The Rental Edit
Rental tips for design lovers
This week we are talking all things rentals in the first instalment of our Rental Edit. Over the next few weeks, we're going to step inside Kristy's home to share some simple hacks that will transform the way you live. No matter what type of rental property you're living in, there's always a clever hack or two you can follow to personalise your space without making a big investment (or giving your landlord heart palpitations). And if you're not in the rental market, we're sure there's still plenty of tips you are sure to find useful along the way!
What many of you may not know is that over the past seven years, my delicious son Lachy and I have lived in five homes – wow, I realise that’s a lot of moves as I type this…no wonder we’ve got it down to a fine art! We have happily house hopped between rentals in all different forms and sizes during this time, and have lived in our fair share of doozies (hello teal carpet and cork tiles).
I actually love the freedom that renting brings. There’s something so incredibly liberating about the fact that you can just pack up your whole life and transport it elsewhere in a matter of days. But once you’re inside that rental property, it doesn’t always bring a lot of freedom – you can say goodbye to hanging heavy artwork, and hello to covering up those daggy coloured carpets!
The biggest lesson we have learnt along the way, is the art of making your rental feel like home. The tagline ‘love where you live’ has been at the heart of everything we stand for at norsu since the very beginning. And this doesn't just apply to homes that you own.
We've recently moved into a modern townhouse, and couldn't resist the opportunity to welcome you inside to share some challenges we've personally encountered, and some tangible and handy solutions to overcome them so you can make your house a home, no matter what your living circumstances are.
I'm so excited to share this first instalment with you - make sure you stay tuned over coming weeks for more tips and tricks as we visit the bedrooms and Lachy's chill out zone.
And if you've got any questions, submit them below and I'll be standing by to answer them...
Big love, Kristy x
This week, we are covering...
1. Selecting the right furniture to carry you through multiple moves
2. Improving areas with limited lighting
3. Creating a green space when your outdoor garden space is limited.
Selecting the right furniture to carry you through multiple moves
Securing a three story town house has been perfect from a zoning point of view (allowing Lachy and I to have dedicated areas in the home without living on top of one another), but it has also meant that we've sacrificed on the size of our living spaces and bedrooms. This has sadly forced us to say goodbye to some adored furniture pieces such as bench seats and occasional chairs from our bedrooms, and replace staples such as our sofa as it simply couldn't fit up the new staircase. It's been a big lesson learnt the hard way, and one you don't need to make!
Our top furniture selection tips for rentals
When selecting furniture, we highly recommend investing in key pieces that are not only compact to easily fit any sized space, but also versatile with multiple uses. Considering these aspects when selecting your furniture will ensure they stand the test of time and carry you through multiple moves.
Think compact OCCASIONAL CHAIRS that would fit right at home in your living room, a bedroom nook or even in a home office, so when you're planning your next move, you already know it's going to fit somewhere. Some of our go tos that tick this box perfectly are the Hugo Bow and the Felix Cocoon occasional chairs from Globe West.
When it comes to SOFAS, please don't make my mistake, lol! These are investment pieces, and you don't need to be wasting money on replacing them with each move. Opt for smaller sofas that can be paired with occasional chairs in your living spaces for an abundance of seating, such as the Ethnicraft Ellipse or Globe West Kennedy Beckett. If one larger sofa is more your style, go for a modular that comes in several pieces that can be easily manoeuvred through doorways, narrow staircases and lifts. Some of our top selections would be the Globe West Felix Block Modular or the Ethnicraft N701.
When it's time to select TABLES, think one word...round! You simply cannot beat a round shape for versatility and maximising space. In my living/dining area, I've opted for a round dining table (with a removable top for easy transport), a round coffee table, and even round side tables! They're perfect for fitting in smaller nooks where a rectangle or square table just wont work, and having a consistent shape creates synergy and flow throughout the two living and dining zones.
Hands down, our favourite ROUND DINING TABLE in our norsu collection, would have to be the Globe West Livorno Dining Table. Both Natty and I have this in our homes in the White Speckle colour way, and for good reason. Its neutral colour pairs with other furniture beautifully. Its solid resin top makes it extremely durable with kids - no need to worry about pens or spaghetti sauce going near it - as everything wipes clean. And, it's also suitable for indoor and outdoor use, so from a rental point of view there's points for extra versatility! If you're after something a little more sophisticated and less kid-friendly, other stunning round dining tables in our collection include the Oak Ethnicraft Mikado and Globe West Benjamin Ripple Marble tables.
