As someone who has never owned a property but feels the need to be surrounded by beautiful and meaningful things at all times I've known the pain of renting and not being able to decorate first hand. This also means however that after 13 years of being a tenant I've realised that you can still bring your passions and personality into your interior decor in a non permanent way. Believe me when I say that art, textiles, books, keepsakes and a little imagination are your very best friends and if you want to create a space that makes you feel comfortable, content and inspired then surrounding yourself with things that make you smile and bring back memories is the best way to do it.

I don't follow interior design trends as you'll see, much like with clothing I just mix together looks that I love to create my dream result. It is however very helpful when things you love just happen to come into style as it makes them much easier (and often much cheaper) to procure. 

A shining example of this is the trend for elaborate lighting such as the brass palm tree light that have been gracing the homes of my favourite interior influencers for a while now but have been way out of my price range (think £600 plus!) then in steps Matalan and makes me dream come true! I think they must have got some new very clever bods into their homewares team recently because boy are there are a lot of gorgeous things on their website right now!

Personally I do think a dog is an essential addition to a home but its actually soft furnishings that I want to talk about here. One thing that can absolutely change a room completely is a sofa and since we got our new giant corner sectional last year our living room has finally become the cosy sanctuary I always wished for.

To up the comfort levels I have of course added some gorgeous cushions and a big faux fur throw that I use far too frequently for sofa naps. I was also thrilled to find a rug that wasn't too expensive in a pattern I actually liked as the wood floors could be a bit chilly in the winter and not very comfortable for Betty the bulldog to snooze on. It also helps with sound in the room giving the tv and hifi system a warmer tone than it had when it was just bouncing around hard walls and a hard floor.

Dillon Sectional Sofa in Raven by DFS - pieces start at £569.00 (purchased)
Faux Wolf Fur Throw by Home Bargains - £35.00 (purchased)
Double Sided Faux Mongolian Fur Cushion by Matalan - £12.00 (* gifted by the brand)
Vintage Look Rug in Graphite from Amazon - £65.00 (purchased)

One of my favourite things to do when I travel is to collect keepsakes and things that I can display in the cottage to remind me of my adventures around the world. Museums are very special places to me and I love the two pieces here from some of my favourite London locations the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Soanes Museum, both of which I collected on trips with my parents and sister. 

Although not purchased on the trip I love my giant fabric wall hanging map of Paris as it brings back memories of the time I spent there but also makes a great focal point for the wall opposite the window in our little living room. I also have lots of trinkets from my Grandparents house in this room that remind me of my beloved Gran and Gramps.

Mexican Tin and Mirror Hand from the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A - £5.99 (purchased)
Paris Fabric Wall Hanging by Collard Manson - £40.00 (purchased, sold out but others here)
Tattooed Vamp Print (part of a Milan tattoo convention poster) - Freebie with an order from Gentlemen's Tattoo Flash
Round Angel Plaque - from my grandparents house

As with my fashion choices I love mixing the old and the new so finding Pop Vinyl characters dotted in amongst antiques is a frequent sight in our house - we've been collecting them for some time now and the latest addition was a Black Phillip from The VVitch that Pete surprised me with. Other new things are the Time Turner that Pete bought me on our honeymoon trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, oyster shells with our names on that were place settings at a friend's wedding and my candleholder friend Oswald the Octopus.

Drawing of our cat Cleo by our mega talented friend Anne
Feathered fascinator hat made by me at a class with Pearls and Swine
Pop Vinyl characters collected from various places like Amazon, eBay and Forbidden Planet
Time Turner Necklace from Harry Potter World at Universal Studios but also available here
Madonna statue and crucifix both from antique shops in Bruges
Jesus statue was a present from my sister

My husband and I are both music obsessed and so bringing this love into our decor came naturally. I mostly collect prints and posters at gigs we go to, but if I spot any online that catch my eye for bands that we love I like to grab them to add to the collection. I recently found an Australia based company called Beyond The Pale and I've become a bit obsessed - if I won the lottery I think I'd buy one of nearly all of their prints!

Also seen here is a print of a piece by one of my all time favourite artists John William Waterhouse and a defaced dollar bill that came with a print I purchased from a current incredible artist Kevin Llewellyn that I mounted on a spare scrap of fabric by the amazing Timorous Beasties. The tin hand was another purchase from the V and A Frida Kahlo exhibition.

Alkaline Trio Tour Poster Print by Beyond The Pale - $30.00 (purchased)

Collecting books is an obsession of mine and every room in our house is 'decorated' with them. I collect anything that interests me but my particular favourites are old ghost stories and historical volumes like the translation of the Egyptian Book of The Dead that fans of The Mummy may be aware of - yes it was an actual thing! I collect my books everywhere - from markets, second hand bookshops, antique warehouses and fairs and various online resources. 

I struck gold recently on eBay winning this antique black corner unit with mirrors for just a tenner and it has pride of place filled with books and being guarded by Shaun the Prawn which was a Valentines Day gift from my husband that he got at Zara Home a few years ago.

More trinkets from my travels live on this shelf including a cuddle bat and old copy of the world of Percey Shelley that I found when we visited gorgeous Gloria and Ali in Glasgow. The ceramic hands were found at various vintage fairs and I painted the lady face plant pot on a trip to Center Parcs one year. The print is by Kevin Llewellyn who is mentioned above and is of my favourite sculpture The Veiled Bride that usually resides at the amazing Chatsworth House.

The kitchen can be a tricky place to personalise if you have limited space but we're fortunate enough to have the original range in our cottage that makes a perfect focal point slash book shelf! Of course I haven't been able to hold back here either and have decorated the chimney breast with an amazing neon light, vintage liquor adverts and postcards that I bought at a concert. My giant Cointreau bottle ice bucket also resides here along with a neon heart light that I got as a secret santa present last year!

Cocktails Neon Light by Prezzybox - £75.00 (* gifted by the brand)
Vintage vermouth ads purchased online
Fake travel postcards bought at a Caro Emerald concert
Vintage Cointreau Ice Bucket - Winged Ape Loughborough (purchased)

I've managed to add a touch of eccentricity to my office too with the addition of a decorative table hanging bar, some shelves and nicnacs and of course more art prints. I also an out of room on my jewelry organiser and so I started hanging light necklaces from my fake trailing plants, but I liked the effect so much I've carried on doing it!

Table Hanger Rack by Clas Ohlson - £14.99 (purchased)
String Bulb Lights by Clas Ohlson - £19.99 (purchased)
Swan Hanging Planters by Flying Tiger Copenhagen (purchased)
Faux Trailing Plant by Ikea - £6.00 (purchased)
Leopard Bauble Decorations were a gift from my Mother in Law

As someone who loves 'pretty stuff' storage is key for me and naturally if the storage itself is decorative all the better! The wall shelf trend has been a big help with this and I have quite a few little display shelves dotted about the cottage now.

Wire Shelf by Matalan - £16.00 (* gifted by the brand)
'N' Book from The National Portrait Gallery (purchased)
Lobster Bottle Opener purchased at a little shop on Spetses island in Greece
Gold pen pot by Primark (purchased)
The Library Scented Candle by True Grace (purchased - my favourite candle of all time!)

The Future Is In Your Hands Print by Oh Deer - £12.95 (purchased)

I hope you've enjoyed this post and that it's given you a few ideas for your own home - I'd love to see photos of anything you add that was inspired by this piece!

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*This post contains items that were gifted for review. For more information head to my disclaimer page.