Renter's Rehab

Are you a renter? Are you ever frustrated with all of the restrictions: no painting; no wall hangings; no new light fixtures; no changes whatsoever that might possibly make the space feel like your own. Welcome to Renter's Lament.

Since I am a renter of a cute little town home, I feel ya. I wish...oh, how I wish I could paint, change my kitchen cabinets, lay wood flooring, change light fixtures, and add crown molding. Alas, I'm not allowed. I've tried to reason that the changes I would make would only enhance the look and value of this little home, but to no avail.

I know there are some landlords who are more lenient and will allow you to paint or change light fixtures as long as things are put back in place before you move out, or perhaps you've put down a sizable deposit so they can take care of neutralizing the space once you're gone. You are lucky, my friends. Truly.

For the rest of us who must adhere to community housing standards and stringent contract stipulations, I am here for you. I am also here to say, "I defy you, over zealous landlords!"

First up, I came across this great re-do the other day from Design*Sponge. One of their contributors, Brett, created this great mini makeover with just a few items and a weekend. Super easy, and her sublet kitchen looks soOOo much better!

Here's the horrific BEFORE:

Yikes. That backsplash stepped out of a bad 80's sweater or something. Now, take a gander at the sweet AFTER:

Hello amazing! So much easier on the eyes, plus she only changed three things. Can you guess what they are?

1. hung peg board from the pot rack in front of that crazy tiled backsplash wall

2. taped (yes, literally Scotch taped) large print wallpaper to the backs of her cabinet doors

3. sewed a super easy new curtain under her sink.

Um, yeah. You can't tell me there's nothing you can do to make your kitchen cute. Go ahead and try.

So what's the moral of the story? A makeover doesn't have to be difficult, expensive, or take up a lot of your time. Take a look around your home - what catches your eye? Too much clutter? Figure out a nice storage unit that works for the way you live. No focal point? Make some snazzy do-it-yourself art. Cabinets you hate? Paint 'em! Can't paint? How about some repositionable (read: non-permanent) spray adhesive and wallpaper or fabric to cover the panels? Don't like your rug? Get an area rug. Unsightly lighting fixtures? Swap them out (don't forget to carefully save them for when you move out) or add a drum shade over the top.


Okay, so...let's commiserate together for just a moment that we don't own our dream house in the country/city/Bahamas, finish our steps of mourning, then enjoy some exciting ways to make a space your own! It's time to change our perspective and all join in for a little "Renter's Rehab." I'm prepared with scratch sheets galore full of ideas to change the look of your home without compromising style, good taste, or your lease agreement. I'll be sharing some simple projects I've been working on around my home, as well as showcasing a few great ideas from other great do-it-yourself-ers.

So sit back, relax, read up on a few posts, then get off yer duff and let's get to work!