3 Clever Design Lessons to Steal from This 875-Square-Foot Rental in the U.K.

published Nov 21, 2021
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When Laura Bradford moved into her Brighton, United Kingdom, rental, she immediately got to work, thinking of clever ways to put her stamp on her home without changing anything permanently. As someone who loves color and bold prints, she really had to think outside of the box, she says, explaining how challenging it is to infuse personality into a rental. But Bradford is a super-creative person and found several (temporary) ways to bring her own vibe into her home.

We took the tour, and we were impressed at Bradford’s fun-yet-functional kitchen. As we were reading, we found three smart design ideas that we thought were definitely worth stealing. Let’s take a look!

1. Turn your cabinets into open shelving.

Bradford likes to follow this simple advice: “Don’t be afraid to try things!” To show off her eclectic collection of kitchen goods in her small space, she took off the doors of her rental kitchen’s plain cabinetry. She then used the converted open shelves to display her most-used kitchen items and favorite collected pieces, such as her stash of coffee mugs, a skeleton-shaped plate, and kitschy cereal bowls. “I’m definitely a maximalist. Less is absolutely a bore to me,” she says with a laugh.

2. Hang plants from the window.

Bradford — who wholeheartedly admits she “just can’t get enough of plants” —  uses hanging greenery instead of curtains to creatively frame her kitchen windowsill. By allowing the light to shine through her window, she keeps the tiny kitchen feeling airy. Plus, she used the molding as her “hook” so she didn’t even have to drill holes into the wall.

3. Spice things up with removable stickers.

“In my last flat I was lucky in that my landlord let me paint, but I knew I wouldn’t be as lucky this time around so I started thinking up clever ways to put my stamp on the place without changing anything permanently,” Bradford says. To make her kitchen her own, she added bold removable geometric-shaped stickers to her kitchen tile. “Get some vinyl to cover those tiles you hate,” she suggests. While she was at it, she added sticker decals to the inside of her open cabinetry, too.

Do you have any temporary solutions for decorating a rental? Tell us in the comments below.