The hardest part about living in a rental home is that you can’t just do whatever you want. Most landlords want to keep their properties neutral for mass appeal — so there are sometimes restrictions on how much you can change the structure of a rental.
Having been living in rentals for the past 10 years while we prepare for our forever home, I’ve learned a few tricks to make a rental feel less cold and stark and more like a place where you can kick off your shoes and enjoy a cup of coffee.
- Removable wall paper has got to be the best thing for renters since sliced bread — well you know what I mean. It’s a super easy way to inject color, personality and warmth without making a permanent change. And it will peel off leaving no damage behind.
- Throw pillows are the easiest way to add color in texture to a room in an low cost way. Change the pillows with the seasons or whenever the mood strikes.
- I’m a total sucker for a good accessory. I always say that it’s the little things that make a home. That gilded vase or that quirky animal head hanging on the wall shows who you are. Nothing makes home feel like home more than a bunch of stuff that you love. And unlike huge investment pieces — like a couch or dining table — these little accessories are affordable enough to be changed on a whim.
- I love a good pouf. They are just so darn interesting. There also happens to be about a million different styles so you can find one that fits into your decor. Try a pouf instead of a coffee table — especially if you’re low on space. And bonus — it can double as an ottoman and extra seating.
- Mirrors are pretty awesome. Not only do you get to look at yourself in them — but they bounce around light like nobody’s business. Hang or lean a mirror across from a window and watch as you magically double the light in the room.
- Plants are so underrated. I know a lot of people avoid them because they’re afraid that they will kill them off. If you are afraid of your black thumb — choose sturdy plants that are hard to kill. Or — gasp — try a faux plant. They actually have fabulous fake plants and trees that look amazingly real.
Don’t feel limited by your rental so much that you settle for a blah beige box. I can’t wait to be able to paint kitchen cabinets and knock down walls in my forever home — but knowing that there are things I can do RIGHT NOW to make this place feel like home makes waiting a little easier.
Do you have any tips on decorating a rental? Do share!
And as always
When I think of home I think of a place where there’s love overflowing.
I think of curling up on the couch watching millions of episodes of Strawberry Shortcake and little faces in girly costumes putting on plays. I think of the holidays spent cooking in the kitchen — then gathered around the table eating. I think of countless hours spent huddled around the kitchen table doing homework and the bedtime stories we read before tucking the girls into bed. I think of that glass of wine shared with my husband once the house has gone quiet.
It took me awhile to figure out my definition of home. I wanted it to feel a certain way but I wasn’t sure where to start with decorating it so that it evoked that warmth I was after.
And for me the beginning of decorating my home came in defining what home is.
Is it cozy?
Is it a retreat?
Is it a space where you can shut out the world and just be?
Defining home is such a purpose filled act.
For me — home is where I want to be able to come in, take a deep breath, shed the layers and relax. I want a home where everything has its place. Where we can kick off our shoes and nothing is off limits. Every inch is utilized and functions for us in someway.
So how do you define home? Have you ever stopped to think how you can purposefully create the home you want by taking the time to define what you want your home to be?
Need to catch up on my 31 Days to a more Beautiful, Purposeful and Functional Home Series? Follow along here.
And as always
This phrase kept popping into my head today.
Home is right where you are.
I’m not sure if it’s all the changes in my life right now or the fact that the girls are getting older and me too for that matter — but I keep searching for that settled feeling. I keep looking forward to what’s next instead of making the most of what’s now.
I grew up a military brat — shuffled from this state to the next — never really getting a chance to feel like I truly belonged before the orders were handed down and we were shipped off to the next place.
I call Virginia my home but right now here in Texas. But I keep thinking about leaving. About moving closer to our family.
And I’m forgetting that I live here right now.
I want the girls to feel secure at home — wherever that may be — so I know that I have to stand firm where I am.
A good friend once told me to be where your feet are. And right now my feet are in Houston, Texas.
Sometimes when home is far away — it’s hard for me to give my all to this place that isn’t really my home. But I’m here for a reason. God has guided us here and I can’t lose sight of the fact that I’m supposed to be here right now today. And maybe even for years to come.
I wouldn’t trade anything for my experience being a military brat. It made me stronger, more willing to take an adventure and a master at packing up a house.
Where I am today is home. Right where I am.
Sometimes I just need a little reminder.
I’ve never been known to be a bandwagon jumper. I usually take the path that no one is on. And I enjoy my peace and quiet.
