Thursday, May 28, 2015

How to Style in a Rental with Coloured Walls

I'm excited that I've finally decided on a colour palette for our room. I've been struggling because I live in a rental house which has a light sage green colour on the walls, and if it was up to me they'd be a beautiful fresh white. The green isn't an awful colour, it definitely could be worse, but it still puts restrictions on what colour scheme I can use, and what works. The photos aren't really showing the colour of the walls too well, but in real life they are an obvious minty, sagey green colour. I'm using lots of black (my favourite, of course), with peach tones, darker blues, and pops of gold. I thought I'd share some tips on how to style in a rental when you have coloured walls.

1. Don't buy a tonne of decor items to fit your rental wall colour that won't fit in with another colour when you move.

This is especially true if you're not planning on staying in the one place too long. I'm not a big fan of green, so I didn't want to buy decor items to fit with a green theme that I couldn't then transport into a different colour scheme when we move house. I think black and gold are pretty safe choices that go with lots of things. I want to keep most of our decor items monochrome so that they can fit with lots of different things. But I think a true black and white monochrome theme only works with white walls that really make the black decor pieces pop (or vice versa). Since we're stuck with the green, I needed to add colours that complimented.

Please excuse the orange coloured wooden dresser. It's actually not in our bedroom at all, but our bedroom has such poor natural light at the moment I couldn't take a good photo in there haha! Please forgive it. :) Our bedroom has white and pale natural wood furniture.

2. Find some colours that you like, that also work with the wall colour.

As I've said, I'm not a huge fan of green. So I'm not about to buy anything green to go with the walls. Instead, I've found colours I actually love, like black, peach and gold, which go with the walls harmoniously. That way when I move and no longer have green walls, I still have items that are in colours I actually enjoy.

The thing that really brought my ideas together in my head was actually this colourful postcard from a friend in America! I already knew I liked peach tones, but when I received the postcard my ideas became a much clearer vision.

3. Decide on a colour palette and stick to it.

Once your ideas have come together to form a colour palette, stick to it. I think the biggest thing for me was looking around at things I already have and asking why I have them. This ties in with de-cluttering your home. Often, I'll have a piece of furniture or knickknack that someone gave me, that I only have out of convenience or feeling guilty about letting it go. But a room will look so much better when you get rid of the things you don't love, and bring in things that match your theme and colour scheme. I'm going to work on this one slowly over time instead of doing a big "makeover" all at once and getting rid of a bunch of things and buying new ones. It's just something to keep in mind. 

I love the peach and gold cushion that I just bought recently, and I love being able to incorporate my Blacklist studio Sea Love poster. The gold triangle canvas is something I painted myself a while ago, and while I wasn't too sure about it, I think it fits in pretty nicely with the rest. 

4. Keep it Simple.

Don't overdo it. Sticking with mostly monochrome accessories and keeping things quite minimal means you won't have a bunch of things that don't go together, and a bunch of things that might not work when you eventually move house. This depends on whether you're going to be staying in the one rental for a long time of course. But if you're moving every year or couple of years, you don't want excess decor and homewares to lug around with you wherever you go. Stick to a few items that you really love.

I thought I'd also share with you a moodboard I made for our room a little while ago, before the postcard arrived and gave me a bit more clarity. The background colour is very close to the actual colour of the walls. The quilt cover set is one we own and are actually using right now. I like the peach and gold and black in this, but I think that darker blue hues will be better than the pastel blues here.

Do you struggle with rental walls you can't paint a different colour? How do you decorate around it? I'd love to know how you get around this obstacle! :)

Nina xo


  1. Thanks for these tips. It's true that spending a ton of money on a color scheme that will only work for a few month would be a shame.

  2. Oh, goodness! I really love that weekly planner! Did you buy it or make it?! And these are great tips! It's kind of difficult to live with someone else's choice of wall colors but you your tips make it so much easier!

    1. Thanks for your comment! The planner is from Kmart here in Australia. It's a blackboard sheet, with a sticker backing (although I've left the backing on and just used washi tape to put it on my wall.) It comes with a white liquid chalk pen! I love it. :) x