The Left Turn
How to make your rental home look like you live there, instead of the 10 other families before you. Is it possible? I think so. And why are we talking about this? Aren’t we on the road to buying a new house? Well, yes and no. You know how life often takes a left turn before you find the right road? Our left turn came last week when we made the decision to move now, into another rental house. It’s bigger, nicer and in a much nicer neighborhood.
It’s kind of a long story, but after much discussion and prayer, we made the decision to move now, instead of next summer. Will we move again next summer? I don’t think so. I think we’ll use the time to save more money, pay off some other bills and enjoy the new neighborhood. So! My thinking has taken a definite left turn. When you’re full of decorating plans for the new house you’re going to own and suddenly you realize you’re going to be faced with another rental – plans must change. There is nothing hideous in this house that I must change in order to live there. No neon walls, or anything like that. No, it’s the same used white walls in every room. Not an ounce of character or personality in any room. I’m bringing that myself!
I’ve done some research to get some ideas about what I can do to make this house our home without knocking down walls or adding a third bathroom. This is my plan.
- Change hardware on cabinets. As long as I keep what I take down (and put it back when we move) I can get new hardware for cabinets, drawers and even doors if I want to go that far.
- Ask the landlord if I can paint. I think I have a good chance of getting a yes, as long as I stay with some neutrals, which I probably would anyway. A new coat of paint dresses up a room like nothing else.
- Change the lighting fixtures. Again, as long as I label and carefully store anything I take down, I can also put something different up to make the rooms look like us. I see lighting fixtures all the time in thrift stores. With a little paint, a new shade or knob – I haven’t spent much money and I have something I love.
- Curtains! I am a curtain-lover anyway. I do like to have a nice view out my windows, but I love pretty curtains. I love fabric, period. Nice curtain rods aren’t that expensive and a room can look totally different with curtains or changing the curtains. This includes the shower curtain. Pretty shower curtain hangers are not expensive either, and with a little bit of sewing, you can have an awesome shower curtain. Just use a liner inside of it.
- Area rugs. If you have a houseful of beige carpet (I will) adding area rugs can not only protect carpets that don’t belong to you, but they can add color and character to a room.
- Gardening. I’ve already asked my landlord if I can do some gardening and they’ve agreed. We’ll be moving into the house Nov. 1, so I’m not all that sure I’ll have time to plant any bulbs, but come springtime, I’ll be out there with my little shovel and some things to plant. Hanging flower baskets can do a great deal towards adding curb appeal.
- Outside curb appeal. Some pruning, watering and mowing can go far toward making your rental home look loved. Adding seasonal touches to the porch like a wreath, or a small table and chair adds huge to the look of your home.
- The backyard. In our particular backyard, we have a deck that is fairly large. Add some flower boxes, some fairy lights and a nice, outdoor table and chairs for summer eating. There is room for the grill and more. There is a fire pit that only needs some chairs around it. Toasting marshmallows around the fire on a snowy evening is pretty fun!
- Adding an island. The kitchen is large and there is plenty of room in the middle for an island. This isn’t something I’d do right away. I’d have to find just the right one, in the right size – but there is room and that’s the first step!
Pictures and Tutorials
After we move in, I’ll be tackling some of these projects, and I’ll be taking pictures. I’ll also be setting up my sewing room/office and that will be a lot of work. I mean, fun. 🙂