Home makeover: 'Personal touches have made our rental a stylish family home'

Take a look inside Charlotte's gorgeous cosy home...

‘As a renter, I like to spend my money on things we’ll take with us if we move, like beautiful cushions. I got this Palmeral design in the House of Hackney sample sale, the striped cushion is from John Lewis & Partners, while the floral embroidered one is from Projektityyny, one of my favourite shops for home accessories. We love to display family memories, so the shelving in this room was a big draw for us when we first saw the house. I bought the curtains on eBay and they tie in well with the DFS sofa’
Published: August 17, 2022 at 9:30 am

Bursting with renter-friendly ideas, clever upcycles and lots of smart styling, Charlotte Jacklin has transformed her house into a calm sanctuary.

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Here, she tells us all about her home makeover experience...

Charlotte's story

We were living in a two-bed flat in Margate, but decided to move back to Lincolnshire, where I’m originally from, to be closer to family. Lincolnshire has great access to London, where I need to visit for work. It’s also surrounded by countryside, which has been so good for my creativity.

Style idea! Create a feature wall with painted stripes
Style idea! Create a feature wall with painted stripes

I spent hours looking on Rightmove for a house to rent in the area and when I saw this place, I was drawn to the wooden floors. When we went to see the house, it was better than the photos. It was really important that we found somewhere we could put our own stamp on.

Welcome to my home

A bit about me I’m Charlotte Jacklin, a content creator and stylist. I live with my husband, Jack, daughter, June, aged five, and our cockapoo, Ace. You can see more on my Instagram @charlottejacklin.

Where I live We live in a rented three-bedroom house in Lincolnshire and have been here for the past four years.

What I wanted to change The house was a bit of a blank canvas. I wanted to decorate with florals and vintage-inspired décor to reflect my personal style and put my own individual stamp on the place.

Charlotte Jacklin

The landlord wanted someone who would be here a while and who would make it a home; luckily, they were open to our DIY ideas. We knew that we were going to be here long-term, so we have been very happy to put time and effort into making it the kind of house that we want to live in.

Style idea! Customise plain shelves by attaching a pretty scallop trim
Style idea! Customise plain shelves by attaching a pretty scallop trim

Often with rented accommodation, it can be a challenge to find low-cost renting decor ideas ideas to transform the interior, but we’ve had plenty of DIY practice over the four years that we’ve lived here.

A bit more about my home...

How I made it my own We gave the kitchen a mini makeover, added lots of pretty wallpaper, painted some of the existing furniture and added a gorgeous fireplace surround in the living room.

My favourite part The downstairs with the pinks, greens, florals and natural finishes. Every room is different, but they all add to the calm feel and I love that the décor has a cohesive look.

Charlotte Jacklin

We’re proud of the unique solutions we’ve come up with, including upcycling second-hand furniture and adding free-standing temporary features that we can take with us. One day, we’d love to build our own house, but I think we’re a long way off that yet. For now, we’re very happy continuing to make this rented house feel like home.

Living room

‘Our biggest splurge is the corner Patterdale sofa from DFS. Part of me wishes we had the pink one, but as a compromise we went for the green and I think with a small child in the house, it was probably a sensible decision. It’s so comfy; we’re really happy with it. My favourite thing in this room is the DIY feature fireplace, which I made out of MDF with my dad’s help.

‘We adapted my nephew’s old changing station into this storage cupboard in the corner. It’s 18 years old and is in great condition. I bought the jute rug from Etsy. I do my workouts on top of it with a yoga mat and June and the dog run around after each other on it every day. It gets a lot of traffic and it’s held up well. The coffee table is from MADE.com and the floral chair is from a local charity shop’
‘We adapted my nephew’s old changing station into this storage cupboard in the corner. It’s 18 years old and is in great condition. I bought the jute rug from Etsy. I do my workouts on top of it with a yoga mat and June and the dog run around after each other on it every day. It gets a lot of traffic and it’s held up well. The coffee table is from MADE.com and the floral chair is from a local charity shop’

‘After we had tiled and grouted the MDF sheets, we attached it to the fireplace with No More Nails and a few screws, before attaching the whole thing to the wall with fireplace fixings. We made it so it can be easily removed, if and when we choose to leave the house. I painted the fire surround pink and added DIY painted stripes on the wall behind to bring the whole look together.’

'This Liberty Matilda Goad lampshade was a limited edition. It was an investment, but it’s a timeless classic and I really love it’
'This Liberty Matilda Goad lampshade was a limited edition. It was an investment, but it’s a timeless classic and I really love it’

Dining room

‘This is the first house we’ve lived in where we have been able to have a proper dining table, so I wanted it to be the main feature of the room. We made the table ourselves using hairpin legs and a sheet of plywood. It was an affordable way of getting a table this size.

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‘The landlord wanted someone who would make it a home and luckily were open to our DIY ideas’
‘The landlord wanted someone who would make it a home and luckily were open to our DIY ideas’

‘I’ve always wanted to have one room that was fully wallpapered, and I think this Dahlia Garden design from Boråstapeter works for both the summer and winter. We eat all our meals in here and do lots of different crafts on the table with June. It’s definitely the hub of our home.’

