Can generation rent make their accommodation feel like home without incurring the wrath of landlords or housemates?

Can generation rent make their accommodation feel like home without incurring the wrath of landlords or housemates? Riya Patel offers a guide to compact pieces that won’t break the bank – and will pack up when it’s time to move on

Riya Patel
Thursday 17 September 2015 15:47
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Lift 3 Shelf £145.25, hem.com

European brand Hem is out to revolutionise home furniture with the modern renter in mind. This unit's low price is a result of the virtues of flatpack, yet its shelves are beautifully treated solid ash, a whole lot sturdier than the usual chipboard or MDF. They're versatile too: mount them on the wall or stack them with others, as space allows.

Tilt sofa bed £795, heals.com

Not the cheapest sofa bed around, but it's always worth spending more on big items that are comfortable and durable. The arms of Per Weiss's space-saving Scandi design tilt flat, allowing it to double up as a single guest bed. Coming with a good guarantee, it makes a solid investment for small spaces.

Ram ceiling pendant £69, made.com

Feathering your nest on a budget doesn't have to mean compromising on style. This is excellent value for a statement lamp that can add drama to drab spaces. As well as its generous oval canopy – good for dining areas and breakfast bars – the lamp has a glass diffuser that gives a glowing quality of light.

Chevron rug £75, urbanoutfitters.com

It's not easy to find a decent-sized rug under £100 that doesn't feel like a doormat. This one's bright colours and geometric shapes make up for a lack of plushness, and are ideal for covering carpet or floors that have seen better days. The rug is 100 per cent cotton, making it light to carry and easy to roll up if you move.

Rubi floor lamp

£150, howkapow.com

Floor lamps are great for creating cosier, more ambient lighting than the typical single bulb or pendant. They can also animate corners that you'd otherwise never use. This makes our selection for its clean and timeless design; it will fit with many spaces and interior styles.

Muse nesting tables £195, oliverbonas.com

If you dream of luxurious white marble surfaces but can't manage the associated price tag, this duo from Oliver Bonas is a neat way to bring a touch of the real thing into your home. The contrasting copper legs are a further stylish touch, making the tables seem a lot more expensive than they are.

Felt storage box £20, johnlewis.com

Storage can be a real headache in rented homes, especially if housemates' clutter is occupying every available nook and cranny. This House box is re-useable, lined with two different bright colours to match or contrast with the rest of your decor, is made from strong felt, and is smart enough to have on show. Use it for tidying books and magazines or fold it away in the wardrobe until your next move.

Colour-block dipped vase

£12, marksandspencer.com

The colour-dipping on this zesty vase makes it look freshly finished. It offers outstanding value and makes a great accent piece on mantelpieces or shelves. A few splayed branches of foliage or a short, full flower head such as a hydrangea will show it off beautifully.

Leafy Goodness print

£45, hellomarine.com

Owning a one-off piece of art may be a distant dream, but the alternative doesn't have to be an IKEA poster. Limited-edition prints, such as this fun one by Brighton-based illustrator HelloMarine, offer individuality at an affordable price – and the chance to support young artists.

Vermont dining chair

£115, rockettstgeorge.co.uk

It's tempting to opt for cheap when you have a space to fill quickly, but a solid wood chair like this classic is an investment; it can be endlessly repainted as you move homes and change styles. The high back on this model makes it useful for the living room or bedroom, too; just add a cushion for comfort. 1

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