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!