Kitchen

‘We’re lucky that my dad is very handy, with a background in kitchen fitting so we knew that, with his help, we could change up the kitchen for under £1,000. We kept the cabinet carcasses, but got new made- to-order MDF cupboard doors. We added handles that had been lying around in my dad’s garage for years.

‘My favourite thing in the kitchen is the Sanderson Chelsea French Rose wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct,’ says Charlotte. ‘It was a press sample, but we only needed two rolls to cover the areas we wanted, and I think it still makes a really big impact. We painted over the tiles in Puppy Paws by Valspar – have you ever heard of a cuter name for paint?’
‘My favourite thing in the kitchen is the Sanderson Chelsea French Rose wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct,’ says Charlotte. ‘It was a press sample, but we only needed two rolls to cover the areas we wanted, and I think it still makes a really big impact. We painted over the tiles in Puppy Paws by Valspar – have you ever heard of a cuter name for paint?’

‘They weren’t my first choice, but compromises have to be made when you’re on a budget and they actually go really well with the floor. The biggest task and expense was changing the worktops, but I’m happy with this marble-effect laminate design from the GoodHome range at B&Q.’

‘We painted the kitchen cabinets in Valspar Rugged Olive. We went for a satin finish and a year after painting them, I’m really happy with how they’ve worn’
‘We painted the kitchen cabinets in Valspar Rugged Olive. We went for a satin finish and a year after painting them, I’m really happy with how they’ve worn’

Master bedroom

‘We inherited the wardrobes when we moved in and were lucky that our landlord agreed to let us paint them in Marsh Green by Valspar. We also replaced the handles with these brushed gold designs from B&Q, which elevates the whole look. The feature headboard is also a DIY project. We made it from MDF and foam and covered it with a pom pom curtain from Homesense.

The Harlequin patchwork quilt from Projektityyny and matching cushions add a splash of colour to the bed
The Harlequin patchwork quilt from Projektityyny and matching cushions add a splash of colour to the bed

‘The final thing we’d like to do in this room is paint the walls a different colour, maybe a plaster pink. I quite like Ferdinand from Little Greene.’

‘The dressing table is from Next, but I completely sanded it down, added new handles from B&Q and painted it in the colour that was left over from the kitchen. I used off- cuts of Liberty wallpaper that my friend sent to me; we only needed a small amount’
‘The dressing table is from Next, but I completely sanded it down, added new handles from B&Q and painted it in the colour that was left over from the kitchen. I used off- cuts of Liberty wallpaper that my friend sent to me; we only needed a small amount’

June's bedroom

‘This room never stays the same for long. It’s always being adapted to suit June’s ever-changing needs and tastes as she grows up. We sometimes use the space as a guest room when friends and family visit, so it was important that we chose a bed that could be pulled out and made bigger for these occasions.

Wall-mounted shelves keep June’s books within easy reach for bedtime stories. Charlotte has filled the walls with artwork, including the linen banner by Secret Holiday Co on Etsy
Wall-mounted shelves keep June’s books within easy reach for bedtime stories. Charlotte has filled the walls with artwork, including the linen banner by Secret Holiday Co on Etsy

‘This IKEA Hemnes day bed is perfect. I love the Sanderson floral curtains that I found second- hand on eBay – they go really nicely with the Kip&Co bedspread.’

Neutral walls let June’s accessories and toys shine. The personalised cushion is by 16ths Child on Not On The High Street and the peach print is by Annie Dornan Smith
Neutral walls let June’s accessories and toys shine. The personalised cushion is by 16ths Child on Not On The High Street and the peach print is by Annie Dornan Smith

Bathroom

‘The bathroom was one of the main reasons we wanted to rent this house – we didn’t see many rentals with neutral bathroom tiles. We’ve updated the space with new accessories, like this bath mat from Homesense, towels from Dunelm and houseplants from Patch Plants.

One of Charlotte’s favourite ways to unwind is with a bath, so it was important this space was somewhere she enjoyed spending time. By updating bathroom essentials with on-trend buys, Charlotte has given the space a quick and budget-friendly glow up. Just like the rest of her home, she’s managed to squeeze in some pink, with the pale blush shower curtain and a wall painted in the shade, Honu Lulu by Colour Courage
One of Charlotte’s favourite ways to unwind is with a bath, so it was important this space was somewhere she enjoyed spending time. By updating bathroom essentials with on-trend buys, Charlotte has given the space a quick and budget-friendly glow up. Just like the rest of her home, she’s managed to squeeze in some pink, with the pale blush shower curtain and a wall painted in the shade, Honu Lulu by Colour Courage

‘I also cut down on all the plastic containers for a set of glass bottles that we can refill. The biggest change we made was swapping out the plastic bath surround with a wooden one, which my husband made himself.’

What I learned...

  • When decorating, it’s best to take your time. Think about how a space will work best for you and your family before jumping straight in. Rushing into decorating means you’ll probably want to change it further down the line.
 
  • Get to know what you like rather than what’s on trend right now. You can admire something without necessarily wanting it in your home.
 
  • If you don’t know where to start, moodboards are your best friend. I copy and paste images onto a PowerPoint, but you could just tear images from magazines and stick them together.
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Feature and styling Charlotte Jacklin. Photos Georgia Burns.

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