Courtney Warren is a Texas-based interior designer whose work has been featured in Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Apartment Therapy, and Today.com. She is a frequent consultant on Fox 4 TV’s Good Day program in Dallas, was ranked in the top 3 percent of interior designers in the US by Houzz.com, and starred in the Dallas episode of TLC’sFour Houses. She delights in helping overwhelmed clients create beautiful spaces—and will never turn down a warm chocolate chip cookie or Diet Dr Pepper.
The housing market is brutal right now, and lots of would-be homeowners are stuck in rentals while waiting to find or afford the right home. Even if the rental is a pretty decent house or apartment, it’s tough to know how to make it feel like YOUR home. I can help with that! Allow me to assist you.
Barriers to a personalized rental
“This rental,” you say. “It would be ok if I could just paint.”
Or replace the carpet, countertop, tile, or light fixtures.
Face it, most rentals are deliberately boring (or let’s be kind and say “neutral”) so they’ll work for the most folks. But boring is not you! So let’s look at rental decorating barriers and think about what can be done to bring in your personal style!
Maybe you’re stuck with off-white walls throughout your rental, but what’s to stop you from incorporating color in your furnishings and accessories?
Bright and happy furnishings–seating, art, pillows, bedding–will not only perk up your rental, but will let you try out some great stylings you might want to use in your permanent home!
There’s nothing like a colorful area rug or two layered over carpet to brighten up a room, create a grouping, and tie together your color scheme!
A single-bulb (ugly) ceiling fixture is yes, depressing. What can be done? I’m glad you asked!
First option: ask your landlord if you can temporarily change out your light fixtures to styles that add illumination and wow. Save the ugly ones and re-install them when you move.
Another great alternative to add light AND a great look: hang plug-in sconces that are not hardwired.
If no other options are available, source some beautiful lamps and plan to take them with you to your new home.
At the very least, you can hang a stylish mirror to bounce light into a dark room to brighten things up!
Full size family life squeezed into apartment-sized living? Storage is always a problem. Try these tricks to expand your rental storage potential!
Use the vertical space! Floating shelves are a great option for stowing and showing your belongings–nail holes just one time, but you can change out your decorative accessories to suit your mood or the season.
And, for adding both personality and storage, let your furniture choices bring you storage options. Organize, display, and free up floor space with vertical storage.
Newer apartments are pretty dull architecturally–typically no niches, built-ins, or interesting features. But you can create interest by how you style your rental home.
For example, if you have no foyer, create one with furniture and decorative accessories!
If you crave but don’t have pretty molding and architectural niches, satisfy your design urge by hanging your favorite art in beautiful frames. If needed, use those great hook-and-loop fasteners to cut down on nail holes.
It’s hard to start your day happy in a blah bathroom, and rentals typically–well, you know. Perk it up with some great temporary style options!
Have you tried peel and stick wallpaper? Peel and stick tiles? Contact paper for ugly countertops?
Yes, you really can!
Then on moving day, you can make it all…go…away.
If there’s ugly tile you just have to live with, pick a colorful cotton shower curtain or rugs that you love to coordinate with or downplay the tile. And while your’re at it, check with the landlord about changing out that terrible light fixture, even temporarily.
Despite all the social media feeds, your home–even a rental–doesn’t have to be perfect. Apply some of these tips to simply make your spaces a more stylish reflection of you and the look you love!
If you’d like more inspo or some serious help, I’m here for you. Let’s chat!
I offer a complimentary, no-strings-attached phone call consultation.
EMAIL ME TO BOOK A CALL TIME! ☏