Tuesday 11 December 2018

5 Ways To Upgrade Your Rented Home

This post is sponsored by Leesa

I have lived in rented homes for as long as I remember, and ever since I moved out from my family home I have been the same - but the real question is how do you make a rented home, FEEL like home still abiding to all of the guidelines? So we're talking no paint, keeping that grotty bathroom situation as is and not being able to hang pictures up on the wall with nails and screws etc. but trust me, with a little effort you'll have your home feeling like home in no time at all! 

Right this way for a few ideas... 

Making your bed feel like the comfiest hotel bed you've ever slept on (or better!)

I've always had this thing about hotel beds. I mean, definitely not all of them, but why do we put up with something fairly mediocre at home but dream about those odd nights of absolute bliss when you are away. I had this realisation fairly recently and so it became my mission to upgrade our bed situation. Now we are around halfway there, but already we can feel SO much of a difference.

We started by upgrading our pillows. We got our hands on a pair of Goose Down pillows after several squishes of lots of lots. We fell in love and OMG does a comfy pillow make all of the difference. Now just to get a second pair as I am an absolute comfort fiend...

Then came the mattress. I had never thought about getting my own mattress as for ease there is always one that comes with the flats we rent, but enough was enough and it was most definitely time to wave goodbye to the lumpy old one we had been sleeping on for the past year. We upgraded to a Leesa mattress. I am not going to lie, I had always been a bit sceptical by the whole 'Mattress in a box' trend - I mean, how good can it really be?

We have a Double Leesa Mattress, and you may have spotted its arrival on my Instagram here. Obvs, I had to get that classic shot with the box. I mean, did you really get a 'Mattress in a box' if you didn't Instagram it first? The UK Double Mattress comes to £650 and spoiler, it is TOTALLY worth the money. I had always thought that a hotel style mattress (in fact, we have stayed in a few hotels recently and this one is more comfortable than those there) would cost the earth, hence why I hadn't ever contemplated it but considering the amount of your life you spend in your bed, it is well worth the investment (and it lasts!).

Now I am no mattress specialist, but I do know a comfy one from an uncomfortable one, and seriously you can really tell the difference. The Leesa mattress is created with a unique combination of three foam layers and what makes it different from other foam mattresses, is the top layer - the 'Avena foam'. This is a responsive material that allows airflow through the mattress for a cooler nights sleep and provides enough bounce for freedom of movement. One thing I would note, is that once you take it out of the box it takes a few days or so to really get to it's ultimate comfort. So don't judge based on the first few nights sleep. Trust me, it gets better! But if it isn't for you, Leesa also have a 100 night risk free trial. So if you're not happy within 100 days, they will come to collect it and donate it to a local charity. I LOVE this. No wastage at all!

They also plant a tree for every mattress sold and donate a further mattress for every ten sold. Purchasing from brands that try to do their bit, really make the difference for me.

The Leesa mattress is one of our favourite ways we have upgraded the bedroom of late, now just to get rid of our other mattress (Hello rented flat problems, our Estate Agent's still haven't decided what they'd like to do with it so it is currently sitting in our Kitchen until the decision has been made - why is everything so slow?!) and upgrade our duvet and bedding. Simple things, but we like to space it out so not to hit the bank balance all at the same time.

Purchase your mattress with the discount code STUDSANDDREAMS for £100 of your mattress.

Hanging pictures (and being able to remove them!)

I know, I know. Nails and screws etc are a no go but I was introduced to the Command Picture Hanging Strips a couple of years ago and they are a game changer! They are little strips that you stick to your picture frame and then the wall and they are strong enough to hang them while also being incredibly easy to take down when you move. You can pick them up all over the place in different sizes for different frames, but I usually pick mine up from Amazon or Ebay for ease. 

Hanging pictures on your wall instantly gives the place life. I try to buy my pictures already framed because I am queen of leaving a picture unframed for years, or I purchase the frame from Amazon or similar straight after purchasing the picture. Oliver Bonas is one of my favourites for affordable art already framed, I have one piece and am ALWAYS eyeing up others for my home. They have some in different shapes and sizes so are great for helping to create a gallery wall or can add a bit of colour and design to all of the nooks in your rented home. If you want to invest in some actual art, taking a trip to the Affordable Art Fair or my personal favourite, Jealous are great options. Jealous has some seriously cool pieces and they offer a monthly payment scheme as they think everyone should own some art. 

Pick up small ornaments and decorations as you travel to fill your home with memories

Everywhere we go, I like to try and buy SOMETHING for the house. Whether it's something simple like a small dish to pop bits and bobs in on the coffee table, a plate or bowl, or even something as functional as a magazine rack. I like to fill my house with memories and it also means the homeware expense is split out over a time so it doesn't hit your bank balance in one go. 

We also have a pin board in our kitchen filled with photo booth photos, business cards from our favourite restaurants, gig tickets etc. We add to this as we go too and it really adds a lot of personality to our space. 

Fill your house with plants

I am very quick becoming a bit of a plant lady. I already am very at my limit with the amount of plants I should probably have in my home, however I can imagine it just won't end here. It fills my home with life and I adore the look of all of the green! I have picked up my plants from all over the place - we have many but if you're willing to do some digging to find what you're looking for then I'd recommend checking out Columbia Road Flower Market to try and find some bargains, B&Q, Ikea and Homebase are also pretty good too. If you're all about speed and ease though, I'd highly recommend Patch Plants. I adore their concept and their site is so easy to navigate. They help you choose the right plants for your space and deliver them to your door. You can also buy plant pots that fit so it's all sorted in one go! They are affordable and the quality looks seriously great. 

Upgrade your TV situation

And I'm not talking about getting a better TV, because let's face it, we'd all love to do this but there are ways to make your TV watching situation better without it. I'm not talking about quality, I'm talking about content. Everyone has Netflix, but since we got Now TV and our Amazon Fire Stick our choices have seriously upped their game. First things first, I'm talking Now TV - get this in place of the expensive Sky or Virgin Media. You buy the box and with that you get access to all of the general TV stations and on top of that you can add packages. We pay for the Entertainment package every month which gives us access to channels like MTV and Sky Atlantic which is right up our street. You can often get deals for this and when you buy the box you usually get a few months free too. If Sports or Movies are your thing, these are also available too. If you decide you want to use it for a month or two, you can cancel super easily which I love. Sports is also available in one day packages.  The Amazon Fire Stick is great if you have Amazon Prime as it gives you access to SO many moves (so is perfect for this time of year!) and all of the Amazon shows. Great if you are looking for a bit more choice. 

We are very much still in the process of making little changes to our rented home (one step at a time right!?) so let me know if you have any tips in the comments below! 

Lorna x

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