alt=

Decorating a rented apartment on a thrifty budget

I’ve been renting since Methuselah was in short pants. Or at least that’s how it feels. I moved out of my family home in Roscommon when I was 18 and I’m now 31.

Renting brings independence and freedom but with it comes the responsibility of paying the rent, bills, cleaning/general drudgery, dealing with law-breaking landlords and horrible housemates.

I always tried to inject a little personality into my rented rooms, whether it was my carefully chosen posters from the college poster sale (James Dean and Garfield) or my Marilyn Monroe cushion and Breakfast at Tiffany’s canvas print (cringe) and a ‘Bang Head Here’ sign!

I’ve lived in 12 rented properties, one friend’s floor, and two wooden cabins when I worked at a summer camp in Pennsylvania but my current apartment is the first time I’ve had my own lease.

alt=
My living room is a little drab but my plants and some fairy lights give it a lift

It was an exciting and scary move from casually renting a room and although I didn’t have another person to move in with me and split the rent with at the time, I jumped at the chance.

The apartment consists of two bedrooms, one double, one single, a large living room/kitchen and a bathroom.

When I first moved in, it smelled musty, opening the ancient sash windows required brute strength and it was lacking in character.

In time I found a roomie and I starting making my apartment feel like home.

 

 

 

 

 

alt=
The living room when I moved in (I nicked that clothes hamper for the bedroom)

I made a few small changes, such as buying plants, canvasses in the charity shop and a mirror from H&M to give it a more homely feel.

 

alt=
Metal edge mirror H&M. Pic: H&M.com

This mirror was €14.99 plus delivery but I saw a very similar one for about €11 in New Look.

I took my own photos of this mirror but unfortunately, my editing programme cropped it really weirdly and it didn’t look right.

 

 

It’s often a case of make do in a rented place as most have uniform drab furniture and haven’t been painted in years but a print on the walls or a throw over an ugly sofa can give the place a facelift.

alt=
A slight facelift for the ugly sofa

My sofa is hideous and worn so I put a throw on top along with blue velvet cushions* I got in Penneys and another cushion I nicked from my family home. We got the throw from my boyfriend’s sister’s apartment after she moved.

Like many other renters, I don’t have much left once I pay my rent and bills so I look out for cute homewares in the charity shops.

I found these two little canvasses for €3 each and put them up in my bedroom on hooks that were already there.

 

For the living room, I picked up three other canvasses for roughly €9.

They are a bit crooked as the hooks aren’t all at the same height but they give the place a little character and as they are quite muted colours, they suit the overall tone of the room.

alt=
Canvasses in the living room

I also found this seashell dish for just under €3 which I thought would be perfect for storing jewellery.

alt=
Shell dish for storing jewellery

When my jewellery is stored away, I often forget to wear it so this is handy to grab earrings out of.

I also got several plants which I adore. One of my cactus plants came from my old office while the other two I bought in Lyon Loring in Stoneybatter. I’m also trying to grow an avocado plant on the windowsill.

Succulents are the best plants for an apartment as they’re not too high-maintenance.

alt=
My beloved cacti plants

My apartment has large windowsills so I use these as a focal point. On my bedroom windowsill, I have a white rug* and palm tree light* from Penneys, along with some plants, candles and jewellery dish.

alt=
Lamp and cacti plants

"alt=primark-palm-tree-light

My boyfriend moved in with us recently so while it’s great to have someone to share the rent and bills with, I also had to make room for his stuff and give up some wardrobe space!

I found this pretty Newbridge Silverware box left down by the bins one day so I salvaged it to store belts in. I used to hang them on the back of the bedroom door but they took up too much room there.

alt=
A box for my belts

The bathroom was another area where we needed more storage, with three people’s towels all over the place!

alt=
The bathroom
alt=
Over-the-door towel hooks are a lifesaver!

We only had one hook on the door and one rail but I found these over-the-door hooks* in Penneys which proved to be the perfect solution.

All the towels are from IKEA.

Having two sets of bed linen has been an adult aspiration of mine for some time but I somehow never got round to it.

alt=
Tropical duvet cover and matching pillowcases

I found this beautiful set in Penneys and it looks lovely on the bed (I don’t have time to iron bed linen so excuse the creases).

The flower lights at the top of the bed are also from Penneys but they aren’t much good unless the room is totally dark.

alt=
Double duvet cover and pillowcases

I think this was about €25 for a double with matching pillowcases, can’t quite remember! I bought a pale pink fitted sheet to go with it for about €6.

alt=
Tropical print duvet cover from Penneys

I decided not to put in full photos of the rooms as I’m not quite happy with how they look yet. The apartment could definitely do with a lick of paint and we nearly always have a clotheshorse out so, at the moment, I’m focusing on small areas!

