Courtney is in a situation that’s familiar to a lot of people. She and her husband are in a rental that they know isn’t long term, but they still want it to feel like home for the time that they are. (And why not?!) As with most rental situations, there are a few decorating limitations to consider. They aren’t allowed to paint and you have to decide how much you want to invest in more specific things like window treatments. Courtney’s main concerns were a lack of color and how to address the TV wall.
There’s nothing I would take from this space; all of her basic pieces are in place. But, this would be my advice to Courtney—and other short-term renters:
When buying investment pieces, don’t go too specific or too trendy. Stick to neutral fabrics, rugs or a piece of art that you really love, for example.
Add color with easy-to-change accessories. Pillows, throws and inexpensive art prints are the way to customize your “for-now” space and are easy to switch out later when you move.
Rugs are a great way to add pattern and color to your room when you can’t paint the walls—or if you hate the current carpet situation.
The right window treatments might be worth the investment. I wouldn’t spend my money on anything custom (there’s too many good ready-made options!), but I do think even a simple curtain or shade can elevate the entire look (and sense of height) in a room. In Courtney’s case, I’d suggest a simple textured shade to add warmth.
Lighting is the quickest way to cozy up a space. Even the smallest room can benefit from a lamp—or two. The arch lamp I suggested for Courtney’s living room also adds a little visual interest to the blank corner. I didn’t suggest a specific overhead light, but that’s another easy and impactful change. And, you can switch it back out and take it with you when you go.
What changes or pieces do you think are worth the investment in a short-term rental?