A Peek Inside My Living Room

Posted in Home, Second Hand Shopping.

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…

uk fashion blog lifestyle blog post uk uk lifestyle blogger uk fashion and lifestyle blog

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).

uk interiors blog interior blog post inspiration

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.

uk home blog post lifestyle blogger uk uk fashion and lifestyle blog

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.

uk fashion blogger home blog inspiration

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?



I love posts like this. The books are lovely, the older style look much nicer than the newer style I find 🙂 You’re lucky you’ve got a fire, they’re always gorgeous focal points x


I’d love an open fire like that! We’re hoping to get one in the dining room when we can afford it. (so not for a while with the wedding haha!). we also have cream carpet but we only have ourselves to blame for that. It’s a pain to keep clean but lovely and cosy compared to the laminate that was originally down.


Well, your landlord did a way better job than mine. Your home oozes character despite the fact that it’s rented.
Also, your cat looks exactly like mine. 😀


Your home looks lovely! I have a cream carpet too and we’ve only lived here two months and it’s already a state! If and when I ever buy somewhere it’s going to have wood throughout please!


Beautiful old books! I’m trying to find a suitable rented house to live in and it’s a nightmare at the moment. I’ve got serious wood-burning stove envy!

Cheap Kicks

My mum borrowed a carpet cleaner and told anyone who would listen how fab I was, I went around while she had it so I even got a demonstration xxx


I feel like this! I’ve been recommending it to everyone, and Rob and I marvelled at its power for HOURS.


Love what youve managed to do! Our landlord TOO opted for cream carpet throughout and it too look horridly black in areas on the edges. They claim it was carpet cleaned professionally, if so, I dread to see what it was like before! xxx


Yes, I love that about olds things too. Some of the books have inscriptions and messages written in them which is always fascinating!


Hey nice to meet you – I really like the photos, the picture that you got from the Charity shop – I have the exact same hanging on the wall in my dining room ! I think a good clean, a scented candle and best of all some new cushions always spruce up a room . We have a cream carpet in our living room as well. A little tip (if you dont mind ) I have pair of slippers for the lounge and another pair for the rest of the house. This idea was given to me by the man who steam cleaned my carpet. I like your blog so looking forward to the next one Susann x


We rented a Rug Doctor a while back – the colour of the water was absolutely disgusting! Doesn’t bear thinking about really.

Love the pictures of your living room, we’ve just rented a new flat and I’m looking to decorate it in this sort of vintage-y style – have already started collecting vases and frames ready! xoxo


Books and flowers, your room exudes warm and comfort and ofcourse the fact that your love books. I too have to change the decor of my room, but I am just too lazy…
Monotonous Musings


We really want a log burning stove for our living room but they’re about a grand! I love yours, it looks really cosy and toasty. x


They are expensive, we’re very lucky to have one in our rented place. I would say though, when we have it on we don’t use the heating and it warms the entire house (keep the doors open and the heat rises right to the top). If you’re clever with wood too – buy in bulk from farms etc and not from supermarkets – it can be very cheap to run. Definitely cheaper than central heating! So a big outlay up front but worth it in the long run? Maybe! x


Hi Jen,

I’ve just discovered your blog and am really loving it. You always know when you have come across a great blog as I can’t wait to get home and read through your entire blog!

I live in a rented place too and it is hard to sometimes give it personal touches with all the restrictions. I hate the “no hanging things on walls” general rule as I love to hang up photos etc. I play a bit by your rule too to be honest, I will just cross my fingers when I remove the adhesive hooks when we move out and hope there is no mark!

Looking forward to reading all yours posts 🙂

Beth xx


Leave a comment