Episode Five is out today and you can, as always listen to it here, or wherever you like to download it from. We are often being asked about details from the shows so we thought it would be good to summarise the information in a blog post so you don’t have to scramble for a pen while you’re listening. Although do, of course, feel free to listen as many times s you like….
For this episode Sophie and I went to our producer Kate’s rented flat, as that was the main topic of this week’s show – since more and more of us live in rented accommodation we thought it would be good idea to focus on what you can do to personalise and improve your space when there may be lots of rules and regulations in place.
Some of these tips would also work for first time buyers who’ve spent all the money on the mortgage and haven’t got any left over for big changes and, of course, student accommodation.
vinyl tile splashback from beijaflorworld ships worldwideUnsurprisingly, Sophie suggested that the way to compensate for magnolia walls and beige carpets was to really go bold with the accessories – bed linen, rugs, cushions and artwork. And if you’re not allowed to fix things to the wall then make sure you get hold of some command strips – just read the instructions for taking them off properly.
The US market is way ahead of us when it comes to removable – or peel and stick – wallpaper so do look at that and see if you can find someone who ships to the UK.
Finally, don’t rule out wall stickers. These days there are hundreds to choose from and some even come in tiles so you cover a whole wall. Last year I also wrote about a tile sticker that you can use over ugly tiles (see above). And, of course, don’t rule out asking the landlord if you can paint – particularly if you can sell it as an improvement to an existing paint job and make the place look better.
Other tips included Haru tape and, stylist’s trick this – warming any stickers with a hairdryer before you peel them off which just softens the glue a bit. One enterprising listener told us she had wallpapered an entire flat using double-side sticky tape so she could peel it off when she moved out.
Lastly, if you want a book for lots of ideas then Joanna Thornhill’s re-issued book Insta-style For Your Living Space has nothing to do with instagram (despite its title) but is more about quick and affordable ideas that work brilliantly for renters and first-time buyers. I think it’s a really clever book and one that might make a good Christmas present for all sorts of people.
We also spoke about Christmas presents and I have discussed that at length on earlier this week so I’ll leave that one for now but if you want to hear us discussing our own Christmas traditions – particularly what Sophie likes to drink at this time of year then do go and have a listen.
Finally, in our ongoing plan a room series it was time for the spare room. And here Sophie had a great tip – ramp up the colour, now I appreciate this won’t necessarily be a surprise to regular listeners, but she makes the point, and it’s a good one, that you aren’t in there that often so it’s a great place to experiment with something colourful. And, she adds, since you don’t want your guests outstaying their welcome, a splash of wallpaper that might give them a headache after two days is no bad thing.
We also suggested, if you can, not overfilling this room. No guest needs a wardrobe so a row of hooks or shaker pegs all along the wall will work just as well for the odd outfit and you can also hang pictures from them as well. Try and keep it clutter free as far as you can.
And don’t forget the multi-functional furniture – sofa beds and desks than can double up as dressing tables and, if you don’t have a sofa bed, Sophie suggests a high bed that you can store spare mattresses and futons underneath.
So there you have the highlights from the show. You will need to tune in for more details and also for the design crimes but I hope you will find these notes helpful whether you are a regular listener or not.