As you now know, we are living in a rental house across the street from our home as it is being renovated. Being who I am, I have a hard time just letting the rental be half empty and look unappealing. I happen to have some good furniture in storage I have yet to sell so we used a lot of that and moved over a few key pieces from our home – namely the media tower, some bookshelves, counter stools and chairs.
But I can’t do anything to the space itself so I made the best of it by using large scale art, tons of my rugs, lighting and greenery to perk up the space. We are only here for six months so I didn’t want to go nuts – but it reminded me to share some tips for renters who may be in a space for longer but can’t commit in a big way to anything permanent.
If we were staying longer I would invest in figuring out how to dress these windows but instead, we rely on sleep masks :)
Here are some great options for renters – big impact, smaller budget!
Large scale art (preferably canvas so it’s lightweight and can hang with either sticky hooks or smaller nails) is a HUGE way to make a space feel yours!
Lighting is typically tough in rentals, so adding floor lamps, table lamps and plug in sconces are important to help it feel bright and cozy.
Window treatments are tough- we have blinds in Emma’s room and they do not work well, so we are adding this IKEA ceiling track with blackout panels this weekend. Yes, you will have to patch a bit- but it’s worth it to get a solid nap time! These simple french return rods are also a great option for windows that can take regular hardware.
Big leaning mirrors are great for rentals- they bounce light around, make spaces feel bigger and don’t need to be drilled into the wall.
If you are staying for more than a year- it may be worth it to touch up the paint (white is your best friend) and swap out any hardware you hate for something more appealing. Makes a big difference.
In a kitchen with a countertop eating area, snag some stylish but cheap stools. Helps make a not-so-dreamy kitchen look MUCH more appealing and pulled together.
RUGS people! So so crucial in a rental! I used my own line in lots of areas- especially in the kids level where there is not pretty wall to wall carpeting. Layering a flatweave in spaces like that is a must!
I lugged over our big faux tree and I love having it in the space. I also have been adding plants and flowers a lot to give the home lots of life.
When you are renting (and don’t have a barn of furniture to use), you may not want to invest big money in a piece that may or may not fit in your next place. We had this IKEA sofa for our playroom in our last home and let me tell you- it is SO well made, so sturdy- we still have it and it looks new! It’s crazy!
Accent pillows – always a must when adding color and texture. I wanted to keep the rental pretty neutral, but pillows help perk it up.
Peek and stick wallpaper is an amazing way to make a rental feel custom- use it in the backs of bookshelves or as an accent wall in a bedroom. This grasscloth looks very rich and adds dimension.
We’re due to move back in the last week of August! :) Stay tuned for more construction updates!
My whole house is being packed up next week for a move halfway across the country for a little more than a year, after which we’ll be moving right back to where we started from. We’re renting while we’re away and I can’t imagine not being allowed to do whatever I want to the home! This post could not have come at a better time for me.
Love this. Seriously considering that wallpaper. Love to line a cabinet with it.
I’d love a link to the sofa cover. (Looks like the link isn’t working.) We inherited a sleeper sofa when we purchased our lake home. It’s fine but the color doesn’t work.
The link should be working now!
Any intel on your dining table? I’m looking for a kid friendly pedestal. Thanks for all of your wonderful recs! And thank you for your strong voice on issues that matter, too!
We lived in our previous house for 15 years and I just could not get the decor and furniture right in there for the life of me. The conflict between the style of house and what I wanted to do was too great. When we renovated our current house, we rented out our old place and the second set of renters have not only been lovely themselves, but knew exactly what to do with the inside of it and their style fits into it perfectly. My husband has said we’ll have to take pictures of the interior before they move because it looks so nice. And in our newly renovated home I feel so much more comfortable and everything I have fits. The move has been good for everyone.