Then take the time to decorate your porch(es). I used inexpensive sheers from ikea (available here ) to dress up my covered back porch (see the how-tos here ). I think it looks much nicer than the traditional table, chairs, and umbrella, and we can let the sheers hang down to keep the bugs out when were eating outside. Quick tip: Removing the door to a laundry room, pantry, or closet and hanging a curtain instead can make the space appear larger. This also allows you to repurpose a closetsay as a craft area, reading nook, or mudroom drop zone. Choose neutrals for Furniture brights for Accents by neutrals, i am talking about soft furniturechairs, sofas, beddingand rugs. I have had the same white slipcovers on my living room sofa and chair for twelve years.
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I love to put great big house numbers on my front door: available here in our current home, theres a house number right next to my front door, so that would be redundant. so i put a swirly welcome on my storm door instead: available here ive also used a big vinyl monogram over the bed in a previous home, stuck patterned vinyl inside closets, slapped institution vinyl squares on the wall to make a giant calendar, and two. It was great for shopping lists and menus! I wrote a post on how to easily apply vinyl decals here. Quick tip: When its time to move, warm the vinyl with a hairdryer and gently peel it away. Go slowly and your wall will look perfect when youre done! Dont Neglect the decor in Non-Typical rooms Just as I love to put chandeliers in unexpected areas, i also like to decorate my laundry room, pantry, closets, and other often-neglected areas. The powder room should layla always get some tlc; after all, most of your guests will wind up in there at some point in time! One of my friends put a guest book in her powder roomhow fun is that? And since the laundry room is a place where i spend way too much of my time, shouldnt it make me feel happy to spend time in there? Do you live in a climate where youre outside for a good portion of the year?
When its time to move, just replace whatever was there before (I usually label them and stick them in the attic so they dont get damaged) and take your chandeliers with you to the next house. I hung this writings chandelier in our dining room just a few weeks ago: quick tip: I used to shorten the chains and wires of my chandeliers so they would hang just right. The only problem was that when we moved, i would often have to rewire the whole thing if I needed a longer chain. Now, i simply use an S-hook to loop the chain to the correct length and use a cord cover to hide the extra. Easy! My favorite online sources for chandeliers are here, here, and here. Just Add Vinyl Vinyl is widely available these days, and even custom orders are very inexpensive. Its also temporary, so its great for rentals.
That way, when you move, even if the number of windows in a room changes, you will still have rods to match. All of my curtain rods are black with a clear glass finial see them here. byol: Bring-your-Own-Lighting, you can change your lighting out even when you cant paint. I love to find chandeliers at flea markets and yard salesthose about bright brass ones look great with a coat of colorful spray paintand hang them everywhere in my house, especially in unexpected areas like the laundry room, closet, and pantry. If youve never hung a light fixture before, you really should learn. It will save you so much money over time! Let a friend show you how to do it, or hire an electrician to come out and give you a tutorial. take lots of pictures biography and notes, but its not that hard.
I needed something to cover the windows and French door in my kitchen, but I didnt want to spend a lot of money. . i used burlap, thumb tacks, and jute twine and came up with theseand I made all three for under. The tutorial is here, window treatments are particularly important if your landlord refuses to let you paint or you dont want to paint. For example, the home were living in right now has a two-story living room. I could get up on a scaffold and paint over that off-white color, but do i really want to? Um,. so im using my window treatments to inject color and style into the room: see/purchase these window treatments. Quick tip: Use the same style of curtain rod throughout your house. .
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Quick tip: i keep paint chips of all the colors ive used, labeled with the house and room i used them. . If I love a color, Ill use it again at the next housewhy reinvent the wheel? Window Treatments Are a must, i am always amazed at the difference window treatments make in a room. . They are well worth the investment, but essay they dont have to be super-expensive. . ikea (you can buy online here target, homegoods, Amazon, and Craigslist are my favorite places to buy curtains, and they are relatively inexpensive. .
Most military spouses (the ones who care about decoratingwhich you do, or you wouldnt be reading this article!) have a box of window treatments that moves with them, because every house has a different number and size of windows. . youve probably already figured this out, but panels generally work better than valances, simply because they work on windows of differing widths. Quick tip: Hang the longest panels your room will allow. That will make even a small room with a low ceiling seem larger. Consider making window treatments to save money. .
give the landlord a few paint chips for approval, and let him or her know what you plan to do to improve the space. . Sticking to lighter, more neutral tones will always work in your favor, especially if you are going to be covering over a more dated color. . What landlord wouldnt want you paint over that bright red dining room with a light gray? . If you are painting to cover over something atrocious (say, a shockingly bright childs room be sure to ask the landlord to reimburse you for the cost of the paint. . In this case, you are increasing the value of the home by painting it and saving him or her the work theyd have to do anyway.
Quick tip: Remember that you can paint almost anything. Maybe the front door needs a shot of red or aqua. Or theres a horrible brown tile backsplash in the kitchen (learn how to paint tile here ). Get the go-ahead and paint it! For the paint itself, i always use a flat finish, because i hate shiny walls and it seems to be more forgiving to novice painters. . The only time i use semi-gloss is when Im painting trim (which i usually dont take the time to do in a rental, unless its a color other than white or off-white. . Of course, im usually not going to be a renting a house that needs that much work, anyway!).
Joanna gaines, magnolia, home
Since rules on painting vary from installation to installation, be sure to get that spelled out ahead of time. And if summary you summary have to paint everything back to boring old white, be sure to use one of these. PaintSticks they will save you hours. If your landlord is uncomfortable about giving you permission to paint, you might have to make your case to him or her. . Since a couple of rooms in our last home were featured in magazines (see them here and here im not shy about showing those to a potential landlord (see this? . I could do great things in your house!). Even if you dont have a magazine feature in your portfolio (yet! you can still make this trick work for you. .
weve also written a follow up to that post since were pretty darned good at moving! I love to decorate, which is convenient since my husband is constantly giving me new material, courtesy of the military! We move every 2-3 years, and every time we unpack boxes, boxes and more boxes in our newest home, i am faced with decorating challenges. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for making a plain vanilla rental house (or on-post/base housing) into a comfortable and welcoming home. PaintRooms, doors, or All of the Above! I know, its an obvious one, but it has to be at the top of every decorating list, because painting is an easy, fast, and inexpensive way to personalize your space. . you should ask your landlord about permission to paint before you sign the lease, and i usually have the specifics written into the lease so its clear what Im allowed. Sometimes, especially in military housing, you have to paint the room back to white or off-white when you move, unless the incoming family accepts your paint choices. .
changes, so i thought it would be interesting to publish the original draft. Plus, the pictures are all linked to my previous posts, so if you want to read more about my master bathroom, for example, just click on that picture and the browser will open a new window with my master bathroom redo post. While this article was geared towards military spouses, its also perfectly applicable to those of us living in rental houses. I hope you find it to be full of lots of good ideas! Christy. Ps if youre about to move, then Amys post. Moving Tips tricks (and How to Stay sane!) is a must-read!
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