There are some huge advantages to renting – for example, having the freedom to up roots and move as you please, someone else paying for the washing machine to be fixed, being able to choose somewhere you couldn’t necessarily afford if you were buying – but there’s also the disadvantage of not being able to decorate exactly how you like.

If, like me, you live in a house or flat which has little personality – magnolia is the order over the day over at Apartment Number 4 – then there a few ways to really brighten up your space. One of which is artwork, whether that be paintings, prints or photography.

Today I wanted to show you how you can use pieces of art to not only brighten up your space, but to allow you to put your own stamp on your rented walls. 

Use Art as a Headboard

I wrote a feature not so long ago about the trend for oversized prints within the home, and one way to utilise this trend is to place a large scale picture or painting above your bed to create a headboard effect. I think this can work really well, especially if it’s centred with two bedside tables either side – I’m a sucker for symmetry, what can I say? A tip would be to make sure it’s either a subtle print if you have wallpaper so it doesn’t clash, or if you have plain walls to use a print with lots of co-coordinating colours like the blue print in this 1920’s LA apartment. (image/image)

Create a Feature Corner

If you have a corner within your home which stands empty and a little lacklustre, then why not create a cool vignette or reading nook. Could you fill it with an armchair, cushion, lamp and artwork on the wall? I love this idea and I have something similar in my hallway – not that I actually sit in the hallway and read but it sure does look pretty when you first come in through the front door. (image/image)

Add Interest to your Bathroom

I’d never really considered artwork for the bathroom until I came across these images on Pinterest, but I really like how they add interest to a room which, let’s face it, can sometimes lack personality. There’s only so much you can do to rented accommodation in regards to the bathroom, so hanging prints on the wall is a great way to spruce things up a little without making any real changes. There’s a mix here of traditional oil painting and modern typography print, but I think both work really well in the environment they’re in. (image/image)

Inspiring Work Space

If you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated work space in your home (or unlucky as some may see it), I think adding artwork to the walls and the desk can inspire you when creativity is flagging. In my office (which is in fact the cats bedroom), I’ve used inspirational quotes and graphic prints to set the tone when I sit down to blog. I like being surrounded by beautiful things and I’m very aesthetically led so artwork within this space is essential for me. (image/image)


Build a Stylish Staircase Gallery

Finally, if you’re living in a rented home and your landlord says you can hanging pictures freely (or you do what I do and choose not to listen and do it anyway), then creating a staircase gallery can add character to your space and real focal point in the hallway. I love the use of the same metal frame throughout – whether that be white, black, gold, silver etc – with a mixture of paintings, prints and photography. A tip would be to put your prints on the floor first to work out your layout, take a photograph so you remember and then work from that. Don’t forget the spirit level. (image/image)

This post is in collaboration with artwork specialists, King & McGaw – a company which started in 1982 and brings together some of the most iconic artists and craftsmen from across the world. The team at King & McGaw are equally as talented, offering a comprehensive collection of prints, all handmade in the UK.

If you wanted to add your own stamp to your home, then I’ve done a little of the hard work for you and show you eight of my favourite prints, all available to buy from King & McGaw now. Let me know if any catch your eye, or in fact, if you like any of the suggestions above. I think my next purchase might be something to brighten the bathroom.

Clockwise: Sunset Art Print // Brighton Pier // Not a Beauty // Vogue January 1961 // Camouflage 1987 // Vertigo // Marilyn Monroe 1967 // Criss Cross Blue

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