Rental ReStyle: Top Home Decor Tips For Renters

WOW... So much has been happening and so much new information to take in for us moving to another state. Besides learning about short sales (especially about them being anything but short!) I've also been learning about some hope for decor in renting. Although yes, I have rented before, it was nice living here the past five years and know I didn't need to ask for permission to do a home improvement project. Since we will become renters, here's a few tips I've learned which have given this DIY Designer some hope in looking for our new space:

Carpeted stairs need an overhaul?
Refinish with salvaged wood - or palettes.

RENTING TIP 1: Point Out Flaws
When viewing a rental property, do not be afraid to point out any flaws that you find. Take a good luck at the carpets, paint, appliances and make the property owner aware of the problems that you find. It might not save you a bundle, but the property owner may be willing to knock a few dollars off of the monthly rent if you make it known that you aren’t going to pay the asking price if things aren’t in excellent condition.

Adding ledges will help prevent more holes in walls for gallery groupings.

RENTING TIP 2: Cosmetic Changes

If you are looking at a rental property that could use some TLC, you can always inquire about fixing the place up yourself for a reduction in rent. Property owners will sometimes reduce rent if the tenant is willing to paint, landscape or make minor cosmetic changes.


Shift out "matching" island for a counter height work table in kitchen.
(Stash it out in garage)

RENTING TIP 3: Do the leg work for your landlord.
Landlords often don’t want to spend the time finding a contractor, getting estimates, and comparing prices, even if they’re willing to pay for renovations. To prompt your landlord to take action, offer to find a contractor & get some quotes on your own. This way, the only thing the renovation will cost your landlord is money with none of his time wasted. And don’t forget to throw it out there that it’s a tax deduction for them and it is improving the value of the property.

Here's an article with a few more renting tips:

Use a cart to add character in the kitchen.
If landlord goes for you doing updates, ask if a few upper cabinets could be replaced with open shelving - He'll be so on trend!

In all the places I've been looking at (on line), the HUGE pitfall are kitchens & bathrooms needing updates. A large portion of the homes for rent out in AZ (Chandler & Gilbert areas) have oak cabinets and mica counter tops. Since I know from our own experience, these areas can be instantly updated - within a day - and without any demo I'd suggest using Granite Transformations. Fortunately, Arizona does have two Granite Transformation locations, so this would be one of my suggestions for an update. I'd even suggest an Ikea butcher block top I could stain darker. The cabinets could be stained - or even better - painted - oyster, espresso, or even a dark gray - and I'd GLADLY take on this task - if the landlord would pay for the supplies. 

Accent fireplace with a salvaged one, and paint existing (dirty) bricks
white, black or gray.

Oddly, many of the cabinets do not have any hardware, so I'd add some hardware in either nickle or oil rubbed bronze. And many of the kitchen layouts are crammed into corners, without the peninsula bar coming out. They'll have a small "matching" island floating in the space, which isn't holding any plumbing or appliance. I'd like to shift it to the garage, and replace it with a more functional cart or find a great counter height table and some industrial stools.

Peel & Stick wall paper adds character & texture to a renters space.

From what I've been reading, they don't want to spend the time or the money on the rental. But these solutions would save them time (because I'd do the sourcing) and gain them money because they could charge more - TO THE NEXT TENANT - because the space would be updated. I've also read it's a tax write off for them. I also found a source for some peel & stick wall paper, which won't add value to their life - but it sure could to ours!! lol The site is called EAZY WALLZ. I found it while visiting over at Canadian House & Home - a fantastic site & source for home decor inspiration.

Some examples of Peel & Stick wall paper which could look awesome in Arizona!

As for around here, I finally got a chance to upload all the pics I shot in NYC (I'll post next week).  The Fall changes I was doing and had completed prior to our NYC trip, I've had to edit down some. Thankfully, I didn't get all into Halloween or Fall like I did last year - it was already a small dose. Last Monday I removed some Fall decor and also removed about 32 personal photos of Jeff and I from around our home. Some friends have stopped by to visit this week and that was nice :) This past Saturday, I volunteered (painting) at Habitat For Humanity. I also met with two Realtors last week who loved the place and think IT WILL sell fast... Let's just hope it does, and the transition is smooth. I'll post pics shortly, so stay tuned...

AZ home office idea

All of these inspirational pics and more I've been pinning over at Pinterest. Come see what else I've pinned for Arizona inspiration over there as well... You can view this, Southwest Style and more inspiration on my nboards at Pinterest...

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Are you buying a short sale house?? We went through selling one that way and you are so right it took 8 months!! We are now hoping next year to jump back into the market and most homes in our area are short sales and I so do not wish to deal with it, even though it is most likely the way we will have to go to be able to get a house again.

  2. No - The post was about renting, because we are going to be renting AFTER we sell our home through a short sale.

    xo Lynda

  3. I'm so glad your posting again! I'm still waiting for the lowdown on the buffet you painted red... like you don't have enough to do right?
    Good luck with selling your place and finding a rental in AZ, and I agree with the Realtor, your condo will sell fast!

  4. A fantastic site & source for home decor inspiration.

  5. Love its interior,especially those amazing walls.

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  7. Home decor is a great way to add spice to your surroundings and a surefire way to garnish compliments from your regular house guests. In fact, one of the most popular home decorating trends currently is seasonal decorating, as it takes a dedicated creative person to come up with enough home decorating ideas four times a year on an average of every three months.

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  9. do you have any "how to's" for the refinished stairs. i just took my old carpet off mine and they look terrible. did you take out the old stairs or go over top of existing?

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