Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ways to love your rental and make it your own!

Nothing puts a damper on your excitement to move into a new rental than the list of things you CAN'T do. I get it, I've lived in 3 rentals in the last 5 years. Whatever your reason for renting I think it is so important to make it your own. Here are a few of my favorite ways to add personality to your rental!

But check with your landlord first! I always ask if painting is allowed when looking at a new place & an apartment would have to be pretty special for me to pick one with a 'no paint' rule. I've found that most landlords are fine with painting as long as you paint it back to white when you move out. My rule is if we plan to live there for at least another year then break out the paint brush. If painting an entire room is too much of a commitment you can always paint one accent wall!

We have some rules about what you can and can't plant where I live. To make sure I am in compliance I decided to plant a large urn with flowers. (above) Container gardening is great for rental living because you can bring it with you when you leave. I had a potted geranium that moved 3 times! If your rental has a balcony you can grow some herbs & veggies which I plan to do this summer.

Odds are your rental doesn't have the most fab light fixtures, am I right? My office doesn't even have wiring for an overhead light so I rewired the chandelier shown above to plug in. (Of course then you have to figure out what to do with the cord, but that's another post all together) We also just replaced a boring canister light in our kitchen with a cute pendant. My dad gave me a crash course in hanging light fixtures - I told my husband not to be shocked if he comes home one day and all of the lighting has been changed. If you decide to swap out a fixture just store the original in a safe place and swap them back before you move out.

If you only decide to do one thing make it this one! I always put up my own shower head. (How do you live without a handheld shower head? How do you wash your hair? Haha, I can't.) Other easy upgrades that I feel can be worth the investment? Faucets, cabinet knobs & even toilet seats. These small changes can make even the most basic rental bathroom feel a bit more upscale.

Don't go overboard with big box budget furnishings! I love me some IKEA but most of my furnishings have come from thrift stores, Homegoods or antique shops. You'll probably find a better deal and your home will have more of a collected look as opposed to the "I just went on an IKEA shopping spree" look. When you take time to find or transform pieces into things you love you'll never regret it.

It is easy to see all of the gorgeous pictures from pinterest, blogs & magazines and hate that your rental doesn't look like that. You have to keep in mind exactly why you are renting in the first place. Whether you are living in military housing, a student apartment of saving for your forever home take a moment to appreciate why you're there. For us it means that we get to live in a town we probably couldn't afford otherwise, we live near friends (some who used to live below us!), the hubs has an easy drive to work and we are close to both of our families. These are all things that are extremely important to us so it is the perfect reminder to appreciate our condo.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

$8 Mirror Makeover - My Restoration Hardware Knock-Off

You might have noticed a big change on the blog...I am still working out the kinks but am excited to announce that has become!! And now...

You know I love a good thrift store challenge! I found a large framed mirror for $5 - it needed some attention but the lines reminded me of Restoration Hardware's Mansard Scroll Mirror. I'd been coveting this mirror for a few years but could never justify the $345 price tag.

So here is what mine looked like when I brought it home. The mirror and frame were in great shape, which can't be beat at that price. It had holes where hooks once were which I'm sure is why it was priced so low.

I used my favorite furniture paint - Behr's Antique White tinted primer. (No sanding!)I debated a bit on what to do about the holes, they were larger than I'd like to fill but obviously couldn't leave them open. Eventually I found some ornate wooden ornaments at Home Depot which I painted with leftover wall paint and attachd to cover the holes.

I used leftover paint so I was able to create my Restoration Hardware knock-off for only $8! ($5 mirror and $3 for the wooden ornaments) Can't beat that! :)

hi guys!

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