August 09, 2010

DIY 4 Rentals: Home Tutorials

We are always watching HGTV, DIY Network and reading all the awesome home renovation blogs, but in reality many things do not apply to us.  We rent our home and size is not on our side.  One day, right?  In the meantime we need to figure something out.

Renting creates some complications.  The place is your home, but it’s not quite your own.  This means taking out walls, adding tile, making large holes, hanging new doors, and anything that is permanent or leaves a permanent “stamp” is off limits.  Even painting is conditional if allowed at all.

Our old place allowed paint, but the standards for the wall once the lease was up, left us being hesitant to bring out the paint brushes.  In our new SF condo we rent from a private owner and painting is off limits, in fact we got a better deal on the place because she didn’t repaint.  This left us with a black accent wall in the bedroom, but that’s another story.

How do you add style, personality and design to a rented home?  It’s a little bit more of a challenge.  Lately I’ve been keeping my eyes open for fun, home DIY projects that we can use in our rented condo.  (Really, they are awesome for home owners too though).

Wallpapered Bookcase by Pepper Design Blog

A wallpapered bookcase will add color and pop and is a great alternative to actually hanging wallpaper.  Also, it gives you an excuse to buy some fabulous wallpaper.  (Have you seen Oh Joy! is coming out with a design?)  Some paint can also achieve a similar effect.

Collapsible Storage Bakets by Sew 4 Home

Who can’t use some extra storage?  Plus if the storage coordinate with the room, you are adding style not an eye sore.

Coffee Table to Ottoman by Pepper Design Blog

A little more of a complicated DIY project.  However, I think it challenges you to look at pieces you may already have and how you can recreate them to compliment your home.

Fabric Drawer Liners by Mod Podge Rocks (and a fun new knob)

Another reason why Mod Podge is awesome.  Also, finding a cool knob can completely change the look of a piece of furniture.  My favorite knobs are at Anthropologie.

Summertime Wreath by Cartwheels in My Mind

This project is so adorable and full of fun personality.  I LOVE the flowers especially.

Paper Capiz Shell Chandelier by Design Sponge

The chandelier is just ridiculously creative.  It’s worth looking at the tutorial just to see how it all comes together.

Recovered Lampshade by Olive and Joy (via ish and chi)

I really want to try this project.  I love patterned lampshades and they always seem to be so expensive.  This seems like an easy alternative to get the same style.

Fisherman’s Orb and Vignette by Love & Lace

Stephanie and Love & Lace has seriously some of the BEST DIY projects.  Her home is amazing and I’m constantly in awe of her awesome ideas and style.  Plus, she is super sweet too.  I love the idea of creating a vignette on the wall with some DIY pieces and simple shelving.

The best thing about most of these projects is that you are creating pieces that have flexibility whether you are just rearranging a room or actually moving.  If you own a place and aren’t up for major renovations or projects these ideas will work just as well to update or refresh a space.  It’s investing in “mobile decor” that will travel when you move to the next place, move it to a new room or are setting up your first permanent residence.

Any simple decorating tips that are rental friendly?  What’s a favorite DIY “mobile decor” project you’ve done?

Also, check out this post from Ish and Chi for some more rental decorating ideas.

8 Comments to “DIY 4 Rentals: Home Tutorials”


  1. I really love the lamp shades Idea. There are alot of ways to spruce up a rental without paint. We are currently in a rental but we were given the go ahead for paint etc.

    One things that helps is accents and furniture. A few pictures or plants can go a long way!
    If you do any of these your going to have to do a post on it!!

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  2. So your favorite knobs are at Anthro – if you have a Hobby Lobby in your town it’s worth checking out, as they have the same knobs as Anthro for about a quarter of the price. And sometimes more selection.

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    • michelle @ blissful musings says:

      That is so great to know!! Usually I wouldn’t even consider an Anthro knob that wasn’t on sale. I don’t know if we have a Hobby Lobby around here. Can you order online?

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  3. I love that ottoman/coffee table! When I rented, I used floating shelves all over the place.

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  4. These are all such fresh and do-able projects that really add oomph…especially that chandelier. Love all of it!

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  5. This is great design inspiration for design-challenged people like myself!

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  6. thanks for the link love!

    Great inspiration – I especially love the drawer liners & wallpapering behind the shelf. Such a statement! I’m actually making a trip this weekend to get some more knobs from Anthro. Expensive, but so worth it!

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  7. I love so many of these projects…I wish I could find a use for them!

    & there are definitely ways to incorporate your stlye into a rental…without painting! In all of my previous rentals I have painted, changed out light fixtures, switch plates, and that list goes on and on. Just save everything and replace when you move out! Perhaps I should do a blog post on this?

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