Let me tell you my number one pet peeve, not decorating your rental because you don’t want to invest anything into it if you are only going to be there for a few years. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? A few years or even a year is a long time to live in a place that doesn’t feel homey. I know I am biased, being an interior designer and all, but honestly I just don’t get it. Why wouldn’t you want to make even just your rental feel like home? There is nothing worse then feeling like you are a stranger in someone else’s house, so pretty please if you only take one piece of my advice let it be this one, decorate your rental for heavens sake!!!!! Here are the excuses I hear all the time from people I love who have rentals like me, I don’t know how long we will even be here. I don’t want to buy furniture for this house when we won’t live here forever. I don’t want to patch nail holes or paint back walls or put any of my own money into this place. I really do understand all of these concerns but I honestly believe that by investing even just a little money and time into the place you live, whether it be an apartment or rental house, will drastically improve your quality of life. K now I can jump down off of my soap box and calm down a little to give you my top 8 ways to personalize your rental.
1.PAINT YOUR WALLS. Talk with your homeowner about color they approve but for the love do not live in poopy tan walls because you think you have to! Chose light grays or whites. You can even add stripes or walls with pops of color if you are willing to paint them back when you move. This will update your home and give a pretty back drop for all of your decor. When we moved into our rental the walls were a milk chocolate color and I changed them to my favorite gray “silver birch” from behr. I added stripes down my hall to add some character and I have not once regretted the $50 I spent on paint or the few hours I put into it.
2.ADD RUGS. My least favorite thing about rentals is that you have to live with whatever finishes were here before. Such as flooring, countertops and faucets. You can however put rugs down over the existing flooring to take attention away from something you might not love. Our kitchen has the worst laminate slate floors in terrible green/brown tones, so I threw this IKEA rug over it to add character and distract people from my hideous laminate. You can do the same with carpet. Add a stylish rug to distract from the tan or cream carpet that may exist in your rental. Good news is that spending money on rugs is not a waste because you can take them with you when you move!
3.CHANGE OUT LIGHT FIXTURES. This might be my favorite thing to do in my rentals. It just takes a little wiring and you can go from out dated rental fixtures to custom lights. I changed out those horrible bun lights for chandeliers in my halls and kitchen and swapped out an out dated chandelier for this thrift store one in my dining room! Trust me, especially if you or your husband is handy, this will make a dramatic difference in your home.
4.HANG THINGS IN THE WALL. Odds are you are going to have to touch up paint and fill some holes when you leave any way, so don’t be afraid to hang family pictures or gallery walls in your rental. Cheap and like all of the other things, you can take your art with you when you go!
5.CHANGE OUT BATHROOM MIRRORS. This one only works for powder bathrooms usually, but changing out a frameless, boring mirror for something more unique, is a great way to personalize your bathroom spaces.
6.CHANGE OUT DOORS. It is absolutely my favorite thing in my whole house and the piece I get the most compliments on, my linen closet door. I swapped out a boring flat door for this door I found for $20 at an old building supply store. I painted it blue and hung in my linen closet. It adds SO MUCH character with out breaking the bank. I love it so so much.
7.BUY GOOD FURNITURE. Buying quality furniture pieces that reflect your personal style is the best way to make your rental feel like your own. You should have good cozy couches and fun pillows to add personal touches to your space. You need nightstands and side tables and lamps. They don’t have to be expensive. Shop thrift stores and budget friendly stores like Ross or homegoods but BUY THINGS. You can take them with you when you go or resell them. They are worth investing in and will make you feel like the adult you are trying to be!
8.PAINT CABINETS. This one might terrify you and I understand that, so if you have to pass this step, I will forgive you. If you are more adventurous then call your homeowner and ask about what cabinets you can paint? Sometimes they will even pay for supplies if you are willing to do the work. Changing those nasty orange bathroom or kitchen cabinets to a crisp white is LIFE CHANGING!
The bottom line is LOVE where you LIVE. Invest a little of yourself in your rental and your quality of life with improve no matter what faze of life you are in!