How to style your rental

Emma Jane Palin interiors
Jennifer Morgan,-Interiors Editor

Discover why House by John Lewis is a firm favourite with one style- and budget-savvy influencer

As someone who’s often asked to share her favourite places to shop for furniture for a rental, award-winning blogger Emma Jane Palin is passionate in her response: ‘I still believe in making investment purchases when it comes to furniture and interior decor – even though I rent. I’d much rather spend a little more for something that is going to come with me to each and every house, eventually making it into our own purchased home,’ she explains.

So when John Lewis & Partners asked Emma to style her living room using her favourite pieces, she jumped at the chance. ‘Not only is its home range affordable and design-led, but there’s the House by John Lewis collection, which focuses on furniture and interior accessories for the living room, dining room and kitchen at a lower price point but still with that same level of attention. Two birds, one stone sprang to mind!’

Here’s Emma’s new-look living room, which is ‘designed for fellow renters and first homeowners alike’.

Emma Jane Palin interiors

Find an item you love as a starting point

‘Having just moved again, it seemed like the perfect time to start from scratch with our living room; a sparse white room with black beams and a very imperfect floor,’ says Emma. ‘I wasn’t really sure where to go with it, but having looked at the House by John Lewis range, there was one item that stood out for me – the Pathways cushion (as featured in The Times’ Instagram Homeware Hits). I knew immediately that I wanted to create a warm and cosy environment with hues of pinks, mauves and yellows, and with a price tag of just £20, the cushion seemed like a great place to start.’

Emma Jane Palin interiors

Balance your colour palette

With its newly painted pinky-coloured wall and restored floor, Emma started to style the space. ‘Making this feel gender-neutral was no easy feat,’ she explains. She added neutral and earthy tones, contrasted with pops of yellow and a few more blue and red tones thrown in for good measure. ‘Now it feels inviting and homely but still fresh, and not too feminine,’ she says.

To counteract the bold yellow sofa, Emma kept the rest of the furniture fairly neutral. ‘The leather armchair is butter-soft and I just know it’s going to last us a lifetime,’ she says.

Emma Jane Palin interiors

Add interest with lighting

‘When it comes to lighting, the House by John Lewis range is second to none,’ says Emma. ‘There is something for everyone and I picked up two styles, both very different. The Angus arched floor lamp hangs over our vinyl area and the Stockholm table lamp looks super retro on another of my favourite additions, the Jax side table. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve nailed our zoning and the few friends that we’ve had at the new place have all ooh’d and ahh’d over the pieces, not quite believing they are such accessible designs.’

Emma Jane Palin interiors

Layer in those finishing touches that express you

To finish her new-look living room, Emma chose a selection of cushions, rugs, vases and picture frames from both the House and standard John Lewis & Partners collection. ‘I’m so happy with the layers of textures, and how well lots of our independently-designed home and vintage finds work with the pieces I chose. Not to mention the quality of each and every product,’ she says.

Get Emma’s look

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