If you’ve always been a renter like me, you’ve probably had to get creative to make your house feel like a home. No painting the walls, pulling up carpet, or hanging big things on walls.
Oops! In my current 1930s flat, I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of all of the above. But my 70+ year old landlady has been to visit twice – once for pink champagne and once for tea – and either hasn’t noticed or has chosen to look the other way. If she’s stayed quiet I think it’s because, having put up with sitting tenants for 30 years, she’s pleased someone is finally showing this little place some love.
As well as painting walls, installing carpet runners and exposing original floorboards, I’ve added some unique touches to my furniture to give the flat some zing. I bought my antique 1930s bed on eBay last year for £80, when it was horribly unloved but still irresistible, with its carved wood head- and footboard and original castor wheels. The cream paint was chipped off and for the first week I owned it, I’d tuck myself up at night and despair at the unpainted brown board just above my toes. Who only paints half a bed?
All it took was one tin of habitat banana yellow paint, a brush and some extra energy on a chilly winter’s afternoon, and I was ready to wake up bathed in sunshine. I loved the bed so much I willingly slept on the diagonal for six months (those 20th century people were so much shorter), until a lovely young antique dealer bought it as a feature for her shop, and I upgraded to a King!
I’m not the only one who’s picked yellow to brighten up my home. Elsie from A Beautiful Mess has painted her temporary thrift shop collection of kitchen chairs a banana shade too.
And gallery owner Michael Lett’s live-work home in Auckland has yellow painted floors. Everywhere. It’s a bold alternative to white, and much homelier than the glossy black you see a lot of too (from Devitt Stevens). I especially love that cheery neon ‘Love’ sign in the background. Where can I get one?
Yellow paint’s even gained couture status. This stunning picture is by London-based photographer Iain Crawford. I wouldn’t recommend any of us trying it at home, though. Our landladies definitely won’t be giving us back our deposits!
What colour would you use to brighten up your home?