Just because a rental is not your own home doesn’t mean you can’t treat it with love and attention and tailor it to your tastes with statement furniture. Australians are spending longer in rentals than ever before. Rising house prices and a competitive market means Aussies are taking longer to save a deposit to get into their first home, with some choosing to continue renting and invest elsewhere.
With tenancy laws leaning more and more in favour of the tenant, in some states it’s now possible to put your mark on a property by hanging pictures and mirrors and changing fittings and fixtures.
If you want to make your rental a special place to live, investing in stylish, functional and timeless furniture is the best option and a whole lot easier to take with you to the next rental or your forever home.
We’ve compiled a list of statement furniture pieces to invest in, which you’ll keep forever and make your house feel like a home wherever it may be.
Speaking with Domain.com.au, Melissa Giuffrider, founder of Collecte, emphasised the importance of making a rental property feel like your own. “It’s important to make your home feel comfortable, warm and inviting, regardless of whether you own it or it’s a rental.”
She also firmly believes in buying investment pieces, which can last a lifetime without going out of style. “By investing in statement or timeless furniture pieces, you’re investing in interesting, well-made pieces you can use for a lifetime. When considering the investment over a lifetime, buying quality offers a much better outcome. Not only do you experience the joy of authentic design, but you also support the designers of the product, the environment, and save money.”
Dining room table
A good dining room table is arguably the most important piece of statement furniture you can invest in. It’s a piece that brings friends and family together, providing a backdrop for dinners, get-togethers and a game night or two. Because of the importance of this piece of furniture, it’s best to save money elsewhere and resist choosing a cheaper, lower quality table. If you shop wisely, you could even pass your dining room table down to the next generation. To ensure your table is timeless, opt for classic and simple shapes with minimal decorative flourishes. Avoid passing trends like marble or glass top, which will come back around eventually, but who knows when.
The right bed frame can set the tone for your bedroom, creating a relaxing oasis away from the rest of the house to help promote sleep. Because your bed will likely be the largest piece of statement furniture in the room, it’s best to choose a classic style to avoid overwhelming the space. As your taste and style evolve throughout your life, you can simply change up the bedding and decorative items. Of course, your bed won’t be complete without a good quality mattress, which, if well cared for, can last between 7 to 10 years.
Functional, quality storage is the key to a well-organised, streamlined home. Storage pieces can come in a multitude of shapes and sizes, from bedside tables and bookcases to ottomans with hidden compartments and buffets. Storage is often an issue in rentals, so investing in quality storage pieces will solve this problem wherever you may live. However, as these pieces get more use, they will also be subjected to more wear and tear. Choose solid timber or quality timber laminate so you have the option to resurface them when they get a little rough around the edges.
A coffee table is the anchor of a living room, and these days they are often used more frequently than the dining room table. Coffee tables are a difficult piece of furniture to move from home to home as they are usually chosen to suit the shape and size of a room. However, choosing a coffee table which compliments the size of your lounge should work in any room. Like your dining table, select classic finishes with simple shapes and interesting details. Remember, your coffee table doesn’t have to be boring; it just needs to adapt to different design trends and aesthetics.
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A lounge is one of the most expensive pieces you will buy for your home, and it’s vital for creating a stylish, comfortable living room. Because of the amount of use a lounge will get, quality is key. Like a bed, it will be the largest piece of statement furniture in the room and will help set the design tone. Choose long-wearing, quality fabrics and, if possible, fabrics that can be cleaned and repaired if need be. However, some leathers look better the more worn they are, as long as they are routinely cleaned and conditioned. Choose a neutral colour and let your accent pieces do the talking. Avoid buying a lounge specific to a room, like with a chaise on a particular side, as it might not work in the next rental.
An accent chair is a great way to add a bit of personality to any room, especially when you’ve opted for a lounge in a neutral colour. However, an accent chair can still be classic, even in exciting patterns or bold colours. Even the brightest hues pair well with a variety of other colours and design aesthetics. Work with a colour choosing tool to see the possibilities and determine whether it will work with several design styles.
Art and decorative pieces
Art and decorative pieces are what truly makes a space your own. There are no rules for choosing these items; as long as you love it, it’s the right piece for you. As your style changes, you can simply adapt your works of art with new frames or pair them with cheaper accent pieces. The sky is the limit when it comes to how much you spend on art, but if you choose wisely, you might find it appreciates.
Words by Nell Matzen