But lately there have been some trends that I’m trying my hardest not to jump on the bandwagon with. I usually wait awhile to determine if the trend is going to become classic and timeless or if it will be everywhere and then fizzle out.
Like chevron and ombre.
So if you see these trendy things pop up in my home — don’t be surprised. I’m crushing hard.
I’m having a slight love affair with poufs. At first I thought they were stupid. Because really — it’s really just a grown up bean bag chair. Then I realized that they are everything. Seriously — they’re so versatile. I love how it’s being used as a coffee table in this photo but they also can double as extra seating. I have seen a few that I have fallen head over heels in love with — but sadly they were out of my price range. But I’m keeping my eye out.
2. Fiddle leaf fig trees
I was really hesitant about this one — stubbornly refusing to even entertain the idea of getting one of these. They’re everywhere. And it’s like being the only kid in 7th grade without an iphone. You just feel really lame with your mom’s cast off flip phone. So if I can find one of these guys — I’m pretty sure he’ll be coming home with me.
3. Sea Urchins
I have seen these everywhere for awhile now and I always loved them. But because I have seen them everywhere — they just seemed so unoriginal. I love the use of them in this photo. Grouped and hanging. In love. I’m not so sure I’m going to run out and purchase myself a few sea urchins — but I have a blank wall that’s just screaming for some sea life.
That’s my top three. What’s on your trending list?
and as always
I’ve been busy working on a few things I want to share next week. I totally needed a creative break and time to spend with my little ladies to recharge. And since my husband was traveling this week, I ended up having to juggle everything on my own. Mad respect to single mothers! Especially with Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, I send a sincere “You are amazing!” to every woman who is raising children on their own. It’s challenging to say the least.
I didn’t have a ton of down time with my computer this week, but I did sneak in a few moments after the girls were asleep and there was some things that I can’t keep to myself.
This office is beautiful. I could get a lot of work done in a place like this. And that door is gorgeous.
I loved this story on how a giant leap is terrifying but can hold so much promise. It also includes a pretty amazing house tour.
A better way to say sorry. I’m teaching this to my girls immediately.
Want your home to look like it came from the pages of a magazine? These styling tips could help you do just that.
Have a wonderful weekend!
When I was a kid, my mom would make this dish that we absolutely lost our minds over.
Whenever I say that I get weird looks. Steak? In a pie?
Could there really be anything more delicious? I believe it’s originally a Scottish dish that my mom translated in her own way to make it a little more palatable to our American tongue.
Little known fact: I was born in Scotland!
Basically, it’s delicious beef, loads of onions, a smidge of garlic and beef consume cooked slow for hours until it falls apart. Then it’s popped into a pie crust and baked until crispy and golden.
I use store bought pie crusts because I’m a rebel (and also lazy) but here’s a great home made pie crust recipe for you.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
Linking up | Serenity Now
Stockings are hung from the TV console with care.
Enjoying this 70 degree weather in December.
Dressed up for Christmas performances at church
Trying my hand at a DIY wreath with branches from our yard. Needs a little bit more.
Making gingerbread houses with my middle daughter. She was so excited to eat all that candy.
This weekend will be filled with wrapping gifts and cookie baking. There’s so much going on and I’m trying to take time to remember all the special things that are going on. Love these moments.
What’s going on with you?
When it comes to decorating my home, I hesitate to the point of being paralyzed.
I think and think and think until I can’t even make a decision. If you’re like me and need some help with trusting yourself to make your place feel like home, take a look at these simple ideas to get your confidence up.
1. Search Pinterest
Pinterest is like design manna. It’s a great starting place because there are millions of images at your fingertips. Create a board for the room you’re working on and start pinning images that inspire you. When you’re done, go back and find the common thread and start there with your design.
2. Make a mood board
Now that you have your images, create a mood board. That way you can see all your inspiration in one spot. It’s a great way to piece your room together if you have an idea of what direction you’re moving in.
3. Jump right in
This is the one I have the hardest time with. But it makes sense because the more time you take to think about your design, the more you will begin to doubt yourself. Certainly take the time to plan and source your furniture, accessories and other materials, but don’t hem and haw over your vision. Make it happen.
4.Fall down — but get back up
Inevitably, some things just don’t work. It may be a color or your furniture arrangement. Falling down in design is part of the learning process. Now that you definitely know what doesn’t work, you can focus on what does.
Trusting yourself to decorate is the biggest hurdle of them all. Once you jump over that first one, you can tackle all your design dilemmas with confidence.
Linking up: The DIY Dreamer