Meet the interior designer: Amara of The Pajaama Hub

Amara, the colour-loving design genius behind The Pajaama Hub shares the secrets of her success, plus some top interior design and lighting tips for renters…

Amara is a business owner and a self-confessed ‘rental hacker and nocturnal DIY-er’. She lives with her husband and three children in Berkshire, England in a rental property that has become familiar to thousands thanks to The Pajaama Hub (@thepajaamahub), which, with its wonderful riot of colour and pattern is frankly THE go-to place on Instagram for interior design tips for renters. 

We sat down with Amara to talk all thinks rental, decor and lighting...

How you came to start the Insta account?

Mr is an ex-pilot, so we have always lived in temporary accommodations and rentals from the very early years of our marriage as we were always on the move. I became quite seasoned at personalising spaces even though they weren’t ‘mine’. 

Fast forward to now and we are at a stage in our life where renting suits our lifestyle. Having experienced the positive sense of ‘belonging’ in temporary homes by using unusual design hacks and DIY ideas, I wanted to encourage renters to step out of their comfort zone and experiment with the damage free decorating to put their own stamps on the property, all while keeping the deposit in their pockets.   

How would you describe your personal interior design style – and what influences or inpires you?

I’m a colour enthusiast and a firm believer in the power of patterns. I love a happy balance of cohesion and complication in my style. 

There was a time when I would buy interior magazines for ideas ( I am sure we can all remember those simpler days), but recently Instagram has taken quite the centre stage in my life. I also draw a lot of inspiration from past eras that didn’t shy away from the use of colour.

I have always wanted my home to be a fusion of my personality, beliefs and travels all weaved into one. Although there have been a number of challenges to achieve that, I can most confidently say that these restrictions have also made me resourceful.

What are the main challenges that renters face compared to home-owners when it comes to interior design?

Renters often feel quite limited when it comes to personalising a borrowed home because of all the restrictions it comes with plus the fear of losing the deposit. If you are very lucky, you might find a landlord that can be flexible allowing renters to add colour and make cosmetic changes around the house. However, there is a huge majority that still has to make do with the very magnolia interiors. 

Some renters may also feel reluctant to decorate or invest in a home that isn’t technically theirs… and rightly so. Renting is about making compromises and being creative with your space.

Do you think renters need to be more creative with their interior design? Can you give us some examples of clever tricks you’ve used (or seen?)

I definitely think that if they want to create a space that is a reflection of their personality then renters definitely need to make bolder choices and try a bit of fearless decorating while being mindful of the rental limitations. I used 12 different creative ‘reversible hacks’ to add colour to the magnolia walls.

Here are a few ideas I have used around the house: 

  • Don’t underestimate the power of a bold gallery wall. 
  • Change light fixtures and introduce eye catching light sources around the house for a quick update.
  • Invest in self-adhesive removable vinyl wallpaper and decals to create a feature wall.
  • Make a focal point in the bedroom by DIY-ing a statement headboard.
  • Faux floor stick-on tiles can help update a boring floor without costing a fortune.
  • Upcycle furniture pieces in vibrant colours for a joyful look.

Think outside the box and start by experimenting with one corner of the room and build your confidence from there to bring a space to life. 


So what makes a good gallery wall?

Oh yes, a mega gallery wall lover here! I am well aware that nowadays people have started to have mixed views about them but to me, they are just the perfect story tellers. They evolve as we grow and often become a perfect talking point in a room.  A great gallery wall always needs a whimsical element.

A little renters tip, if you aren’t allowed to drill nails in the walls, choose lightweight frames with plastic front instead of glass so you can hang them easily with adhesive hooks. People don’t remember the frames but they always remember the artwork. Ikea is a great place to find a good selection of renter friendly frames if  you are in the market for one. 

What are your ambitions for The Pajaama Hub or your professional life?

It is my dream to write a book one day, sharing my damage-free rental decor ideas.  It will be about making a rental house a narration of your dream home without compromising on style and personal taste. It might be wishful thinking but it’s something I would love to accomplish one day.

Finally, do you have a favourite Pooky light, and why that one?

Accessories are like stardust in a rental and can bring instant joy to the space.

I am absolutely in love with the Pooky rechargeable table lamps. They are aesthetically pleasing, are completely portable and can be paired with different lamp shade combinations. What more can one ask for!

They are such a smart idea without any compromise on style. Gone are the days when illuminating dark corners was a struggle due to awkwardly installed light switches and believe me, there are many of those in rental homes. Being cordless makes them renter-friendly, and great for those who like to change up their space frequently. They give one total control when it comes to styling.

Marco rechargeable table lamp




Amara’s top lighting tips for rental properties:

Lighting is everything when trying to bring out the best in a rental property, I would totally recommend investing in signature lamps and characterful shades to create to maximise colour and add zest to your home…

1) Ceiling lights and chandeliers can add a visual interest. Just make sure to pack away any light that comes with your rental safely with all the screws and fittings so that when you are ready to move out, you don’t have to worry about anything.

2) Create ambient pockets of lights and set the mood in a space by strategically placing lamps around a room.

3) Use at least four to five sources of light and layer them by using different heights of light sources. 

4) Inject colour in a magnolia space by opting for statement lampshade in dramatic patterns for a bolder look.

5) Don’t forget to invest in portable lamps as they are a cost effective solution to create a sophisticated look. 


See more of Amara's rooms plus lots of tips for gorgeous interior design ideas that won't cost you your rental desposit at @thepajaamahub.


All images by permission of @thepajaamahub