Today's post is a biggie and and goodie. A chat with my work girlfriends inspired me to write on how to get started decorating. But not just any decorating, I'm talking about the "I've just moved into my new rental, the basics are done but it doesn't feel like a home" decorating. So lets crack in, here are my top five tips for how to turn a rental house into a home.
1. Use Drapery to Treat Your Windows
One of the best tricks to make a house a home is to use drapery like curtains to make a space feel done. Take a tip from Nate Berkus and accentuate height and create a more dramatic feel by hanging your curtain rod as high as you can. If you are stuck on colour, go for a basic neutral and use other elements like pillows or throws to inject more colour. And my tip on the best place to find affordable curtains? You guessed it, good old IKEA. You can get an amazing pair for no more than $50!
2. Grab an Area Rug
As soon as the Big A and I moved into our home, one of my first design To Do's was an area rug. Area rugs help to divide and define spaces. And they are an easy way to bring texture and character into a room. For an virgin designer your best option is to go with something neutral like a fail safe Jute Rug. If you want to bring in more colour cotton flat weave rugs are a great inexpensive option - visit IKEA or Urban Outfitters. Think about the size of your rug too. For example in the living room, ideally it would be large enough to sit under the couch as well as any other ocassional or arm chairs you have.
3. Mood and Task Lighting Are A Must
You might say I am lamp obsessed. I can't help it. They are an instant update to any room and create a beautiful mood. Place lamps around the room and think about lighting at different heights. My best tip for sourcing affordable and unique lamps? eBay baby!!!! I love love love scouring the retro lamp section. Don't worry about the colour of your lamp or even the shade, both of these can be updated. You are just looking for the BONES of your piece. Spray paint the base, update the shade at Target and boom - you have a fabulously unique lamp.
4. Soft Furnishings = Cosy
Do you suffer from a bare room feeling? The instant cure is soft furnishings, something I've been working on myself lately. Pillows and throws will become your new best friend to inject some colour, texture and life into your rooms. Don't just leave it to one pillow create a combination for complimentary colours or pattens like the picture above. And where to find your perfect cushionings? Etsy Etsy Etsy!!!
5. Art it up and make it mean something to you
Okay, we've been through the top 4 things to do to make your room feel finished. Now is time to finish the room - and to do that, we need art. Think about the colour scheme and scale of your pieces, you want to ensure it compliments the other colours in your room and doesn't feel to small in the space. Art can come from anywhere but the most important thing to me, is that it means something. For example, I have a portrait I bought for $10 that I love because it reminds me of the big A. Putting nails in walls to hang things up can be tough, so 3M hooks are going to become your best friend. Some tips? Try an art collage wall (like the pic above) for an interesting but 3M hook friendly composition. Or how about leaning a framed print against something. Where there is a will there is a way!