We all start out somewhere and sometime not owning a home can be an advantage — you’re not tied down to one place but dealing with ways to personalize when you have a landlord to answer to can be a hassle. After reading the about Kerra Huerta’s creative ideas to personalize a space when you rent, in the article “Making the most of the leased,” in Washington Post Home section, I was inspired to post more about it along with some added features (italics).
As a former Seattle-based interior designer, Ms. Huerta moved to DC without the comfort of a client base but has quickly gained attention through her design blog, Apartment Envy and profiles in the local DC paper as well as having her one bedroom residence a part of the Dupont Circle “House” Tour.
The article by Jura Konicus highlights her 9 tips:
1. Ditch the mini-blinds because they don’t give the impression of permanence. As a renter, you still want your style to have weight and staying power. Go for a softer look with curtains. I’ll add, and less dust, means less work.
It seems like having a geometric pattern helps to also ground the room as well as make it appear larger than it might actually might be, perhaps? Mini blinds would take attention away from this overall sophisticated and cohesive look.
Although we don’t have rugs we do have wallcoverings with a similar MoRockAn Arch design that could put the focus on a central accent wall.
2. Remove cabinet doors in a galley kitchen. This will add visual depth to make the space seem larger and more inviting + create niches where you can express your personality. Even glass storage containers can display beautifully.
3. Put empty spaces to work. She uses stylish woven baskets in the space above cabinets for supplies such as napkins and paper goods.
Painting the wall a dark color in this case makes the white cabinetry and counters really pop.
4. Upgrade light fixtures. Usually these are installed on the cheap and if changed out (with the owner’s permission), you can always put the old ones back upon leaving. Actually, I agree with the implication that having newer features will make the place show better for the next potential renters and maybe even the landlord might deduct from your deposit.
5. Paint with permission. You can always repaint it white but chances are the new tenants may like your color and the landlord might let it stay. However, if you can’t paint, you can still change the color of your walls with repositionable, removable wallcoverings that will not leave a residue behind when removed and can be reused in the new space when you move.
6. Camouflage the unflattering. I thought this one was clever and bold. She wrapped her refrigerator with adhesive paper to disguise an outdated and ugly appliance.
7. Treat the bathroom with personality of a real room by adding interest with framed prints and a nice bath rug.
8. Create architectural illusion. Another one we can relate to for she used faux bois wrapping paper on the backs of bookcases to add interest. To save time, we have Faux Bois and in Bookcase Backing sizes that are already have a special pressure sensitive adhesive that allows you to remove if those bookcases are permanent, and without leaving a residue to clean later.
9. Little things make a difference if you ask. Even doorknobs may be changeable but you’ll never know if you don’t ask.
I’ll add one more to the list.
10. Create a space that shows off your personality and you’ll feel more at “home.”
You can read more about her tips on her informative blog, Apartment Envy.
Kerra Huerta’s decorating tips can help both renters and home owners but particularly when you know your residence may be temporary.