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6 style mistakes to avoid in your rental living room


Your share house living room is where pretty much everything happens outside of sleep and sexy times (it better not be where the sexy times happen!).

So with this in mind, you need to give this zone a cohesive style everyone can enjoy. So let’s get you and your flatmates avoiding these style blunders, shall we?

1. There’s no cohesive theme going on

A neutral palette is a good idea, with pops of colours from art and soft furnishings. Picture: Laura Quattrocelli

Even a share home needs a theme. The theme in your living room might be ‘eclectic’ because there’s a lot of random pieces intermingling. That’s all good but go for a consistent colour palette so the room feels less chaotic. A neutral palette is always best as it’s calming to the eye, and you can easily add a small pop of colour when you feel the need to.

2. Your walls are bare due to hook hang-ups

Removable velcro hooks are game-changers for art-loving rental dwellers. Picture: Erinna Giblin

Landlords are such buzzkills when it comes to holes in walls, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang large-scale canvas art using velcro hooks. These sorts of hooks can hold art up to seven kilos. And if you have a large wall to cover, consider a four-grid of square artworks to take up more space. Black-framed prints or mirrors are a good idea here too, as is a gallery wall running the full length of the room.

3. Your floorboards are committing the ultimate crime

Rugs make cosy home and they don’t need to be expensive either. Picture: Laura Quattrocelli

Share houses often run the risk of feeling cold and clinical because nobody wants to commit to purchasing a rug that’s going to get ruined. I totally get it. But why not buy a cheap-as-chips rug from one of the more affordable chain stores? If sizing is the issue, push two smaller rugs side-by-side to give the illusion of one big piece on the floor. It’ll make a world of difference to how the room looks and feels.

Read more: How to choose the right rug for your home

4. You’ve not made a moment of your mantle

All the nooks and crannies in a mantle make it a fun place to display your collections. Picture: Laura Quattrocelli

A lot of older share houses have some wacky mantles to work with. But so many people never style these zones. I get that they can be odd in shape or appear difficult to decor-up, but they’re not as hard as you think. Why not lean a few framed artworks or photos of different sizes here? Also, try adding in some fake plants here; low maintenance and nobody has to water! Candles are also a must.

5. Your TV zone is a hotbed of cords and chaos

TV units look a lot neater without messy cords and remotes lying around. Picture: IKEA

Got a gamer in the house? There’s nothing you can do to curb their penchant for the Playstation, but you can make it look nicer. First things first: pop all the remotes in a small box or basket and store this on one of the shelves in your TV unit. Next, tame those wild cords with some cord organisers, and try to lift power boards off floors if you can. It makes the whole space feel a lot cleaner.

Read more: Rookie style mistakes you’re making in your living room

6. There’s just too much second-hand furniture

Modernise vintage finds with new homewares, such as ceramics and candles. Picture: Erinna Giblin

I love a roadside find as much as the next guy, but to try to mix and match second-hand furniture with newer, affordable buys. Try a second-hand sofa with a new armchair, then bring in a new coffee table on an older rug. It’s all about the blend of new and old that’ll make space feel interesting instead of ancient.

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