Oh am I ever glad it’s Saturday! Saturdays at my house are normally spent tidying up around the house, cuddling with the kiddies and other random errands. Today I am so excited because this morning I unpacked the last box we brought over to our rental since we are undergoing our #canningreno. We really lucked out as neighbors directly across the street decided to move for a period and lease their house- the timing honestly could not have worked out better, which I am grateful for. While I did my best to keep what we brought over to a minimum (the house is fully furnished, so great), I am shocked at how much I actually did bring over. I wanted the space to have some resemblance of home (especially for our kids) and of course give the house my own touch.

Living in a rental (whether temporarily like us during a reno, or as your more permanent residence) has some challenges- you might not want to invest in anything you can’t take with you, and when you’re renting you’re making the best of what you’ve got without making major changes. And after working on the design team for 2 seasons of the HGTV show For Rent, I have learned a thing or two about living in and decorating a rental. Here are my top tips for making a rental feel fabulous!


Paint can make such a huge difference in a room. I’m only staying temporarily so I am not painting (and the owners have painted totally awesome colours), but painting is such a minimal investment for its impact- worth the effort required. And if you invest in the time it takes to paint a stripe (like this look we did on For Rent) you can create something original and unique for a really great price.

Spend money on art as it’s something you can take with you and work into new spaces. I am a big time supporter of artists and love supporting local talent. This is a piece I had commissioned for a client by my fab friend and artist Becky Simpson. We brought most of our art over to our rental to give our temporary space a sense of home.

Always chat with your landlord about making changes that require holes drilled in walls, but changing window treatments make a huge impact to the look of a room. HUGE! And when they are dated and tired it doesn’t matter what other fabulous things you put in the space- they will be a huge eyesore. Go somewhere like Bouclair and get cheap and cheerful, patterned and colourful window treatments you can take with you.

Ugh- if I ever see another boob light (google boob light if you don’t know what I am talking about). This cheap cheap light is one of the most offensive things to my eyes. You think I am exaggerating, I am not. Light fixtures should feel like jewelry to a room- either very ornamental or soft and subtle. They should not look like a boob under any circumstances. Ask your landlord but I’m a proponent of changing these as well to update a space.

How do you make your rental feel fabulous? Love to hear.

Striped photo by Kelly Schnurr, art photo by Tanja Tiziana


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