Welcome back to another episode of the #howirent home tours! If this is your first time visiting, hello! Let me give you a quick run through . . . #HowiRent is a monthly home tour series that started as a way to champion renters, who are transforming their homes into abodes of personality and style. Check out previous home tours here, or apply to be a guest here.
[All the beautiful photographs in this series have been shot by Kasia Fiszer. This post may contains affiliate links ]
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INTRODUCING THIS MONTHS GUEST . . .
Are you ready for this??
Its Zeena Shah!
Zeena is a woman of many talents and quite frankly juggles ALL the creative roles! Shes an Art Director, Stylist, Print Designer, Author, Illustrator and lifestyle blogger. I know , the word multi-faceted might be apt here.
Zeena has been blogging for over 10 years (you can find her blog here), which I think by right, makes her the blogging OG. While she admits to not blogging as consistently as she once had, she is quite active on her Instagram page, where she shares a collection of beautiful exteriors and fashion inspiration
Just like her exquisite dress sense, Zeena’s apartment is a colourful eclectic haven set within a gorgeous listed building that just screams Miam Art Deco
Here’s how I got on at her house!
WATCH THE VIDEO TOUR OF ZEENA’S RENTED HOME.
Where do you live?
I live in East London with my fiance. We live in The Strand Building a beautiful listed art deco building in Hackney we like to call the Pink Palace because of it’s stunning pink original 1920’s features.
How long have you lived in your current home?
We’ve lived in our rented flat for two years now.
What first drew you to this apartment?
I had no idea what to expect when we went to view the building. I’d seen it a hundred times when passing on the bus and always admired the beautiful lace blue grand arch windows but had never had the chance to go inside.
The moment we walked into the pink hallway of dreams there was no going back. I remember playing it really cool despite wanting to squeal with excitement.
How long had you lived in your home before approaching your landlord about decorating it? What was their initial reaction?
As the building is listed there isn’t a lot we are able to do to the property without permission from the powers that be – we wouldn’t be able to paint the walls for example.
We’re incredibly lucky that our land lady is more than happy for us to curate our home as we wish in every other way. We’ve had to be very clever with storage and the way we hang art on the walls.
You mentioned that your home is a listed building, how do you work around that when it comes to decorating?
Yes it’s brilliant because it means it’s very well maintained and treasured by its residents. We’ve had to be very clever with the way we decorate.
As it’s such an old flat the storage is terrible and we aren’t able to drill into the walls so the way we hang art on the walls is by using picture rail hooks and string.
We’ve also chosen furniture that doubles up as storage for example our West Elm coffee table and console hide all manner of things inside and out of sight.
How do you go about choosing items/homeware for your home?
As we’re so limited on space it has to be something we consider, measure up and make sure is semi useful and not solely decorative. Everything needs to double up as a storage solution ideally. Our gorgeous Mustard Made pastel pink locker does just that and I use it to store all of my crafty supplies.
Have you ever DIYed anything?
In this flat in particular it’s mostly been decorative items as there’s not a lot of room for furniture. I’ve made some of our ceramic bowls and plates.
I’ve stitched some cushions, knotted a collection of macramé plant hangers that we’ve started to hang on the curtain rail as we couldn’t find any curtains to fit the 3 metre drop. I am also know to spray paint things pink every now and again!
What is the biggest change you’ve made to this home to date?
We’ve changed the layout and brought in our own interior style to the property. It was very different when we moved in. Very sensible I suppose we definitely filled it with life and a whole load of stuff!
Before Image of apartment taken by by Zeena
What inspires your interior style?
It’s quite an eclectic style. I find inspiration from everywhere whether it be travelling, vintage and second hand markets and antique shops or online i’m a real magpie for anything design.
I have always collected things and all of the objects in our home all tell a story. I have a 1950’s hornsea chicken ash tray that I bought at a car boot sale in Sydney when I was in my early twenties that still has pride of place on the West Elm bookcase.
I also love textiles having trained as a print designer at Chelsea School of Art you’ll find me stroking the textiles wherever we go as i’m always drawn to the textures and tactility of cloth – like this Ferm Living cushion
I notice you have quite a colourful fashion sense, do you find that translates into your home?
It definitely does! I love colour and find it so inspiring it brings me joy just curating colour in my print design work and putting together on myself. It’s something that’s always come fairly naturally to me it makes sense that it follows through into our interiors. Colourful cushions, throws and artwork especially.
Where do you buy your furniture from? Any brands you’d recommend?
I love West Elm the quality, design and attention to detail is excellent and I’d highly recommend investing in something that will last a lifetime. It’s also really sustainably sourced too which is great.
What are your top tips for creating character in a rental?
1. Make it yours, bring your personality into the property.
2. Use the available space you have and don’t be afraid to ask your landlord or lady if you can make changes. You’ll always be adding value. Our flat is very small but we’ve made sure to fill the space to utilise it whether that be my rail of dresses in the hallway (everything can be art) or the giant mirror to reflect light back in and create space.
3. Mix it up – you don’t have to stick with one particular style of decor you can combine objects and furniture to create a more eclectic space.
4. Use more colour – this is easy in art and textiles, I love layering throws and cushions to create some depth and interest and mixing colours and textures.
Can you think of one renter friendly product you can recommend?
Picture rail hooks and command strips are a renters dream, make sure you get some in your basket and your walls will be transformed without leaving a single mark.
So what do you think of Zeena’s home? I would love to hear your thoughts, please leave a comment below As always your support and shares are appreciated. You can also share your rented homes on Instagram using the tag #HowIRent.
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