Great ways to rock your rental!

Medina Grillo is the award-winning DIY blogger and author behind Grillo Designs. She describes herself as an "IKEA-loving-upcycling-junkie, DIY-passionate-home-decor-crazy-renter". Her site hosts a fantastic collection of inspiring ideas, guides and hacks to make your home beautiful and unique to you. As a renter herself, Medina has lots of brilliant insider tips & tricks to overcome many challenges faced with decorating a rental home, and lucky for us, she loves to share them!

Medina Grillo holding her book and sitting on her stairs

We caught up with Medina, to talk about the source of her impeccable taste, and what advice she would give for someone just getting started with DIY projects. Have a read below.

You did a brilliant post not so long ago about interior rules you don't mind breaking. Are there any DIY rules or traditions that you always tend to stick to?

"Not really. There’s something very freeing about not feeling like you have to abide by any rules when it comes to decorating. I’m very much an emotional decorator so a lot of how I curate and style my home is based on how certain items make me feel. As long as it looks and feels good to me, that’s kind of all that matters."

Medina Grillo sitting at her dining table

You make DIY look easy because your space is put together so well. Where do you normally find inspiration for a project?

"I find inspiration everywhere. It could be a morning walk, seeing how certain plants reflect the light in the sun or a styled window front of one of my favourite interior shops. It could be at home, binging on a series and spotting something I really like in the background home set of a movie. It could be reading a book or a magazine and flicking through round ups of editors top summer home decor picks. And social media of course, like Instagram or Pinterest, where we have unlimited access to other people’s lives and how they live."

People love using Sugru because it’s easy and accessible. What are the DIY jobs you find most challenging?

"I would say figuring out angles for a specific woodworking project and getting the wood cut correctly with a mitre saw. I’ve never been that great at maths so I’ll admit, this job takes me a while to figure out."

Medina Grillo sitting on her sofa

For anybody wanting to get more hands on in the home, what’s a good starter project for anybody looking to refresh their space on a modest budget?

"My DIY Journey started with upcycling furniture so I would definitely recommend starting there. Have a browse on sites likes Facebook marketplace, gumtree, eBay etc for bargain pieces of furniture looking to be updated and have a go at making them feel more like YOU! Not only will you be creating something one-off and unique for your home, but you’ll also be improving basic skills like sanding, painting and wallpapering."

You speak to a lot of people when you admit to wishing your home projects were a bit further along. What might your 'finished' home be / look like?

"To be honest, I’ve come to the realisation that no space is ever really finished. Spaces just continue to evolve over time. I think that’s because as humans our needs and wants are continuously changing. What may have worked for us one year, might not work the following year. And with such an increase in social media use, those needs can sometimes be influenced (sometimes a little prematurely) by what others might be doing. 

I think we saw a lot of this way of thinking play out during the pandemic, where people were kind of forced to look at their homes a little differently and make changes that were functional and accommodating to a new way of family life. 

At the end of the day though, whether our spaces feel ‘finished’ or not, it’s important to appreciate the journey of evolution. And create spaces that ultimately make us feel safe, secure and inspired." 

Medina Grillo having coffee

Thanks Medina! We're pumped and ready to start our own DIY and home-styling journey with an upcycled furniture project or two! 

For more fantastic fixing, making and improving ideas, head over to our Projects & Inspiration page. Or to read more about all the brilliant and inspiring people we speak to, head over to the Sugru blog.