As Moore says, this appetite for a stylish décor set-up it seems is especially loved by millennials – also aptly nicknamed ‘generation rent’. As the first generation to be poorer than their parents and struggling against rising house prices, getting on the property ladder is unachievable for many.
The Women’s Budget Group confirmed in its 2019 report about the gender housing gap that there is technically nowhere in the UK that is affordable for women to buy or to rent. Stylist writer Hollie Richardson faces this challenge, predicting that she might never own a home: “With the average house price in the UK being £229,431 and the average deposit being close to £20,000, house prices are constantly rising. I’m no economist, but with the average household income being £28,400 in 2018, even I can work out that saving up over two-thirds of your salary to secure a home is absurd, thus making it difficult for many young people to envision getting on the property ladder.”
This hasn’t stopped young women trying to make their rentals their own, though. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. If anything, for some, making that space their own is high on their priority list. Richardson says: “I’ve lived in around 20 houses and flats over my lifetime and most have been rented, so I’ve rarely felt like I live in a permanent home. As I’ve been renting rooms in househares since I was 18 I’ve never felt like the property as a whole is mine to decorate. And why would I pay money to paint or decorate someone else’s home that I’ll probably move out of soon anyway?
“But lockdown, along with growing up and wanting more from life, has changed this. Instead of spending money on going out, I spent some money on plants, wall frames and shelves to help make my lockdown quarters feel like somewhere I can truly call home. I’ve been buying bits of furniture that I know I’ll always need, no matter where I land. I’ve even put a print up in the living room which is something I just wouldn’t have bothered doing before. And I’m just generally more into the idea of buying nice things that personalise and perk up my rented environment.”