Moving to the living space, and our much loved choice of ROUND COFFEE TABLES! These are pretty hard to beat if we are honest. There's no scraping your shin on the corner of a round coffee table, they're also a little more simple to style, and look amazing nested together with a round ottoman. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, they are fabulous for smaller spaces because they don't take up much room - what's not to love? Our current faves include the Ethnicraft Tripod, the Globe West Sketch Native and the Globe West Elle Pillar.
If you have a space next to your sofa or armchair that needs filling, a ROUND SIDE TABLE is for you! These too can move with you and double as a bedside in tight rooms if required? Our top picks are the Ethnicraft Bok, the Globe West Artie and the Globe West Livorno.
And if you're wondering what our number one rental furniture go-to piece is? OTTOMANS of course - the ultimate multitasker! These little gems can serve as a coffee table, a footrest, or even extra seating when entertaining, genius! Our faves include the norsu Ottoman - Lindeman Snow with blush leather piping, the norsu Ottoman - Boucle Ivory with blush leather piping, and the Globe West Orlando.
And finally, if you're a regular house-hopper (guilty!), please consider lightweight furniture, and pieces that don't require a huge amount of assembly. Bed & base ensembles are a great example of this. They are much easier to transport than a full bed frame which requires disassembling and reassembling with each move (leading to a possible compromise in the structural integrity and lost parts).
Improving areas with limited lighting
I absolutely adore our new living and alfresco areas. They are really the hub of our home forming part of the open plan kitchen level. But sadly due to the south facing orientation, and other dwellings either side of us (limiting window options), this space simply doesn't get a huge amount of natural light. This is fine during the day, but at night time it's another story.
Top tips for adding extra lighting
This one is an easy one, lamps, lamps and more lamps! They instantly add light, and personality to your space, and are simple to transport with you for your next move. But did you know that lamps are not all created equal?? Firstly, you'll need to decide whether you're in need of task lighting or ambient/mood lighting. What's the difference you might ask? Well, do you need directional light into one particular area for performing a task such as reading? Or do you need to light up the space more generally to create ambience and mood?
In my space, it was the latter, so I have opted for lamps that let out a lot of light in a consistent way, and have a mix of floor and table lamps for variation.
Our go to AMBIENT LIGHTING choices include the Remi floor lamp, the Globe West Easton Canopy table lamp and the Margot Desk Lamp.
For the areas of the home needing some TASK LIGHTING such as behind the sofa, desks and bedsides, we've injected a little personality using the colourful Pia floor and Pia desk lamps and kept it classic with our most popular Mahala Desk Lamp.
My gaming loving son has also installed his own preferred lighting to his desk in the form of adhesive strip LEDs. While his style is a little more...how shall I say it?... 'colourful' to match his rainbow (or RGB he would say) computer + accessories, there's no denying they are an effective and affordable way to light up a space. I could see these working perfectly to backlight a bathroom mirror, or add a little extra bench task lighting under an overhead kitchen or laundry cabinet.
Need help choosing the perfect lamp for your space?? Visit our lamp selection guide for more tips...
Outdoor garden space is limited
Apartment living often means your gardens and outdoor spaces are either limited, or completely non-existent, and with only one small outdoor courtyard and several balconies in our new space, we have begun to miss the ability to connect with nature. So, we've done the next best thing and brought the outdoors inside!
It's not going to come as any surprise to learn that we love an indoor plant or two at norsu. Selling our supplier out of Hoyas time and time again, it's fair to say we are completely and utterly obsessed with these delicious little leafy friends for more than one reason... Indoor plants instantly transform the vibe of your space, bringing life, comfort, beauty, and improving the air quality. Studies have shown that indoor plants keep you healthier and happier, offering health benefits such as improving your mood, reducing fatigue, lowering stress and anxiety, and improving focus. And trust me, I can use all the help I can get in these areas! :)
I may have gone a little OTT with plants in this new space, placing them in literally every room, but I can't tell you how much of a difference it has made to the mood.
Our top tips for livening up your rental with greenery
In addition to the benefits listed above, I'd encourage you to think of your plants as styling accessories. They make the perfect feature for your dining or coffee table, and fill that awkward corner that you don't quite know what to do with.
Instead of investing in flowers on a weekly basis, replace them with an indoor plant to save you time and expense.
Mix up the sizes, varieties and tones of your plants for interest. Go with a Hoya for your table top, island bench or console, choose a taller style plant such as a Rubber Plant or Fiddle Leaf Fig to position your floor, and nothing beats a cascading plant such as a Devils Ivy for your shelves.
Keep your plants in their original plastic pots and sit them inside a custom pot for easy watering, and transporting down the track if you move homes. Pots are a great way to add personality and pair with your surroundings. Select coloured pots in accent colour, and to connect with your soft furnishings, accessories and artwork. Shop our selection of pots here.