DISCLOSURE: This is not a sponsored post but all of the items marked with an asterix were bought with a voucher gifted to me by Penneys. They did not ask for coverage or to feature items I bought in this post.

All other items, including Penneys items not marked with an asterix were bought with my own money. There are no affiliate links within this post.

I hope you all enjoyed this interiors post and if you’d like to see more of my apartment, leave me a comment below by clicking the grey speech bubble icon.

My next post will feature a thrifty haul from Bray’s charity shops so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

alt=

River Island Spring/Summer 2019 Press Day

River Island is one of those shops that I always wanted to buy from when I was a teen but was way too broke!

Nowadays kids want Gucci bags and LV but all I wanted was a damn pair of River Island jeans…

I always enjoy seeing River Island‘s new collections and this year’s Spring/Summer press event was no exception.

The first rail that really caught my eye was the swimwear. I love browsing swimwear even though it’s not something I would buy every year.

This stunning baroque print swimsuit was one of my favourite pieces.

 

 

It’s €50 which is quite pricey but apparently, you can buy in sterling from the River Island UK site and get it delivered to a store near you. I haven’t tried this myself but let me know if you have.

The other thing I noticed about this is that you’d probably need to size up if you wear a larger bra size, the cups on a size ten looked quite small.

This lime green beauty with a black belt would also look great on the beach.

alt=
Lime green swimsuit

Belts seemed to feature on most of the one-pieces.

I’m not sure yet if I like this trend but it’s definitely going to be a thing because I saw Kylie Jenner wearing a belted one-piece on her Insta!

 

This lilac cut-out swimsuit was another favourite.

I prefer one-pieces to bikinis more and more these days!

alt=
River Island lilac cut-out swimsuit

alt=
River Island swimwear

What really excited me is that River Island now do homeware and my love for homeware knows no bounds!

There wasn’t a massive selection but the chair and cushions above made a great photo backdrop and there were also some cute lanterns, candles and storage boxes.

There’s some gorgeous bedding, vases, planters and mirrors on the website and I can’t wait to check it out in-store as I’m always looking for nice things for my apartment.

 

 

 

 

 

The homeware range is available in Swords, Blanchardstown and Dundrum in Dublin and also online.

alt=
Decorative boxes

alt=
Pink octagonal vase. Pic: prshots.com

Animal prints and logos are sticking around for 2019, judging by these styles.

alt=
Snakeprint shirt.

alt=
Animal print and logos

Neons, polka dots and pyjama-inspired prints also featured heavily.

 

 

 

 

 

This little polka dot dress would be the perfect holiday or summer wedding outfit.

alt=
River Island Polka dot dress

Snakeprint was a common motif on shoes also.

alt=
Snakeprint boots and sandals

There are lots of co-ords in the new collection which I really like but I’ve never worn one yet.

My favourite was this denim ‘Couture’ jacket and skirt set. The jacket is €60, while the skirt is €35.

alt=
Denim ‘couture’ jacket and skirt. Pic: RiverIsland.com

From a more formal look, this powder blue blazer is gorgeous for a special occasion and there are shorts to match.

alt=
Powder blue blazer

River Island do really good accessories, especially bags and wallets.

There were lots of sunglasses and some jewellery on display also, including this fabulous lion head Versace-esque necklace.

alt=
Lion head necklace

alt=
River Island ladies’ sunglasses

alt=
Accessories

River Island shoes are on the expensive side but they are also quite hard-wearing. When it comes to footwear, it’s worth paying a little more for better materials.

I’ve a pair of RI heels that I bought in 2012 and cowboy boots that I’ve had since 2015 so not a bad investment.

If you have a decent pair of shoes, it’s worth getting the heel tips or even the soles replaced as they wear, rather than just buying a new pair.

alt=
River Island shoes

I used my old digital camera to take some of these pictures as the lens is better than my phone and I’d left my DSLR at home.

The results were mixed some of the photos on my phone came out better but it’s handy to have an alternative.

I also browsed the menswear and kidswear ranges.

alt=
Men’s accessories

alt=
The kidswear was so cute!

alt=
River Island childrenswear

The childrenswear really impressed me, it was really trendy and cute and I wanted most of the adorable girls’ shoes and backpacks!

alt=
River Island girls’ shoes and accessories

On my way out the door, I stopped to grab some delicious snacks from the Black Sheep food stand.

alt=
Delicious snacks

I had a two-hour drive ahead of me so they were just what I needed.

Thanks to the River Island team for a lovely afternoon.

Hope you all enjoyed this post, I hope to have some homeware and outfit posts coming soon, including some Aliexpress purchases so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel