https://milraypark.com.au/the-magazine/decorating-inspo-for-your-rental-property

Inspiration for your Rented Space

Make your rental 'yours'
Inspiration for your Rented Space

Rented Space is an Australian based website created to showcase uniquely styled rental properties.

The founder-couple Dan Soderstrom and Amelia Barnes explain, “We feature homes and workspaces that prove neither a tight budget nor a strict tenancy agreement, are barriers to creating a beautiful space.”

Loving the site, we got in touch with the clever couple to hear more about how and why it all got started and a bit about the creative duo themselves!

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

What is Rented Space all about?

Rented Space is a website we launched in early 2016 to showcase rented homes and workspaces that are beautifully and interestingly styled.

We deliberately only feature spaces that are rented (not those that are owned or under mortgage) as we saw this as a sector of the property market that was often overlooked in the design world.

Renters have several barriers to overcome when styling they home, making their stories all the more interesting. They tend to move frequently, they generally have lower incomes than homeowners, and they are often restricted decorating wise by a tenancy agreement. Considering these factors, we find it so much more aspirational to read about wonderfully styled rented home over a multi-million-dollar property that’s been created with the help of design professionals.

What is your vision for Rented Space?

The vision for Rented Space is simply to form a large collection of interesting people and their spaces that others can look to for inspiration.

How did the idea get started?

We love beautiful homes and thought our work (Dan is a photographer and Amelia is a property journalist) would lend itself well to a site of our own.

Plus, despite representing a massive portion of the property market, we weren’t aware of any design blogs or publications exclusively featuring rentals.

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

What is the first thing that you notice when you walk into a space?

The amount (or lack of) natural light.

What ‘makes’ a space to you?

Dan – The sense that someone exists there.

Amelia – I think the best spaces feel really personal. You should be able to feel a person’s personality in their home.

What’s the wackiest thing you’ve ever seen used as a decorating item?

Dan – A creek running through a Toorak home.

Amelia – A couple of the people we’ve featured on Rented Space had quite ‘wacky’ decorating items. Abbey Rich had a monstera planted in a metal saucepan, while Miriam and Hamish McWiliam’s home had a surfboard hanging above their bed. I like wackiness!

Millennials are definitely a generation of renters. Can you give some advice to our renter readers wanting to make their space feel like their own?

Dan – Artwork and photos you love. Preferably framed.

Amelia – Take an eclectic approach to decorating your home. Collect pieces from all over (from online stores, to eBay, op-shops, hard rubbish, hand-me-downs, markets and chain stores) and you will inevitably create a unique style of your own.

Can you make an awesome space on a small budget? Can you give us some thrifty tips for budget decorating?

Dan – I think people can rent, buy and decorate well according to whatever budget they are bound by. Take your time to learn what things are really worth be it new or used. If something doesn’t suit your place, sell it rather than storing it. The leafy Melbourne suburbs have the best things to find in their second-hand stores (and on their nature strips).

Amelia – Absolutely it’s possible to decorate on a budget; Rented Space is such a testament to that. Very rarely do the people we profile have designer furniture in their spaces. In fact, I don’t think any of the people we’ve featured have had designer furniture!

I think the key with budget decorating is just to be patient. The right pieces at the right price are out there, it just takes time and effort to find them.

Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space
Image: Dan Soderstrom for Rented Space

When you are not working on Rented Space what are you doing?

Dan – I work as freelance photographer across a bunch of different areas.

Amelia – I am a freelance journalist, mainly writing for Domain.com.au. Rented Space only happens very infrequently when we have the time and energy to create a new post!

How did you guys meet?

We actually met through Tinder, over three years ago now!

Where do you live in Australia?

We live in South Yarra, Melbourne

What is your favourite

Cafe:

Amelia – That’s so hard…I have so many favourites and they change all the time. A few stand outs that spring to mind at the moment are Proud Mary, Top Paddock (for the ricotta hotcake) and Lawson Street Grove (quiet + cosy + wifi – so rare for Melbourne).

Dan – Archie’s All Day

Place to unwind:

Amelia – Home

Dan – Royal Botanic Gardens

Artwork:

Amelia – Right now I really like Sarah Kelk and Miranda Lorikeet.

Dan – Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series

Indoor Plant:

Monstera deliciosa. They’re such a satisfying plant to care for – always growing and so pretty.

Check out the site here!

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