. He loves lounging in the, erm, lounge, and the window is his favourite spot. The old fashioned phone was a car boot find a while ago.
Do you have any tips for freshening up a room? How do you make your home feel new?