I am pleased to bring you a guest post today by Alexandra Cooper, Principal of Alex & Lily Home. Alex & Lily is located in Vancouver, BC and offers interior design, home organization and event planning services. No closet is too messy, no kitchen too small and no celebration too quiet to deserve Allie’s thoughtful attention and creativity. I have personally witnessed how Allie’s attention to detail can make any event or room shine.
As someone who rented for many years between home purchases, I know all too well the challenge of personalizing a space you don’t have total freedom and control over. In the following post, Allie brings us tips for how to make a rental feel like home. Enjoy!
By Allie Cooper
Many of us have yet to reach the prestigious title of ‘homeowner’- and so, rent our place of dwelling. Of course, when you own your home, you have the ‘freedom’ to decorate and redesign it to your taste (within a budget of course). So what do you do when you are not entitled to that freedom?
This is a question that perhaps only trumps those who care to have their home reflect themselves and their personal style. So for those of you, like myself, here are some ideas to help you overcome your generic-rental-space-slump and update your home without your landlord kicking you out!
Adding new paint is one the cheapest and easiest ways to update your space. And the industry agrees! Painting a space to suit your furniture or style will have a huge impact. It also has the power to manipulate the eye to make a space appear larger, or for ceilings to appear higher, for example. Depending on your landlord they may be completely fine with your paint choice or, you will simply be expected to re-paint your walls to their original colour when you move. Of course, this project will be at your own expense.
Art choices are extremely personal. Regardless of your style, adding art and other wall décor (mirrors, shelving), helps to make a home feel lived in and personal. Pieces of art add character to a space and help tie in the atmosphere as well as colour scheme you are aiming for. Again, you will most likely have to fill the holes in the walls prior to moving. However, creating a space that looks and feels your own is well worth the work at the end.
This point is a little over-looked but again, quite manageable. Places like IKEA offer inexpensive and easy-to-install drapery and window coverings. This is especially important in an older place with pre-existing dated window coverings (ie. something like this). Being able to choose your fabric and style all leads towards creating the home of you’re choosing (even if it’s temporary). BONUS! If you’re particularly handy with a sewing machine you can sew your own drapery (or maybe even a Roman Shade!!).
The key word here is ‘choice’. I myself have recently moved into a rental space that truly feels adult and defined. My goal for this space was to have it be PURPOSEFUL. This was my main focus. To me this meant that I would only display and purchase items that I loved and was able to mix with the other pieces in my home. New pieces were carefully considered and where a bit more money was spent in order to create a space I truly love. The other aspect of ‘purposeful’ is assessing that the furniture and accessories I own will follow me to any new place I may move. (Hence why I will also make sure to hire movers the next time I do move!)
In closing, it makes no sense to put in all the work of choosing the perfect paint colour, hanging your amazing gallery wall and fashionable Roman Shades to continue to fill your space with un-charming (READ: ugly) hand-me-down furniture that will be going straight in the dumpster once you move!
It takes time to create a home that you truly love. It has never been done in a day- and you should not expect that it will be. But use these tips when you’re ready, pick your style, choose your colours and GO!
Alex & Lily
P.S.- How’s this for an inspiring space?!
Thanks Alex and Lily for this great post! For more, follow them online: