Life in a rental home


+ + Simple Tips nr. 1: Five simple things I always bring with me into a new home.

It’s been ten days since we moved into our new home and a good way of starting this new Series - Life in a rental home.

We left the sweet cottage mew behind us - our Home nr. 11 - and it finally feels like we are starting to settle in our new lives in Brighton. Our home is an old Edwardian house with old and new elements, which felt as ours from the moment I walked through the front door. Even though we don’t own it, we want to life in it for awhile, so feeling at Home is very important.

As most of you know, we own a home near Amsterdam - which we have rented out a couple times - and we are tenants since we started this nomadic life back in 2002. So we are familiar with being on both sides of owning and renting a property. Along the way I picked up some tips, learned some tricks and added my own routines. Simple ways of living in a rental home and making it feel like your own.

Little Marlow in her fifth home. The big paper lanterns I bought in the new    Habitat    shop here in Brighton.

Little Marlow in her fifth home. The big paper lanterns I bought in the new Habitat shop here in Brighton.

What I’ve learned while moving so many times, is that every move always brings with it certain levels of uncertainty and stress.

Sometimes it’s just a low level of stress (“the movers can only deliver our stuff in two weeks - what are we going to sleep/sit on in the mean time?”). Other times, the uncertainty was pretty big (“the house we just signed to move in, is suddenly off the market…where are we going to live?”). You can imagine why I have so many grey hairs…

Amid all the uncertainties and big changes, it is important to feel good while starting a new life in a new place. After all, life is hectic enough and feeling good is important. So I always make sure to create a bit of my own energy and bring my favourite items in the house, before we move in or start sleeping there.

Brighton 2018
Brighton 2018


I always walk through the whole house with white sage - clearing out the old energy & bringing in our own - while focusing on positive vibes. I use incense sticks instead of the dried leaves (which smell stronger), but these are handy to carry with me.


Burning sentenced candles - they not only make the house smell good, they look good too. Any brand is good for me.


I always bring a photo of us with me - small or big, framed or not - as long as it’s from the four of us. This is an old photo from our time living in Switzerland (where Zoe was born).


I love the room spray Seychelles from The White Company. I spray it on our beds, in the bathroom sink, on the inside of the front door, etc - familiarity is key here. This way the house smells like ours right away. I started using this brand years ago, still love it.


Plants or Flowers - they always brighten up a house - making it feel warm, lived in and simply feel like Home. I also started propagating - I bought the single pretty wood cradle from Hilton Carter when he was in Brooklyn.

Brighton 2018

Simple, familiar items in our new rental home.