In the past couple of years as we've been blogging about all of the projects that we do around here, I've been quite surprised to actually learn how MANY of our readers RENT, versus own, when it comes to their current homes.We have readers that we hear from who are constantly moving (and renting homes/apartments), due to having military lifestyles, a spouse with a job that requires them to be in different states or countries for various amounts of time, or even just because they have chosen to rent their home in a perfect location/neighborhood, instead of buy or own at the moment.
In fact recently, Homes.com launched their first rental app, optimized for mobile renters so that they can find listings a lot easier.
If you're interested in checking it out you can download it in the app store.
There are lots of different reasons people want to, or must rent their homes, but I feel like there's ALWAYS been a common denominator between all of them. Typically, from time to time, most renters get frustrated that they can't make any big, significant improvements to their spaces; such as painting walls, changing floors, switching out lighting fixtures, revamping a space, etc...
While right now I don't have to deal with those limitations, there HAVE been times. I remember this feeling all too well when I was trying to establish a "cute home" for me and my little family, when we lived in ridiculously-hot Arizona for a few months while Cason was working.
Our apartment was teeny-tiny, and we had LOTS of limitations; down to what size the holes could be in our walls... so believe me, I know ALL about feeling frustrated when it comes to not being able to decorate how you really want to. BUT, I did my best, made due with what I had, bought a few different things that worked better in this smaller space, and despite the 118 degree weather everyday (I kid you not), I was pretty happy with what I finally came up with!
And yes, this is all of our stuff, PRE style-shift. ha! It's sort of fun to look back on it all :) We've come quite a long way!
That being said, I also know a LOT more now, than I did back then about adding color, storage and personality to a space, without actually having to add paint to a room or knock down a wall.
I really liked this breakdown from Homes.com that shows homeowners and renters alike how a room typically goes together.
So as a renter, how can you go about implementing these rules into YOUR space? Well, I have some ideas :) But don't worry, these apply to EVERYONE!
Lean large mirrors and try removable wallpaperThese are both great options, because there's no permanent damage to anything after you're done; PLUS it helps set the stage for the rest of your decor, accents and colors. Obviously the wallpaper will have a lot more of a commanding presence, so take that into consideration when picking out the rest of your rooms items. Oversized mirrors will really help make your space appear larger, and also reflect anything else, design wise, going on in your space.
Use lots of color through different textiles
Rugs, curtains, pillows, throws, a decorative chair or ottoman. The skies the limit when adding color and pattern using these types of pieces. If you can't change your flooring, throw a rug down! Want to liven up a boring corner? Put a cute sitting chair with fun fabric and little table there.
I've touched on this before, but really, besides our custom moldings on the walls, the color in our house is just very neutral and "renter-like" actually. It's all the fun accents and decor that make everything come together.
Investing your money into great textiles for a space is really smart, because you can take them WITH you when you leave and use them in your next home too.
Get creative with storage and use pretty baskets or crates
HOW we organize our things is definitely critical, especially if you're living in a smaller space - functionality is key, of course. But when your space is lacking color or needs some personality as well, what you put all of your organized items INTO, is sometimes just as important!
Try to find interesting containers, buckets, bins or baskets for your extra things that express your personality or home's style. Our DIY crate tutorial can be altered as needed to make any size storage box, and can also be finished in any type of stain shade or paint color.
I'm a huge fan of Kirsten's blog, 6th Street Design School. She's an interior designer who has an amazing eye for pairing up colors and patterns together. Earlier this year she helped a friend rework and spruce up her rental using a few of the above tips... and woah!, it made a HUGE difference! You'll have to head on over to check out the full post for all the details.
So I have to ask...
Are you a renter who has overcome the "renter's rut" when it comes to decorating? Have you found a great way to customize or personalize your spaces, without adding paint, trim or changing much of anything... but simply adding MORE!?
I'd love to know if you have any tips or tricks to share with other fellow renters. I KNOW they would appreciate them!