To buy a place or to rent- that is often the question. If you’ve opted to lease a space instead of making a commitment to a mortgage, there are still plenty of ways to make the space feel more personal according to HGTV designer Chip Wade. Blank white walls and outdated appliances can feel stark and impersonal. To help you cozy up your rental space, I asked Chip a few design questions—and we think you’ll love his creative ideas on how to personalize your rental space.
Q: The white walls of my apartment feel like a hospital. How can I add some color and style to my walls?
A: I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend. Meet peel and stick wallpaper. It’s affordable, stylish and so easy to put on the wall for an instant style infusion. It’s perfect for rental spaces, because it’s so easily removable and won’t damage the walls. Etsy is actually my favorite place to find unique peel and stick wallpaper designs. Before ordering the paper, be sure you get accurate measurements of the surface area you’re trying to cover. RoomMates has great tips on installing peel and stick wallpaper.
Photo Credit: Small Fry Blog
As with any design application, think about the impact you’re going for in the space. if you select a bold and colorful pattern, consider only doing an accent wall. If your pattern is more subtle and neutral, you can cover more space such as the entire kitchen or bathroom. I love this bold and unique bathroom application from Small Fry.
Q: Dirty grout in the kitchen and bathroom of my rental are driving me crazy. How can I freshen it up?
A: As much as I love “vintage” rentals, dirty grout can make your new-to-you rental space feel old. You have a few options to clean up the grout for a fresher visual. You can either hire a professional to clean the grout– or rent a tile and grout steam cleaner. Another option is a DIY approach of cleaning the grout yourself using these tips from Rent-a-Center on How to Clean Grout in 5 Easy Steps.
If cleaning the grout still isn’t working, one blogger at The Yellow Cape Cod decided to apply white paint to freshen the appearance of her kitchen grout. Check out her detailed tutorial on the process. (Helpful hint: You might want to check with your landlord before using this method.)
Q: How can I get both an office and a guest room space out of my 2-bedroom rental?
A: Maximizing space in a rental is not only smart, it personalizes the space for your lifestyle. While many rentals are two bedrooms, that still leaves you needing both an office space and guest bedroom for those college roomies or in-laws. I recommend checking out my new furniture collaboration with Xtraroom. We’ve partnered up to design space-saving furniture that provides real solutions for the way you want- and deserve- to live.
The new Orion collection offers a console with desk and hutch. Like space-saving magic, the console opens up to a comfortable queen-sized bed in under a minute. Your office-to-guest bedroom issue is solved.
When evaluating your rental space, it’s important to select improvement projects that matter to you—and respect the fact that you’ll eventually be moving on and moving out. With just a few easy and inexpensive fixes, your rental space will be feeling personalized, fresh, and homely in no time.