Inside Bristol’s Instagram Houses: A rented Georgian flat in the heart of Clifton

This beautiful rented abode really shows you how much can be done to your house, even if it’s not your forever home

The rented in flat in Clifton shows how you can still make a rental your home
The rented in flat in Clifton shows how you can still make a rental your home
The rented in flat in Clifton shows how you can still make a rental your home

Over the next few months, we’re going to be featuring some of the best Instagram houses in Bristol, from humble accounts to accounts with over 46,000 followers, all showing us the best of interiors across the city.

With rentals and new-builds covered, and period properties galore, there will be tips, tricks and insight to inspire you whatever your taste.

In the second instalment of our new series, and a brilliant example of how you can make rented accommodation yours, we take a look through the door of Caitlin Lockett’s home @houseofcait, a rented grand Georgian apartment in the heart of Clifton.

Caitlin really knows how to make the light and eclectic aesthetic work with period features
Caitlin really knows how to make the light and eclectic aesthetic work with period features
Caitlin really knows how to make the light and eclectic aesthetic work with period features

Having only been documenting her interiors journey since getting the keys in 2020, Caitlin has amassed a large following for her light, bright and airy take on interior design.

Clearly, she has an incredible eye for modern aesthetics and knows how to put a room together well, but her account also shares tips with her followers on embracing temporary accommodation and seeing through the elements that might not be to your taste. So, how exactly has she managed to make a rental flat quite so design-led?

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to set up an interiors Instagram?

It all properly started during lockdown in 2020 – I moved into my first home (this beautiful flat) by myself in the September, and started posting a couple of photos to my feed of my moving process and some of the new bits of furniture I had chosen.

One of my early posts then got re-posted by Apartment Therapy, which was an absolute pinch-me moment, because at the time I only had around 950 followers, and then it all just kind of went from there!

Have you always loved interiors and design?

Not necessarily interiors but I’ve always been a pretty creative person and have always been interested in houses and buildings. Even though I was pretty academic at school, I always knew I’d rather pursue a creative career path and have creative hobbies, that side of things just came far more naturally to me.

How would you sum up your interiors style?

It’s safe to say my style and taste have definitely evolved over time, and I think they will continue to do so. I’m still forming opinions on a lot of things, but overall I’d say my style lies within the art-deco/eclectic/relaxed maximalist realm.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok mainly. And I watch a lot of home/interior shows on TV and YouTube!

Your home is beautiful and bright, what are your tips and tricks for balancing  colours, patterns and textures?

Thank you! To be honest, it’s been a bit of a learning curve. One big tip I personally abide by is picking a colour palette (or set of tones) and staying within that. Obviously, everything in your home is down to personal taste, but I personally don’t like clashing warm and cool tones too much.

Having a set palette creates a sense of  cohesiveness throughout the room and allows you to mix and match different patterns and textures within those colour parameters. Texture adds depth to a room, but can also easily be overdone, so I personally stick to layering texture via soft furnishings. It means they’re easily moveable if you take it a bit too far.

Also, I’d recommend not being afraid to experiment – if you think something might look good then just try it. Or, if it’s something that would cause too much effort to reverse if it doesn’t quite go to plan, then take some pictures of the space and mock up what you’re trying to achieve in Photoshop or something similar.

The living room in the property is where Caitlin has poured a lot of her love for design
The living room in the property is where Caitlin has poured a lot of her love for design
The living room in the property is where Caitlin has poured a lot of her love for design

Do you have a favourite room in your house and why?

The living room, for sure. It’s where we spend the most time and the room I’ve poured the most love and effort into so far!

As a renter, how do you work around the restrictions and what advice would you give others wanting to make a stamp on their home?

Lots of people are under the illusion that you can’t make a rented space your own. This is just simply not true! Whilst, sure, you can’t really be knocking down walls and making any structural changes, you’d be surprised at how much you can achieve without doing any of that.

When it comes to painting, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. As long as you’re able to paint it back the colour it was before, a lot of landlords won’t mind you painting the walls, so it’s always worth asking. If, in the worst-case scenario, they say no, or you’re just not too bothered about painting, then there’s still plenty you can do.

There have been huge innovations in the peel and stick vinyl industry lately, and these days you can get your hands on pretty much any colour or pattern you could possibly want! These are good for things like kitchen backsplashes, tiled floors, even walls if you take the proper precautions to make sure it doesn’t take the paint off.

Caitlin clearly has an eye for detail
Caitlin clearly has an eye for detail
Caitlin clearly has an eye for detail

What opportunities have come from putting your house out on Instagram? Some great opportunities overall! I’ve been able to work with some amazing big  brands that I’ve loved for years, which is still a bit crazy to me! And on the flip side, I’ve been able to work with some incredible small businesses that I’ve watched grow and expand at amazing rates, which is a lovely feeling – I feel so proud of them!

All of this has enabled me to develop a lot of skills, and has pushed me to want to take it to the next step and apply for a diploma in interior design, which is really exciting!

Do you have any other favourite Insta home accounts?

So many! To name a few – Mallory from @reserve_home, Maarten & Sharvin from  @happyvillageinterior, Tom from @themellowmaximalist, Jess & Rick from  @thehousethatcolourbuilt, Mia from @mehr.von.mia, Sofie from  @threeboysandapinkbath, Ola from @thistimeincolour, Richard from @househomo - I could go on all day, there are so many inspirational homes on Insta!

What do you love most about living in Bristol? Does the city inspire you?

At the risk of sounding a bit cliché, it really is such a creative, diverse and inspirational city. I love the fact that there’s so much to discover here. It’s hugely cultural and there’s always something creative to be doing, which feeds my soul!

What are your favourite places in your local area?

The Clifton suspension bridge is stunning and is a hugely inspirational feat of engineering to have on my doorstep! I love going for walks around there and taking in all the beautiful views over the city. I also love wandering round the smaller pockets of the city like Stokes Croft, Bedminster, Clifton Village and exploring all the independent businesses they each have to offer.

Do you have any favourite places to shop for your home in Bristol?

There are some brilliant homeware shops in Bristol. Truce and Mon Pote are my favourite smaller businesses, and in terms of larger chains I love going to  Homesense, TK Maxx and Oliver Bonas. There are also loads of amazing car boot sales in Bristol, where I’ve managed to discover some absolute gems!

What’s next for you with your home?

The next big project on the cards is getting our garden (well, courtyard) ready for summer! It’s a fantastic space, and a total sun trap from the afternoon into the evening, so I’m in the  process of finalising my plans to turn it into a Mediterranean paradise!