Get their look: Dramatic rental property

Dramatic rental propertycredit

This striking rental property is the home of Northumberland-based stylist and blogger, Kerry Lockwood and her family. If you were of the impression that being a renter meant forgoing a beautiful home, then this fabulous place can certainly change that. We know that it’s not always easy (or even possible) to convince landlords to allow changes, but if it is, then the before and after photos of Kerry’s home should provide real inspiration.

This living room is filled with natural light from a large bay window. The dark walls provide a real sense of drama both day and night – and are a perfect backdrop for her collection of artwork. Furniture, accessories and textiles layer natural tones and there’s a shimmer of metallic here and there. It looks like a comfortable, relaxed home – and very lovely indeed.

  1. Bellenger ‘simple pratique élégant favor’ reproduction poster
  2. Kate Moss ‘Life is a Joke’ photographic print
  3. ‘On air’ light box
  4. Nadadora glicée print by Blanca Gomez
  5. Farrow & Ball ‘Stiffly Blue’
  6. Dark grey Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen
  7. Original 1227 giant floor lamp by Anglepoise
  8. John Lewis Ikon large 3-seater sofa
  9. STOCKHOLM handmade/striped black/off-white mat

Click here to see more of our ‘Get their look‘ features.

Get their look: Dramatic rental property | H is for Home

How to make a rented house feel like a home

Open-plan living area in a rented housecredit

For many people, owning their own home isn’t an immediate requirement or indeed financially possible for the foreseeable future. Living at home with parents, house-sharing or renting a flat are the options while working in an area for a short period of time, looking for the ideal home to purchase – or saving for a deposit on their own place.

If you’re living in a rented house, how do you make it feel like home? How do you personalise it and inject some of your own personality? There are a lot of very quick and inexpensive things you can do to make it your own. A couple of the more permanent tips below may require permission from your letting agents or landlord. But it doesn’t hurt to ask, what have you got to lose?

Sitting room with floor to ceiling bookshelves with colour coded bookscredit


Books always make a house feel like a home, adding a certain warmth and personality to the place. You can buy them really cheaply at charity shops and car boot sales. You can take them with you when you move, re-donate them to charity or use a website like BookCrossing where you register your unwanted books then leave them in public spaces for the next person to enjoy them.

Large money plant in a yellow dipped ceramic potcredit


Plants can add instant character to a home – perhaps it’s the presence of another life. They provide colour & structure – and there are limitless options when it comes to pots or containers. There’s something to suit all decorating schemes. With plants removing the negative ions from the atmosphere released by the ever-increasing number of electrical devices we have around the space, there’s a health benefit too.

Corner with white dining table, chairs and dark grey painted wall hung with a framed vintage TWA Africa postercredit

Photos, posters and artwork

Photos, posters and artwork can add almost instant colour and style to a room. Do ask before you begin drilling holes though. If you’re given the go-ahead, don’t forget you’ll need to go around with filler and paint to make good before moving out. Don’t use drawing pins, Sellotape/Scotch Tape to stick up photos or posters, it will damage both the walls and your pictures. If you use Blu-tack, try the white version which leaves less conspicuous dots on the wall when pictures & posters are removed… unless your walls are painted blue that is!

Large colourful rug in a mid-century modern inspired sitting roomcredit

Rugs and throws

You can inject your own taste or choice of colour instantly through the use of rugs or throws. This can be particularly successful if the landlord has decorated in a fairly neutral background colour. It also warms and softens a hard wood, tiled or laminate floor.

Removable 'Ponder' wallpaper from Graham & Browncredit

Paint or paper the walls

Rental properties are often painted floor to ceiling in magnolia or white. Very neutral, but very ubiquitous, impersonal or perhaps a little bland. Landlords are sometimes open to tenants painting or papering a feature wall. There is actually a wide range of specialist removable wallpapers on the market.

Collection of colourful neck ties hanging over a white-painted bannistercredit

Personal collections

Building a collection can be a great hobby. Concentrate on smaller items if you’re going to be moving them at some point soon – perhaps leave that lawn mower collection till you have your forever home! It’s a bonus if your collection is easily displayed to bring interest & character to your living space. Groups of glass or pottery vases are ideal – or even colourful neck ties like in the photo above.

Multi-drawer storage inset into eaves in a loft roomcredit

Put things away

Sometimes, less is more. If your furnished rented house or flat feels cluttered put some of the excess things away out of sight – in cupboards, drawers, loft or cellar if there is one. If there are items that aren’t to your taste – lamps or lampshades, cushions or nick-nacks box them up and hide them away somewhere safe where they won’t get soiled or damaged. You want your deposit back when you eventually move out so you can at least guarantee that there won’t have been any mishaps if items have been stored away properly.













Why cities like York offer a great investment opportunity

'Why cities like York offer a great investment opportunity' blog post banner

City of York plaque on a gate in the citycredit

Our post about investing in property outside of London generated a huge amount of interest. It seems that many of our readers were interested in the idea of avoiding the extraordinarily high property prices of the capital and wanted to look into investing in other places. This prompted us to do a bit more research and expand on the subject.

Here we’re going to look at investing in other city locations using York as an example. We’re in regular contact with several letting agencies in York, so know already that the city is a good place to invest. In addition, the latest statistics indicate that rental rates in the city have recently risen by over 20%. It’s a great example of somewhere outside of the capital where property investments have really paid off.

Several cities in the UK have the potential to take off in the same way as York. Below we take a closer look at why York has become such a good place for people to invest in property.

York Universitycredit

York is a university city

Demand for student accommodation is definitely growing in the UK. Up until this year, the number of students each university could take was capped. This limited the number of people who could study in the UK, but despite this cap demand for student accommodation outstripped availability everywhere. Now that the cap on student numbers no longer exists, demand for accommodation in university cities can only increase even more.

Red York CitySightseeing bus in front of York Castlecredit

York is a tourist city

The city of York is a big tourist destination that is becoming more & more popular. This year visitor numbers are up by 10% and that’s the 5th year tourist numbers have gone up.

Increasingly, visitors to the UK are rejecting hotel & bed and breakfast accommodation. Many are opting instead to rent houses or flats and tourists are now renting individual rooms in people’s homes.

This has created another pool of potential renters for both home-owners and landlords in the city. Tourists visit the city of York all year round and they pay well for accommodation, so it easy to make a profit leasing out holiday properties in the city and the surrounding area.

Street scene in York city centrecredit

York has a growing population

Property prices and rent have risen so much in the South East that many people can no longer afford to live there. People are increasingly moving further north and York is proving to be one of the most popular destinations for people looking for a new place to live.

York Train Stationcredit

York has fantastic amenities

York has great links with the rest of the UK. London is just a two-hour train journey away and Manchester is just an hour and a quarter away.

The fact that it is a student city and a tourist destination means that there is no shortage of things for people to do and see in the area. This makes it very attractive as a place to live for young people who cannot afford to set up home in the South East.

Several other cities in the UK tick the same boxes as York. Edinburgh, Oxford and Coventry are just three of them and all of them offer great value for money when it comes to investment property.