This past weekend, Nick and I celebrated one year living together in our townhouse! Over the last 365 days, we have had fun finding and curating pieces of furniture and decor to make our house a home, but like other millennial renters, we faced our share of challenges.
As renters, it’s great to have a landlord and handy man at your beckoned call to fix issues such as broken garbage disposals, running toilets and garage doors. In return though, we lose the creative freedom to decorate and transform the space how we may truly want to. With three years of renting under my belt plus four years of college housing decorating hacks, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade on how to make your rented space a home.
For starters, I’ve learned when renting an apartment, townhouse or even a full sized home, you want to be careful how much you purchase, because you don’t know where life will lead you next. When in your 20s and even early 30s, it’s likely you will be moving around a lot for jobs, for love, and for a new adventure. Our 20s are a time of uncertainty and with furniture as expensive as it is, I recommend buying timeless pieces that can be transitioned from apartment to home as you grow. The best piece of advice I ever received was, “Don’t buy furniture just to buy furniture.” Rather than throw away hundreds or even thousands of dollars on the trending furniture, source places like Home Goods, Wayfair and even Facebook Marketplace for solid pieces like end tables, coffee tables, desks etc.
Second, many landlords and apartment owners do not want you to alter the state of the home – no paint, wallpaper, sometimes even no holes in the walls. While it’s understandable why they don’t want you changing the house (since this isn’t YOUR home after all) it is hard to express your style when renting. Our landlord vocally expressed that we cannot nail holes in the wall or we will lose our security deposit (how crazy is that!?) With these limitations, we’ve gotten pretty creative when it comes to decorating our home without nails and screws, and Command products have become our best friend. I 100% stand by all Command Products, for both indoor and outdoor use, and am happy to have found an upgrade for the sticky wall puddy I used in college!
Of all the rooms in our house, I was most excited to decorate and transform our half bathroom. I know how strange that sounds but hear me out. Every other room in the house has furniture and accessories that can express your style – from colorful blankets and comforters, to bookcases with collectibles and souvenirs that tell a story. Even the full bathrooms in our house have some expression thanks to colorful shower curtains.
Our half bathroom is tucked away behind our laundry room and the only bathroom on the main floor. White walls, beige tiles and a very plain boring mirror isn’t very welcoming for our guests. While I wish I could slap some wallpaper on the walls and change out the mirror and light fixtures, I found ways adding some texture and personality to our guest bathroom WITHOUT using a hammer and nails.
Our bathroom before was drab, dull and all the same ugly shade of beige. While we couldn’t add or do much, our space now has texture and pops of color to enhance the beige. The best part? It cost just over $100 to update this space and all pieces can be reused and transitioned into our next home!
Is my half bathroom the bathroom of my dreams? Definitely not. But it’s now a space with rustic charm that I’m happy to share with our guests.
Shop our half bathroom:
(All items below are linked)
Distressed Metal Wall Shelf (out of stock online but here are similar options!)
Floating Wall Shelves (Available in Black or White!) | Black Wire Basket – Home Goods |
Powder Room Sign from Target Dollar Spot
Small jars, trinkets and candles on metal wall shelf are all from Hobby Lobby.
The “Wash Your Hands You Filthy Animal” sign is the cheapest DIY. The sign was made on Canva, a free graphic design program and printed on generic computer paper. I then threw it in a Dollar Store 8×10 frame. So simple and cheap, yet adds personality to the bathroom!