There truly are many positives about renting:
– there’s no long term commitment
– you can experience multiple areas of town
– you can live in different styles homes
Of course, we all know renting has its downfalls. Aside from the financial aspect, one of the biggest challenges of renting, to me, is not having the ability to make the changes needed to turn this house into a home. For example, I cannot rip out the honey oak cabinets and gray speckled faux-granite. I can’t replace the blue (seriously, blue) shower door. I can’t mount the tv or build a deck off the back. My rental will never look like this:
Or have this…
So after must [internal] debating, I’ve made a list of my top 3 changes that we, as renters, can do to make our house feel as much like “ours” as we can:
Obviously, this is #1. It’s inexpensive, it’s quick and it’s temporary. (Check out these paint tips here and here). Think outside the box here- many apartments allow you to paint walls, doors, even cabinets! And, WOW, what a difference a coat of paint makes- check out these “before & afters”
Hardware can be a total game changer. Not only will an easy switch in hardware turn a typical IKEA dresser into a unique pieces, but some cabinet knobs/pulls can transform a kitchen or bathroom or vanity.
Paint + Knobs = Furniture Hack
Some great sources for hardware are Anthropologie (<– my go to!), Restoration Hardware, House of Antique Hardware, My Knobs dot com & Urban Archeology, to name a few.
3. Window Treatments
Lucky, for me, my place came with brand new windows AND the thick wooden blinds. However; if you’re not as lucky, consider asking your landlord if they’ll reimburse you if you will buy & install new blinds. If not, it may be worth perusing craigslist or see if you can snag some on sale!
Another way to hide ugly windows is, of course, add some treatments! A valance or roman shades or set of panels can lead the eye away & enhance your place. Bonus: window treatments can add perceived height to any window/room. For some helpful tips on how to best hang treatments, see this, this or this.
What’s your favorite way to transform your rental into a home?!