Vibrant Art and Rugs Add Color to This Rental House

Name: Kate, Nick, Otis, and Zephyr, with dog Bucket
Location: Frankston South — Melbourne, Australia
Years lived in: 3 years, renting

Kate—who runs the Instagram account The Little Beastie—has a love of interior design, decor, and craft, all of which can be seen throughout the rental home she shares with her family. They’ve created a wonderfully fun and colorful home for their young family in the seaside suburb of Frankston South—located southeast of central Melbourne—and they’ve done it without painting the walls of their rental!

Like most rentals, it’s impossible to make any dramatic changes to their home without approval from landlords. So Kate brings in color and fun via the artwork, furniture, rugs, and other decor, with many pieces created or refurbished by Kate.

Recently however, Nick was allowed to update the kitchen backsplash, taking it from a bright red to the white tiles seen today. It has made a dramatic difference to the feel of the kitchen space, and complements the rest of the home beautifully.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I feel like it’s so hard to put my style into a word or even a couple of words. It’s kind of boho I guess, but vintage and a little coastal-ish?

Inspiration: COLOR. I am totally drawn in by fun colors and try to implement this into my everyday life in our home. If it makes us happy, it’s most likely coming home!

Favorite Element: Such a tough one, I love so much about this place. But maybe the homey vibe? I feel like when you walk in here it feels cozy and happy and super homely. Something that kind of comes naturally with having such a small home but also from consciously filling it with the things that make us most happy. Surrounding ourselves with goodness. I want our kids to always remember their home being comfy, joyful… and a little messy!

Biggest Challenge: Renting is definitely a challenge. We have moved around quite a bit since moving into our first home together about 10 years ago and we can’t go out and buy new furniture to fit every new space! So it’s hard to make the things you have and love work in a new setting where they weren’t really meant to. We just get creative, swap the indoor things with outdoor things, and constantly move things around, until we get a feel for how it will look best for the time that we are here.

What Friends Say: I think friends would say that I’m a hoarder ha ha. I love to bring new/old things home even if I have no place for it—I will find one. And of course they are always happy to take the things in that I get rid of, once I feel like I don’t need it anymore.

Biggest Embarrassment: Probably that this house is always a mess, like always. With two small kiddies I find it near impossible to have every room under control at any one time. It’s either a tidy living space because all the mess has moved to the bedrooms or visa versa. I am not an organized person, so anyone who has been to my house will probably attest to the fact that it’s always a mess! Sorry friends!

Proudest DIY: The wardrobe in Zephyr’s nursery. I had a vision for this wardrobe—courtesy of Pinterest, and of course thought it would be a breeze, but oh no it wasn’t. So many hours and so many layers of paint to get it where I wanted it and I am obsessed with how it looks in his room.

Biggest Indulgence: I feel like investing in art that you love is so important. It’s not always easy and pretty much never in the budget, but if there’s an artist you love or a piece you can’t stop thinking about, make it happen! Save, trade your skills or products—but make that piece yours! My Bonnie Gray original in my lounge room is my favorite in the house and I know that I will continue to love it forever.

Best Advice: Try not to box yourself into a particular style. Buy the things that you are drawn to and love regardless of the fact that you think they won’t “go.” They will work because it’s your home and your style. I get tired of hearing oh I love this cushion so much, but it doesn’t go with my throw, BUY THE CUSHION SUSAN. Your home is a reflection of you, not the centerfold in your home decor magazine.

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