We rented for 7 years before we were able to buy this house. It was hard being a DIY kind of girl and not being able to do much. But I learned a few things from that experience that I thought I would share today.
The first thing is (in my opinion) the most important.
*Invest in the things you CAN take with you.
When we lived in Las Vegas and were renting, my husband was in school and we didn't have a ton of money. Our hand me down couch literally broke in half and had splintered wood sticking out of it. We decided to take the plunge and buy a nice couch. We used our tax return and bough a leather couch. It was on sale but it was still a good chunk of change for college students. We had a couple little boys at that point so I wanted something that would be easy to clean.
I have never regretted buying it. We have owned it for almost 9 years. It is brown so it has matched all the different color schemes I have gone through.
I also bought a lot of accessories, lighting, picture frames, and rugs while we rented. Most of which I still use today.
Can't Paint Your Walls?
After living with white walls for the 2 years I was in dorms at college and the 7 years we rented after getting married I was determined to have color on all my walls when we bought this house. I LOVE color! But while we rented I made up for the fact that the walls were white by adding art, photographs, and even fabric to the walls. I wish I had more pictures of my apartments. I didn't blog then so I didn't have much reason to take shots of just my house. I also had colorful pillows and painted side tables and other smaller furniture. Pretty much anything other than the walls and the main furniture pieces were COLOR.
As far as the walls go, you can add fabric as a temporary wallpaper or add vinyl that removes easily when it is time to move. A large colorful print or piece of art and take up a lot of the wall making the whiteness less noticeable. One thing I always did was have a large gallery wall of pictures that took up almost the whole wall.
Can't make nail holes in the wall?
In college they handed out putty to all of us so we could hang things on the wall without making holes. I have bought and used putty ever since. Even though I now own my home, I sometimes change my mind often enough that I would rather just used a blob of putty instead of making holes. I also use it on the bottom two corners of pictures to keep them moving when bumped.
Not enough storage?
There are books written about all the creative things you can do to increase your storage. I will just highlight a few.
Buy furniture that does double duty. A side table or coffee table that opens with storage, a bed that has drawers, or a bench that holds shoes.
Go vertical. Hang shelves all the way up the wall or put peg board in closets or on the back of a door. Take advantage of the wall space!
Conceal your crap in decorative boxes, baskets, drawers, etc. An organized space feels bigger!
I don't rent anymore but I have a small home so I have to take advantage of these tips. Here are just some of the things I have done for more storage:
All right, now excuse me for a sec while I hop onto my colorfully spray painted soapbox that doubles as toy storage....
Don't wait to decorate just because you are renting. Please. Make your space your own! You should love your space even if it is temporary. Here is a quote from one of my posts last year.
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