Here at Interiors Addict, we just don’t buy into the idea that rental homes have to look bland or lacking in style and personality. Rent My Style is dedicated to showcasing the best of our readers’ rental home decorating efforts. They’re not show homes, they’re real homes!
As a freelance photographic stylist and the owner of an interior decorating and styling business, it’s perhaps no surprise that Jo-Anne Pabst‘s home is absolutely gorgeous. Jam-packed full of character, this unique old house is a two-minute walk from one of Perth’s finest beaches and is referred to, rather fondly by Jo’s family, as the Beach Shack. But it takes a certain eye to disguise leaning walls and peeling paint this well, in a home which is most likely destined to be knocked down.
“I think we appreciate the Beach Shack more than a lot of other people might,” explains Jo. “There aren’t any modern features (no dishwasher or second toilet here). It is not very big and all the rooms lead off each other, but we love what it offers us as a family.”
Home to Jo, her husband and their two young boys, they have lived here for the last two years. Having moved from London, they decided to rent so they could keep their property in the UK; a decision that hasn’t compromised the homeliness of the property. “It was all very neutral when we moved in. Great floorboards and plain walls,” says Jo. “ There’s a feature fireplace and mantle which I change regularly and all of our furniture just seemed to work with a tweak.”
As an avid collector, Jo has furniture and homewares from all over the world. Loving everything antique or vintage, she has found these character pieces to be the key ingredients for creating changes that aren’t permanent and giving the place a great feel. “I love having all of our furniture and art from our time in London. It all has a story of where it was bought or found,” explains Kate. “For that reason, I really love the lounge room. It has an open fire, which we are enjoying in the very short winter in Perth and it also has all of our favorite furniture, art and things we have collected from our travels. It is amazing how these can take me back to times gone by in an instant.”
Unfortunately for Jo and her family, the Beach Shack will most likely be knocked down, but that does mean the landlords don’t mind what they do to the property… within reason. “Most of the things we have done are in the outside area,” says Jo. “Vegetable and herb gardens, sand pits and chicken houses. I think we fancy ourselves as suburban farmers! The boys have lots of room for adventure, trees to climb and swing from, a cubby house (from Gumtree) and even a pirates’ lair up in the back corner.”
While the outside has got a lot of love and care, the inside of the property has not remained untouched either, with some quick DIY fixes, fresh coats of paint and the addition of IKEA cupboards. The interiors also presented Jo with her biggest rental decorating challenge: “The two rooms on the side of the house have a definite lean to them,” she explains. “One room is my office and then the kids’ playroom. We definitely have to position our furniture to lean the right way! I have also covered the walls in these rooms with my moodboards, photos and kids’ artwork; much cheerier than the peeling paint!”
While it may be tired in places, Jo sees this as a benefit: “ I don’t have to be precious about the sandy feet or the hand prints!” Loved by her family and all those that come to visit, Jo is very glad to call the Beach Shack home. “We have a bit of fun with it, lots of barbecues and themed kids parties. Most people say it has a really good vibe, which is what I am most proud of.”