You might be surprised to learn that a lot of our wonderful clients live in homes that they are currently renting. “But what can I do to decorate my rental home and is it really worth it?”, you are probably asking yourself! To which I reply, dear reader, plenty! And oh yes, it's worth it!
What Can I Do?
Never, ever ever underestimate the value of putting up curtains and blinds. This should be one of the first things you do when you move into a home as it is one of the biggest gamechangers. It's an easy Saturday project, you can pick up supplies at your local home goods store, and you can take these things with you when you eventually leave. Nothing cozies up a house like curtains and blinds!
Greenery! We're big promoters of putting greenery in any home (our favorite is a nice big fiddle leaf fig tree – real or faux). If it's fake or if you have a green thumb, it's a large piece that you can bring with you when you leave. If it's real and you were, shall we say, not exactly lovin' on it, then leave it behind! But that pop of life in your home will freshen up any rental.
Moving into a rental, you probably already have a lot of your furniture. Chances are your family room looks pretty much the same from house to house – hey, we all like the comforts of home! But to change it up and revive the same old look without doing anything permanent, invest in new accessories. Alter your rugs from home to home, or layer old with new; buy lamps to add layers of light; get some new pillows and bedding.
It sounds cliché but pictures, frames, and personal art are a great addition to any rented home. Don't think that because you may be moving again it's not worth it to hang these up. Sure, you'll probably have to cover a few holes when you leave so the landlord doesn't complain, but it's a small price to pay.
Is It Worth It?
Now let's move on to a few big things that might not really be worth it, depending on how long you're planning to stay. The most obvious one is paint. Most landlords will put up a fresh coat before you move in, and while they'll give you permission to paint once you're there, it often comes with the stipulation that when you move you have to paint it back. So if you're going to paint, pick high impact areas, like a feature wall in your family room or maybe some cool stripes in your entry way.
Certain furniture is just not worth investing in right now unless you know that renting is only temporary and you'll find homes for these pieces in your forever house. A large cozy sectional from Pottery Barn might fit perfectly in your midwestern basement but you'll struggle to get it up the elevator in your next Manhattan apartment, let alone in the 600 square feet New Yorkers call home.
Finally, there's the kitchen. We all know there's nothing worse than a bad kitchen: short-circuiting refrigerators, peeling linoleum tile...peeling linoleum countertops, while we're at it! Is it worth to buy a working dishwasher or put up a jaunty peel-and-stick backsplash you found at Home Depot? No!
Your landlord should supply fully functioning appliances and that backsplash will be coming down one way or the other. Is your kitchen suffering a little wear or tear? Just spend a day with a can of Easy-Off and tell all your friends it's vintage!