HGTV Design Star and host of his own HGTV show Color Splash. Since many of us live in rental apartments and homes, I sought his advice on decorating "around the rules." See what he has to say!
Lisa: Hi David and thanks for spending some time with all the Planet Weidknecht readers! I've got some great questions that go along with Decorating Around the Rules of Apartment Living. I just sold our big family house and am renting a small "empty nest" home until my boys graduate college. The last house was over 3300 square feet and the new house is just 1600 square feet. We're on a budget and trying to use many of our previous decor in the new house, but it is very cramped and crowded. We can't exactly add on rooms, so maybe you can offer some great organization tips?
David: This is a common problem when you downsize whether it is temporary or not. If you are able to, choose your favorite and most functional pieces in terms of furniture and seating and put the rest in storage. Its very difficult to use some of your old pieces from a bigger home. Choose the decor that fits the walls and space the best without trying to display everything because then it will appear even more crowded. If that still doesn't seem to work, try selling some pieces on the Internet or yard sale and purchase some furniture that will fit!
Lisa: The windows in the rental house came with blinds, but I'd love to spruce up the windows with some curtains or valances. How can I do that without damaging the walls?
David: Try asking your landlord to install a rod for curtains so that you aren't the one liable when touching the walls. Adding curtains can improve the value of a home so many landlords will be fine with it. And honestly, it's super easy and inexpensive to patch a few holes.
Lisa: The laundry room in the rental house is so small that it will only fit a washer and a dryer. It's between the garage and the house, so if someone opens the garage door to the house, I may end up with a knot on my head. The laundry room does have a wire shelf mounted above the washer and dryer connections, but I'd love suggestions on how I might be able to hang things from the wire shelf.
David: You can purchase an assortment of hooks that are large and sturdy to put through the wire shelving that will give you different ways to hang things! Depending on what you are trying to hang you can also use cable ties and large S hooks. If that doesn't work for you, make a small investment at your local closet or container store and see what's available to replace that old wire shelf. Spending $100 can save you some heartache. When you leave, you can put the wire shelf back up or ask your landlord if he wants to keep the more practical one and he can split the cost or hopefully cover it entirely.
Lisa: Most rental units are pretty bare with neutral walls and my new rental house is no exception. Most of my furniture is earth tones and I'd love your ideas on adding some pops of color throughout the house. Can you help a gal out?
David: There are many ways to spice up a room with neutral walls. COLOR! Adding a wall mural to your room is an inexpensive option and will not damage the walls when using the SmartStick® technology. You can even re-arrange the mural at any time so the possibilities are endless! Also, adding color with a throw or accent pillows and accessories is inexpensive and makes a huge impact!
Lisa: David, thank you so much for sharing your ideas!
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