Spruce Up your Rental

While of COURSE I am a huge homeownership cheerleader, I know that it’s not always the right time for everyone to buy a place of their own. I know how it feels to live in a rental but desperately want to make it your own. Here are a few tips that can make a huge impact on a rental without breaking the bank or losing your deposit!

Hardware & fixtures: One of the best ways to make a quick impact around your place is lighting and fixtures. As long as you save the originals, you should have no problem easily swapping out drawer pulls, changing out the blah light switch covers, introducing new doorknobs or even installing a trendy ceiling fan or light fixture. You can also consider alternatives like plug-in sconces, swag lighting or big floor lamps. Always get professional help with anything electric and check with your landlord about big projects, but you may even find they love it and want you to leave it when your lease ends!

Mirrors: Dated, giant mirrors in your bathroom can make your space feel impersonal and old school. You can CAREFULLY remove them (make sure to put duct tape in an X over the whole mirror) and install a more chic version. If you have a double vanity, adding two smaller framed mirrors goes leaps and bounds! If you’re not quite ready to take that risk, get a removable frame like this MirrorMate one that snaps into place around your existing mirror.

Walls: At some point, you’ve probably considered painting a wall or two to warm up your space. However, many times that isn’t feasible with requirements to paint it back or restrictions on what shades you can choose. Consider removable wallpaper or a gallery wall to take up maximum space with minimum effort. In the kitchen, employ a solution like TicTac Tiles to temporarily get the Pinterest kitchen of your dreams!

Bathroom: For me, the bathrooms in my rentals weren’t so much a cosmetic problem as a logistical nightmare! I added cute Command Hooks (they make SO many options these days) right by my shower to avoid dripping across the floor to where the DUMB towel bars were installed. If you are lacking a ledge for shaving, this suction-cupped step saved my life! Lastly, a new shower head can make you feel like you’re in a spa in no time. Again, save the original and talk to your landlord, and if that doesn’t fly you can at least give it a good cleaning using this technique to get it running better than ever.

While where you live now might not be your forever home, I hope this inspires you to make a few homey changes!

Thanks to the gals at The DIY Playbook for letting me borrow their image from their swag lighting project. They have tons of their own awesome tips about projects you can do yourself to make your space your own! 

Staging Secrets with Minted Spaces

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I was so thrilled when Aryn at Minted Spaces reached out to me to meet up. I had swooned over her work for the longest time, and it was so fun to get to sit down and chat all things home over a cup of coffee. The most interesting takeaway, and what I really think sets Aryn apart, is that she has a background in psychology. It’s hard to realize until you’re in the moment, but we are so attached to our homes and our belongings, whether buying, selling, or even decluttering. I asked Aryn to share the scoop on her process and how you can get that perfectly staged feeling in your home without driving yourself insane and selling all your things online. Keep in mind, many of these suggestions are awesome to keep in mind day-to-day, even if you don’t plan to sell your home!

What is the first thing you think a buyer notices when they walk into a home?

I think the first thing buyers notice is more of a feeling than actual tangible items. Most buyers want to walk into this magical “ah this is home” feeling. While that might look a little different for everyone, overall you can accomplish this by creating a neutral and warm space.

What is a quick way to make your home feel “staged” in under an hour?

First, remove all personal photos. No one is going to have that “ah this is my home” feeling if they see the current homeowner on the walls. Next, focus on the main rooms: kitchen, dining, master bedroom, and living room. If you have a partner, it may be best to split up to cover more ground.

In the kitchen and dining room, make sure all surfaces are clear of clutter and clean. Don’t go overboard though, you want a few décor items out to give it that cozy feel. In the living room be sure the couch has pillows placed near the arms, and a throw blanket over the arm or back of the couch for an extra cozy feel. Sweep/vacuum the floors before finishing up in this room. For the master bedroom, be sure to make the bed (preferably with light colored bedding), toss a throw near the foot of the bed, and clear the surfaces of any vanities, dressers, and nightstands. Adding some flowers (real or faux) helps give this space a retreat feel.

Bonus tip! Have some Scentsy, diffuser or other flameless candle options strategically placed in these main rooms. Vanilla and jasmine scents are proven to be relaxing while lifting people’s moods. If you’re listing in November and December, using cinnamon and pine scents will evoke a cozy feeling. Just be sure to not have them be too strong, as some people get migraines when the scent is overwhelming.  

Is there any advice you find yourself giving over and over to clients? 

Everything I listed above is in nearly every staging consult list I give to clients. Another one is to add real or faux plants to rooms to bring texture and life to a space. Snake plants are excellent for staging. They are tough little buggers and can handle being forgotten about for weeks. They’re also very trendy. There’s no need to repot them, you can simply stick them as-is into a wicker basket and bam! You’re living room is Instagram worthy.

What tips do you have for keeping your house organized and show-ready but also livable? 

The first is to de-clutter. This is easiest to do by season. If you’re listing in the summer, go ahead and pack away all those sweaters, coats, boots, and sleds. This should empty out the closets some.

Next, wicker/cloth baskets are your new best friend. These make closets and cube storage spaces look put together when really, the inside of those baskets can be a hot mess. These are perfect for throwing all the shoes into, then placing in the entryway closet. Toys in the living room? Wicker baskets with lids are your friend. Tuck one under a window and add a pillow on top, and now it’s a cozy area for showings.

Finally, have a plan and delegate. Everyone who lives in the home should have their own set to-do list before leaving the house. This eliminates the frantic, random cleaning where you and your partner are going over the same spaces. If you have pets or children, have a bag packed and ready to go near the door with snacks, toys, treats, and whatever else they may need over the course of a few hours. Doing all of these should help get you and your family out the door with minimal stress.

Hopefully you can implement some of these tips to make your home magazine-worthy, whether you are listing or just nesting!