DIY Interior Design Ideas For Rented Accommodation: Wall Fabrics

DIY Interior Design Ideas For Rented Accommodation: Wall Fabrics

DIY interior design tip: How to brighten your living room walls with fabric if you’re limited by living in rented accommodation.

BEFORE and AFTER pics of Katie’s DIY rented living room design. Read on to see how she did it!

Have you ever seen something that was just so unquestionably you? Something you couldn’t think of living without now that you’ve laid your eyes on it? That’s how I feel about my living room. Except a living room isn’t something you can just purchase as-is, can you? It has to be considered, planned, and executed. And in my case, because I have a DIY interior design blog, it also has to have elements that I made. ‘Unquestionably me’ means loads of bright colours, piles of pillows, maybe too many contrasting patterns, and some upcycled objects that are easily transformed.

Another thing about living rooms is that they’re really expensive to buy, which means a lot of us have to rent. And with tenancy agreements come damage deposits, and limitations on what you can do to your living space. But don’t let renting your house stop you from making it a reflection of yourself. It just means it’s time to get creative.

I chose my apartment because it had one big wall with built-in shelving and a little fireplace. I knew that it would act as a great focal wall, but I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to dress it up. It had to be something that was fairly inexpensive, easy to take down and put up, and something I could bring with me on my next move.

The natural conclusion for me was to use fabric, because it’s easy to work with, doesn’t cost a fortune, and has endless opportunities. Here’s a down and dirty step-by-step guide for you to replicate the project in your own home. (Hot tip: Don’t have built in shelves? This can be done with stand-alone bookshelves, the front of cabinets, or you could even cover canvases with fabrics and place them on a wall in a pattern.

Step 1: Pick the wall fabrics you like

Pick 3’4 coordinating fabrics that you like (if you’re doing a whole wall, it’s probably safe to get 3 metres of each). Before I started this project, I asked Abigail Ahern, superstar interior designer, her advice on mixing patterns successfully via her blog. She said to make sure your selections had at least one colour in common. I didn’t completely follow this great advice, so don’t feel like you have to, either!)

Step 2: Cut the fabric

Cut the pieces of fabric to fit into the space you’re trying to fill. I’m not going to lie – I eye-balled it when doing my own wall. If you’re a perfectionist, I would measure twice, cut once.

Step 3: Stick the wallpaper fabric to the wall

Stick the fabric to the wall. I used small finishing nails at the top of each panel, but when this wall was featured on Apartment Therapy, a reader mentioned a method that uses starch to create removable wallpaper, which would work, too.

I’m moving again in a few months, and I’m legitimately sad to be leaving this room – it sometimes feels like I’m walking into my own brain, which is a great feeling. But the best part of this project is that once the fabric is taken down, I can pack it neatly into a suitcase and bring it with me to re-use in a completely different way.

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