House Rental tips, painting to transform your house into a home

So six years ago we relocated from Yorkshire to the North East for my Husband’s job. Due to the drop in house prices we decided to rent out our town house and rent ourselves until the market started to improve. As you can imagine being passionate about interiors I found this really frustrating and still do at times but over the past six years I have found many different ways to work around it to make a space feel cosy and become a place that I can relax and look forward to coming home to which to me is really important.

One of the main things that I would advise before you commit to renting a property is check whether or not the landlords will allow you to paint. This is by far the most transformative thing that you can do to make a place feel like yours. Especially if you’re planning on staying there for more than a few years. We’ve found that one year rolls into the next and before you know it 5 years of renting has passed by.

If they say no, here are a few ways in which you can try to convince them:

  1. Let them know that you are willing to pay for any materials and do the painting yourself so they know you’re not expecting them to help. I think that if you show you care about the place and are wiling to put some money and elbow grease into making a beautiful home, you’re more likely to get them on side and maybe even to help out.
  2. Tell them you’ll happily paint it back before you move out, after all It’s only a tin of paint, you don’t have to use expensive brands.
  3. Collate a few images together of the look that you want to achieve so that you can show the landlords how good you’re going to make it look.
  4. If you know that you’re going to be renting for at least a year you could offer to sign a longer lease to show your long-term value.
  5. Send them over to my website so they can see what transformations can be made!
  6.  If none of the above works and you still love the property then you could move in and ask again six months down the line. By then they’ll know you are good, reliable tenants. You will have gained more trust and they won’t want the hassle and expense of having to re market the property.

Our 1st rental property was a fabulous barn conversion which was brand spanking new and painted magnolia throughout. People that follow me on Instagram will know by now that I have a severe allergy to magnolia!!! We had lovely landlords so once we were settled in i asked if ok to paint and they said no problem. So we slowly began to transform each room with just a few tins of paint, so for very little cost but it made a huge difference.

Here are a few before and after photo’s.

Rental interior makeover living room Rental property after photo, dark interior
Rental property makeover Interior make over
Rental property, before make over, living room, interior After photo, rental property makeover, dark interior
rental property kitchen, before photo Rental property, interior makeover, after photo, dark interiors
Bedroom makeover, rental property, before photo Bedroom make over, rental property, after photo


As you can see, a tin or two of paint really does make a difference. Same with wallpaper, in our current property the Landlords had a William Morris wallpaper in the breakfast room which is fabulous wallpaper but not my taste. At first they didn’t want me to paint over it but I agreed that if necessary i would replace it when we move out and they were fine with that. I also removed the carpet as it’s a very small room so I sanded/painted the floor boards but more of that in another post.

Here’s the steps I took:


I really can’t stress enough how much difference a tin of paint makes…… such a transformation to any room.

Have you got any recent projects or any rental decor experiences that you’d like to share? Please comment below or use #kerrylockwoodindetail.

You can see more photo’s of the above makeover in the projects section of my website.


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