Decorating a rental space can be a real challenge for many reasons. Among other annoyances, not being able to change any physical features like flooring, carpeting, built-in storage, counter-tops, and large fixtures are among my top peeves. That said, if you are able to paint, know how to change a light fixture, can maximize or create storage, and have a wee bit of a vision, there is hope.
We recently moved into a rental condo with the plan of staying here 18 months. Tops. We are very lucky because the building is brand new and we are the first tenants. Additionally, the flooring (albeit laminate) is a nice dark wood and the kitchen and bathrooms have fantastic cupboards and counter tops. But then there are the things we cannot change: the lack of storage space and the horrible vertical blinds in every room. Eeek.
So what do you do when you are faced with similar rental dilemmas? Number one priority, is find out from your landlord if there is anything you can change, such as painting the walls. A little colour can go a long way. Next, look at your furnishings and accessories: is there anything I can add/change/remove to improve the space?. Obviously the amount of money you want to invest is dependent on a few things, such as: How long will I live in the space? What do I need to change/add to make it feel ‘mine’? What do I own already? How much do I care?
In previous apartments I would say that I didn’t really care, knowing that we would be moving in a few years anyway. 7 years later I have started to care. Even though we plan on being here for only 18 months, I am tired of living in transition so I’ve decided to make a little more of an effort in this time around. Luckily, we were able to paint and my man knows how to change a light fixture. Just those two elements made a drastic change in our bedroom. As for the other stuff, here is what I am working with:
1-Duvet and shams from West Elm
2- Moroccan lantern from Home Sense (mine is silver)
3- Photograph of Paris by Peter Turnley from Belle Epoque
4- MALM dressers from IKEA (stay tuned for an Ikea Hack project!)
5- Knitted pouf from CB2
My plan is to purchase a few key additional pieces to pull together a complete look (as opposed to the mismatched furniture and accessories we’ve been toting along since our University days):
1- Newbury Halo Task Lamps from Pottery Barn
2- Dandypod hand-woven wall hanging by Angela Adams
4- An iconic Hudson’s Bay Company wool blanket
5- Modern Windsor chair from West Elm
6- Parsons Desk from West Elm
Combing what I have and what I want, here is what I’m going for:
Add in a few personal photographs, some plants, a small area rug (mostly for the dog), and a simple window treatment (I’m thinking something neutral with a bit of texture) and we’ll have ourselves a fine room…
Do you need help decorating your rental or small space? I can help! Click here for more information.