Darren has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.

What are some of the best rug options for renters who want to add style and warmth to their space without making permanent changes?

A: The best thing about rugs is their versatility, as they can be purchased to suit any style, size, or room. If you’re a renter, adding style, warmth, interest, colour, pattern, texture, and most importantly, personality to your home is simple and dramatic with the right rug. Whether made from SDN, jute, wool, or any other fibre, a rug serves as a base for easy self-expression without leaving a trace on your rented property. Unlike attaching artwork or pictures to walls, rugs offer a way to have art right on your floor.

How can renters choose the right size and shape of a rug to enhance their living areas, such as the living room or bedroom?

A: One of the most common errors when choosing rugs is going too small. With a living area your rug should be big enough to at least fit under the feet of any seating in the space, whether the configuration is a modular sofa, a pair of sofas or a sofa and occasional seating combination. If you can find a rug that allows you to sit most or all of your furniture on it like an island. You need to leave space around the perimeter of the room of at least 300mm but up to 800mm-1m to see the flooring, but otherwise bigger is better.

In a bedroom you need your rug to sit under the bed, be as wide as the full bed + bedsides and lay where you place your feet first thing in the morning, not just frame the end of your bed. The idea of the rug is to anchor the furniture for sure, but practically speaking you also want the rug to be the last thing your feet touch at night and the first point of contact in the morning. If you have a Queen bed your bed base width will be between 1.5 and 1.6m. Your bedsides will likely be between 500-600mm so your complete rug width (or length in the instance you are placing your rug’s longest edge under your bed) should be between 2.5m and 2.8m wide at least. You can get away with 230cm width but be aware that it won’t quite be as wide as your bedsides in this instance.

Are there any particular rug materials or textures that you recommend for rental properties, considering factors like durability and ease of maintenance?

A: The right rug depends on a manner of circumstances. If you have timber floors and a neighbour below, a thick and sound buffering shag pile rug would do wonders for interdepartmental relations. If you have small children or pets, however, a shag might not be as appropriate as a cut-pile, solution-dyed nylon (SDN) rug, as they’re easy to clean for any number of spills and accidents. Wool rugs work well in most environments and have natural flame and water-resistant properties. Jute and jute blend rugs work well with coastal and boho-inspired interiors. The softer the blended fibre is, for example, in a natural fibre/jute blend, the softer a jute rug will be on crawling children or underfoot for kids and adults.In terms of durability, however, there are few rugs that perform better than outdoor rugs due to their need to endure harsher environments with exposure to moisture. One of my absolute favourite outdoor rugs to use in an unforgiving indoor environment is the Terrace range at Carpet Court. It looks like an indoor rug and has many colour and pattern variations, as well as sizes to suit any space. It’s soft-looking and forgiving underfoot, making it one of the most perfect solutions for a hardworking interior or exterior space.

What are some creative ways to incorporate rugs into small rental spaces, like studio apartments or compact bedrooms, to make them feel more inviting?
A: Size is important, but so too is shape. A round rug can help anchor a space, provide the opportunity for texture, colour, and shape, and can fit well into smaller spaces, even helping to zone smaller open-plan living spaces by defining a lounge or dining area within it.

Window treatments can greatly impact the overall aesthetic of a rental home. What are some versatile and renter-friendly options for window coverings that provide both privacy and style?

A: From state to state, tenancy laws can differ, but the general consensus is that it’s reasonable to require window coverings on windows, and whether the landlord supplies them, or you do, there are a plethora of options.

One of the simplest ways to install a window treatment is to find something the same size as an existing one and replace it straight, hopefully allowing you to also line up any new screw holes with old ones if you’re lucky.

Venetian blinds can be simple and cost-effective, allowing for openness, closure, and various degrees of privacy and light protection.

The next and one of the most popular options is a roller blind. They can be doubled up for a layer of daytime privacy, with a semi-transparent or sheer material added to a fully blockout blind as a double bracket hang.

If your landlord has an eye for style, however, a well-functioning and great-looking approach can be a track with sheer curtains from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, paired with either another track with a block-out blind behind or in front with equal proportions, or paired with a roller blind, either oversized across the opening or fit tight to the inside of any door or window architrave.

What advice do you have for renters who want to add curtains or blinds to their windows but are restricted by rules that prohibit drilling or permanent installations?

A: When I rented a property, I found a solution for adding curtains without drilling or making permanent changes by utilising an existing hole in the wall that was meant for hanging art. I created a large board, attached my TV to it, and then secured the entire board to the wall using the existing hole and a new screw-in fitting. To protect the wall from scratches, I added felt pads to the board. This approach allowed me to receive my full bond back when moving out. If you’re restricted from drilling, try to find existing holes in the wall that you can use creatively to fix window coverings onto a board, and make sure to take before and after photographs. Always seek permission from the landlord for any modifications, as most reasonable requests are likely to be accepted.

Are there any window treatment trends that renters can embrace to elevate their spaces, such as unique patterns or unconventional materials?
A: Simplicity in colour and material is often the best approach; however, Carpet Court’s range of curtains come in dark charcoal and indigo colours, adding drama and interest to any space. For a lighthearted touch, consider a pop of pink in your Bali sheers. For a variation on those colour themes, you could look at Carpet Court’s Seattle range. There are denim blues and blush pinks alongside the neutrals and greys.