If you are not yet in your forever home, and are renting, there are ways of creating a layered look without leaving a mark on the walls.
Get the hang
Consider interesting objects to suspend from ceilings or anchor to floors and encourage your guests to look here, there and everywhere. Here, a kite in the shape of a pirate ship becomes a mobile held up and roped down with a green silk cord.
Objects stored on open shelving and flung-open cupboard doors take on new appeal when blessed with a uniformity of colour, because what’s the point of possessing beautiful and meaningful things if you can’t show them off for the world to see?
Affix light objects to the wall using removable adhesive hooks, and change the vignette when the mood takes you. This old lampshade has been customised with a bedtime phrase, but you could pen a nursery rhyme, poem or a favourite saying.
Stick ’em up
I always have a stash of Blu-Tack (or other brand of adhesive putty) on styling jobs or when I’m doing some redecorating as it allows me to quickly stick things up – postcards, old theatre tickets, anything on paper – and remove them without a trace when the mood takes me.
If you’re not ready to wallpaper or paint a wall – or can’t – try another tactic. Giant playing cards, available from party suppliers and stuck up with tape, act as both art and wallpaper; mix with patterns, such as caning or palm fronds.
Books are the ultimate styling tool. They make a space feel like home and are a direct reference to your interests & fantasies, and a reflection of whose space it is. They can create a beautiful backdrop (as mine do) or simply add height, colour & a point of view on tables, shelves and mantels. Bright idea: Have a sense of humour and use recycled bricks with favourite book titles painted on for display and bookends.