For her first six years as a blogger, Myquillyn Smith, the voice behind The Nesting Place, and author of a book by the same name, was “content to rent.” Smith, her husband and their three sons occupied a rental home from which she tested and wrote about projects with a low-commitment spin: starched fabric wallpaper, adding temporary architectural detail to a mantel, and painting walls while keeping the landlord in mind.
After more than eight years without a mortgage, Smith and her husband bought a farm house fixer-upper last year. But she still hasn’t forgotten her favorite tips for sprucing up a semi-permanent abode. Here, she shares her top five ideas for making a rental feel like home.
Invest in items you can take with you.
Think classic pieces of furniture that will go with the “bones” of any house, or pieces that can be repurposed, like the dresser turned into a TV console, below.
Change out the light fixtures.
Smith’s favorite way to make a rental feel like home? “I bring along my favorite chandeliers and store the light fixtures that came with the rental. When we move out, we take ours down and put the old ones back up,” she says.
Especially patterned ones. “Pattern fills a room and instantly ‘homeifies” a space,” says Smith. “Don’t feel like you have to use the curtain rods the last renter left, bring your own and hang them high and wide around your windows.”