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I can’t count the times I have advised my customers on where to spend and where to save depending on the whether or not they are renting or owning. There are a lot of things we tend to forget as we are busy out there in the shops trying to make decisions based on what we like and what would fir best, but often forget to think long term. So here it is folks, my top recommendations for you!


1. Don’t spend too much on a space-specific furniture. I can immediately recall that time we bought that perfect dining room cupboard that was wide enough for the wall we had, and quite frankly we probably should have left it there because it isn’t the right dimensions for our house. If you’re going to acquire nice items, invest in chairs, lamps and side tables, which are more easily integrated into any space.

2. Don’t invest in permanent storage: Maybe install one single shelf at the entryway, but otherwise get creative with something like a vintage crate or a wire basket to catch kicked-off shoes. Look for pretty and portable accessories for storage, like creative hooks for bags and scarves and a nice tray for keys. You can always use those elsewhere. In the living room, this is a good time to use a bookshelf, as built-ins are not a reality for rentals.

3. Repainting is really easy and can be done in an afternoon: you can totally do it yourself. I’ve never been in an apartment that did’nt have a paint job – its almost a given and mega look changer.

4. If you’re nervous about investing in an expensive coffee table, consider a group of poufs with a tray on top or layering smaller coffee tables together. You can then break them apart and use them throughout your new space.

5. Focus on accessories like throw pillows, dishes, and trays. You can buy a really crappy coffee table and put a gorgeous tray on it, and nobody will know what’s undersneath!

6. Invest in a nice mirror for the entryway: It can always go from your apartment to your first home, and seeing as it’s the first thing people see when they enter, and the last thing people look at when they leave, its worthy of some budget.

7. Great art is everything, so start your collection now. You don’t have to spend a fortune by any means, but pieces found over the years generally tell a better story than one long session on the computer sourcing art to fill a new home. Why not try Dubai’s flee markets or picking up some art on your travels?


1. Consider building in storage, particularly if your home lacks closets. We tend to collect a lot of things the minute we are settled and storage is key!

2. Invest in pieces that fit perfectly, whether it’s a standing lamp, a console table, or a chair in the corner. These are functional pieces that will be there forever (or as long as you own the house!)

3. Wallpaper your entry – or paint it in a separate color. Spend the money and time to make this space feel really special so that entering and exiting your home is an event.

4. This is a good time to invest in shelving, particularly as a way to eliminate clutter or any extra furniture on the floor, as it can look kind of busy to have too many bookcases or even DVDs.

5. Invest in a high quality couch that fits perfectly – you don’t have to spend a fortune, but make sure that its really comfortable and sound enough that you can reupholster it as your taste changes without having to start over – hey we had our leather L-Shape sofa for ten years and simply gave it a fresh coat of paint to make freshen it up again!

6. Hire professional painters, even if you think your paint job is simple. It should be perfect. And while they’re at it, consider contrasting the ceiling or the molding or the trim – even if it’s in a subtle way. Paint your entryway door and make a statement.


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