You may remember a few weeks ago, I mentioned the fact that we had to furnish our house in Holland for new tenants… and then you may have noticed it all went quiet!! We did actually spend 3 days solid working our little (or in my case big) bottoms off a few weeks ago to create a beautiful, liveable house for a family of 5 from Australia.

As we hadn’t really foreseen this, we had very little budget available for this project but knew that we had to create something modern, sturdy and in keeping with our beautiful house. It was rather a tall order, if only I had found somewhere that offers furniture for hire. But never one for the easy option, I spent weeks trawling through second hand websites in Holland trying to hunt out bargains. I often had to leave personal taste aside and just focus on the bigger picture… and boy was the picture big! With a 6 bedroom house to fully furnish, the list seemed never ending, sofa, beds, tables, mattresses, rugs, pots and pans. Luckily we already had the kitchen sink!

Once we got over the initial shock of the task at hand I dare say we might have even enjoyed it. While in the UK we went carbooting trying to pick up bargains and once in Holland spent several days visiting various addresses in and around Amsterdam picking up furniture along the way. We paid a visit to one of the few second hand shops they have in Holland called De Schalm in Haarlem, where we managed to pick up the large canvas in the bedroom for about a fiver (and possibly a very cool Art Deco clock that came home with me!).

I have to say the most enjoyable part of it all was working with my husband. Despite the stress, the frantic painting, shopping, DIY and styling we worked as a real team and I’d forgotten what a great team we really make. Not once was there a cross word even when I accidentally touched up the kitchen with the wrong colour paint (I only noticed after about 2 hours of painting when I saw it in the light!). We supported each other and cheered one another on every step of the way and finally after 3 days of hard work we stood back and smiled at what we had achieved. The house shone with all the love and attention we lavished on it and I swear I could almost hear it’s heart beat :)

Bad news was after all that hard work our tenants dropped out at the last minute due to personal troubles without even seeing the property furnished, which was a bit of a blow to say the least. That’s why it took me a little bit of time to actually be able to share these pictures with you, but I’m as over it as I will ever be, so here goes!

Great design sofa for £170. Solid wood cupboard £70. Lamp £10. Art and cushions from ikea.
Bargain table £15
Table with bench and 3 leather chairs £170
Bed £60. Bedside tables £10. Bedding £5 ikea.
Art £15. Bed £25. Desk £60.
Art £2. Desk and chair £25.

My top tips for furnishing a house/appartment to rent

  • Set a reasonable budget and try to stick to it!
  • Choose light neutral colours. We all know this sells / rents easier and makes the place look airy and fresh.
  • Choose sturdy furniture. If you are having a family move into your place you will need the furniture to be robust. I went for wood most of the time as this does not damage easily.
  • When buying second hand try to avoid buying Ikea. Don’t get me wrong Ikea is great especially when you are on a budget but if you are on an eenie meenie budget and need to buy secondhand steer clear of ikea. Things that have been taken apart and put back together again several times tend not to have aged very well.
  • Keep the decoration to a minimum to avoid clutter.
  • Try and think of the bigger picture. This sometimes means putting your personal taste to one side. I personally love rustic, country  and vintage, quirky pieces but they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea so I tried to remember this when shopping.
  • Keep motivated and focused when searching for bargains online and you can find some real gems.
  • Remember you are trying to make a stylish property that will be attractive to renters so don’t fill it with rubbish… Get a good quality sofa and beds.
  • Don’t forget to write down which colour paint you used and where (to save my terrible mistake of painting the wrong colour, which was only a tiny shade different but looked so very wrong!)
  • If you don’t have the right paint to cover up a spot consider a creative solution! We had one room where we didn’t have the colour anymore so would have had to paint the whole room again just for one tiny patch so I made a sticker creation over it (luckily it was one of the kids rooms!)

A big thank you to all our lovely friends and family who helped us out in many ways, you know who you are! We love you very much and couldn’t have done it all without you. Let’s keep positive and hope we get new tenants very, very soon! xxx