Saturday, November 15, 2014

On Decorating For Renters


I have some new friends here on the blog, and I thought I'd re-post one that's near and dear to my heart. Never let your current circumstances get in the way of decorating your home. Whether it be that you're a renter like us, or feel that you just don't have enough money, there are always little, inexpensive things you can do to make your home your own!

About seven years ago, our life changed drastically, and we found ourselves looking to rent a home. Our decision was God led and was one of the most beautiful moments of our life together {that story is another whole post on it's own!}. For the sake of this post, I wanted to share some things I've learned along the way about being a renter but still having fun decorating. Bloom where you're planted people! Bloom!


Fortunately, we are blessed to have a landlord that has been like a father to our family, as I said, this was a God led path, and God placed us in our little Garden of Eden. I had dreamed my whole life of a home like this, but never dreamed how the path would be laid out before us. It was bumpy and paved with rocks boulders at times. But here we've landed and here we pray we will always stay.


Renting can be extremely challenging as far as decorating goes because there are such limitations. Even here, in the best scenario imaginable, I have limits that I just can't get around. Our living room space has wood paneled walls that would be just dreamy painted a crisp white. But that's something I just can't do. Same with the dark wood kitchen cabinets. I would love to paint them, but again that's a biggy for a renter and I feel it oversteps our boundaries. Our landlord has been very gracious and has allowed us to paint walls and change out lighting. From that point I had to learn how to brighten any other dark areas with a little illusion. I began painting some things everything light, cool colors or white.


This chest of drawers, for example, was a thrift store find, but it was a dark cherry colored wood. I painted this piece Benjamin Moore's "Bird's Egg", and I lightened up an otherwise very dark entry wall. This visually tricked the eye to seeing more light where there was previously darkness. Don't be afraid to paint your furniture. Google repainting furniture and learn how to spice up your old, lifeless pieces.


This piece was once a dresser with attached mirror and was given to us by our landlord's wife.  Once again, dark wood. I removed the mirror, repainted it a buttery yellow with white distressed drawers and it's now the buffet I always wanted in our dining area. Thinking outside the box works every time.


We've had this armoire for years.  It, too, was dark wood, so white it went. This was the first piece of furniture I painted. I've never regretted that decision. Please remember that EVERYTHING we do here is on a shoestring budget and took many months, even years to match my vision. Don't not start because you can't see a finish line. Just work on one piece at a time,and keep trucking along. I learned that a can of spray paint is my best friend. I repainted a thrift store lighting fixture with just a bit of spray paint. I've done this to every fixture in the house! Everything here was 1970's brass and that just didn't cut it, but I wasn't about to go out and buy all new!



I've pretty much painted everything in our home {not much has escaped me}. But, it makes such a huge difference.  Your home should reflect your personality. It is your blank canvas. Another big help, are throw rugs. Begin slowly collecting light, bright one's and change your space from the floor up.


Another biggie, if you have very dark surroundings, is to change your upholstered furniture. If you're like us, sometimes new is not an option, so learn to slipcover. Of course I couldn't afford to have someone make them for me, so I began to search online for how to sew a slipcover. I found a fabulous e-book, "The Lazy Girl's Guide to Making a Custom Slipcover" at http:/pinkandpolkadot.blogspot.com. This helped hugely and gave me the confidence to drastically change our surroundings. I'd dreamed of going white with our furniture and this allowed me to begin. After much saving, we were able to purchase a new couch to replace a very old and sad one. Finding the best deal at IKEA, we purchased a white slipcovered sofa from their EKTORP line and I'm still over the moon with it! We have four kids and six house dogs, and we entertain A LOT. When it gets dirty, I throw it right in our washer, then hang it to dry and voila, like new again. Going white with our furniture has made a huge difference. 


I think this will give you an idea of how lightening your furniture can really have an impact on a room. That coffee table was a Re-Store find for ten dollars and yes, those precious little casters are original to the piece. This was also a dark colored wood originally, and got a thorough sanding and a coat of B.M's "Bird's Egg" also {I just LOVE that color, can you tell?}. Don't forget your walls.  Lighten and brighten there too!



Renting doesn't mean that you're stuck with someone else's stuff, it just means that you've got to think outside the box a little. It's still your home, enjoy where you are right now!

Enjoy


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13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Nori! Believe it or not, I was an all neutral gal once! Now I don't know how I survived without all the color! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  2. These are such great tips....I love the armoire

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  3. Love this. Did you buy the 399.00 Ektorp sofa or the 599.00 one? How has it held up thus far?

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    1. Erlene, we bought ours for $399 and we've had it for 3 years. It has been great! I wash that cover a whole lot and it now has a few little holes here and there that I've stitched back up easily. This season I'm ready to by it a new cover because it's only $50 for a whole new white cover. This is my favorite sofa EVER! Never got saggy and it just always looks brand new!

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  4. What a great tip! Hello, my name is Misty, from The LadyPrefers2Save at http://theladypreferstosave.com, and I'm one of the new co-hosts for the Merry Monday Linky Party! I wanted to write and thank you for linking up to this weeks Merry Monday party, as well as to let you know that your post will be linked to the Merry Monday Pinterest board, as well my social media accounts. I would love to have you also stop by my blog as well! Thanks for linking up at the Merry Monday's Linky Party this week, and I hope to see you linking up next week as well. Have an awesome week!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Misty! I'd love to stop by your blog for a visit!

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  5. Hello gorgeous! I love your ideas! Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Saturday~Lou Lou Girls

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  6. Visiting from savvy Southern style...Love LOVE Love the idea of succulents in a colander. Thanks for sharing. And lovely coffee table in there :) Love, Rukmini from trumatter.in

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  7. I'm amazed by what you've been able to do while renting, to make your home personalized for your family! And you're so right, a little bit of paint can work wonders! I also had an Ektorp for awhile and loved the versatility of the slipcovers - so great for families with kids and pets! Thank you so much for sharing at Talented Tuesday :)

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  8. What a wonderful inviting place!

    So glad that you joined the Dec Hobnob and I could find you. I am also your newest follower...:)

    -Priyam @ http://priyam-simplejoys.blogspot.com

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When y'all leave comments, my heart just swells! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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