8.15.2011

Apartment Guide: DIY Renter Repairs and Tips & A Giveaway~

Happy Monday everyone!

The Giveaway is Now Closed.

Remember a week or so ago when I mentioned that I was involved in Apartment Guide's DIY Renter Repairs and Tips Bloggers Challenge?  Well, today I have a few great tips for you on how to make a rental into a home - and a giveaway from Apartment Guide as well!


I have been on both ends of the spectrum.  I have been a renter and I have been a home owner.  Currently, we are renting the home we live in.  And although home ownership allows you certain freedoms to make changes that renting doesn't allow, my belief is that it is important to make ANY PLACE that you live into a comfortable home.  After all, your home is your haven, your escape from the world, and it should be an inviting to place to come home to, it should be a retreat!

That said, here a few easy, cost-effective tips for making a rental home your own - all of which are reversible when the time comes for you to move out.

(My little disclaimer:  please stay within the confines of your rental contract.  Make sure that anything you do will not get you in trouble with your landlord.)

1. Paint.  Okay, I can hear a collective groan.  I realize that not all rental contracts allow for painting and I'll give you some alternatives in a minute.  But if your contract allows it - and don't be afraid to ask, the worst they can do is say "no" - painting is a super quick and easy way to make a space your own.

2. Gift Wrap Your Walls.  No, I don't mean putting up wallpaper.  But if you have a fairly small wall space to cover, using a staple gun to attach gift wrap or even fabric to a wall can go a long way toward personalizing a space.  You can read about how I did this here.


3. Use adhesive vinyl.  In my last rental house, I wanted a chalkboard wall in the worst way...but we weren't allowed to paint.  So I purchased a few rolls of adhesive vinyl chalkboard and put it up on the wall.  I got my chalkboard and when we moved, it came off clean as a whistle.


4. Personalize your Lighting.  One way to accomplish this is to change out the light fixtures.  This is only as expensive as purchasing the light fixture you want - and possibly hiring an electrician to do the job if you don't know how (I don't want anyone electrocuting themselves).   And you can replace the old light fixtures when you move.

Another way to do this is to add wall sconces.  They don't require hard wiring but can add loads of personality.  And I just want you to know that I am well aware that the cords look TERRIBLE in the photo I am showing you from the Princess' new bedroom...but we are repainting the entire room, so I haven't put up the cord casings yet - and they will be against a white wall anyway which will minimize the look.  Just sayin'.



5. Add Curtains.  This might seem like a no brainer to some of you.  But, I also know that a lot of people hesitate to put tons of effort into decorating a place that is not "theirs".  Let me just say that the fact that you don't own a place, doesn't mean that it's not "yours".  You live there.  Having a  place that is pleasant and attractive to live is an investment in yourself. 

So check out this before and after.  Here is my dining room without curtains.   It's a pretty room (and undecorated and messy, sorry).  But it lacks the feeling of being finished.


Here it is with the addition of curtains.  WOW! What a difference.  It's still not technically finished being decorated, but those curtains go a long way toward making it feel like "home".  Not to mention the fact that they offer some needed - albeit faux - architectural interest.



So, my dear readers, whether you rent or own is not the point.  It's the thought and effort that you put into making a space your own that really matters.  I hope that these tips help to get you thinking about the different ways that you can make any space that you live in your own.

Now today, Apartment Guide is offering one reader of The Shabby Nest  a $50 gift card to Home Depot or Target (winner's choice!) to help you get started making your space your own.  There are a few ways you can enter for a chance to win...

1. Follow Apartment Guide on Twitter then come back and leave me a comment.
2. Like Apartment Guide on Facebook then come back and leave me a comment.
3. Mention this giveaway on your blog, twitter, or facebook... please leave a separate comment for each thing you do.

And thank you to  Apartment Guide for inviting me to take part in this Blogger's Challenge. Whether you’re living, looking or moving, Apartment Guide will help point you in the right direction. Apartment Guide has tips on how to update and make repairs at home whether you are in a large or small space. It’s helpful information no matter where you live.

Apartment Guide is owned by Consumer Source, Inc. Apartment Guide partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “DIY Renter Repairs and Tips” Blogger Challenge.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used for the “DIY Renter Repairs and Tips” Blogger Challenge. Apartment Guide and Consumer Source believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

35 comments:

The Balch Bunch said...

Oh my goodney gracious! This is awesome... I like them on facebook!

kelseybalch@gmail.com

The Balch Bunch said...

I blogged about this!

http://balchbunch.blogspot.com/2011/08/random-monda-morning-post.html

it is at the bottom of the page!

thanks for hosting!

@NikolSpencer said...

Awesome advice! I "followed" you :)

@NikolSpencer said...

I "liked" you on facebook! What a handy little page you have there! :)

SunnySusan said...

I now have followed them on Twitter..thanks for the chance!!

Tiffany said...

I follow AG on Twitter @TheNestEffect.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Tiffany said...

I like AG on FB.

Catie said...

Great tips once again Wendy! Love the tips are FOR renters. I'm following them on twitter. : )

Catie said...

I liked them on facebook.

Caitlynne and Jared said...

I followed on Twitter!!

a busy bree said...

Following them on twitter! (bmakatche) Loved these ideas! THANKS :)

Jenna said...

I follow AG on twitter!

Jenna said...

I like AG on facebook!

Jenna said...

I tweeted!

adventuresindinner said...

Already followed them on Facebook. Love your tips, especially the photo of your little girl's room. Your ideas have helped me so much in our big Reno here.

Jensen Family said...

How awesome! I'm in the middle of redecorating our living space and could totally use this! I'm now following Apartment Guide on twitter.

Jensen Family said...

I also blogged about this!

mycreationsinspiration.blogspot.com

Thanks for this chance and for the awesome tips. We're renting right now and have had a difficult time making this space "ours."

Holly said...

Oooooh Wend, I am lovin the curtains!!!! They really look good!My curtains (on the other hand) are giving me a great deal of stress. oii!

Shelby said...

liked them on facebook!
what a great idea with the vinyl chalkboard. i would never have even thought about that!

Lindsay said...

These are such great tips! I'll keep this in mind for the future, should we ever rent!

lux said...

great article! i just finished my first curtains for a new apartment space. (:

i also followed apartment guide on twitter (:

Shirley said...

Curtains absolutely make your dining room!!

I am following Apartment Guide on Twitter.

Shirley said...

I am a fan of Apartment Guide on Facebook too!

Shirley said...

I shared this giveaway on twitter (@willowhwimsy)

Shirley said...

I shared this giveaway on Facebook!

gourmetdoc said...

Hi,

Just liked Apartment Guide on FB.

- Michelle

Von said...

Great tips - Thanks!!

Christine said...

Great advice-- followed AG on Twitter!

Christine said...

Maybe I'll try the fabric on the wall-- "liked" on Facebook!

Violet said...

Thanks for the tips! It helps as we are a military family who is renting currently and likely will rent once we move again. I liked Apt. Guide on Facebook!! :)

vzjessie(at)gmail(dot)com

barbara@hodge:podge said...

Great tips. I am a renter as well and do all what you suggested. I have a gorgeous chandelier that my landlord loves, drapes I have hung, walls painted and beautiful garden I planted :)

I "liked" AG on Facebook. The gift card would come in handy to further spruce up the space!

B said...

Liked AG on FB! I'm currently a renter and would love to paint the walls. Luckily I have permission but I'm hoping to find a light enough color that our landlord won't make us paint when leaving. The walls in this townhouse are solid white with white trim and it's driving me batty. I love the idea of an adhesive vinyl chalkboard and may try that on a wall organizer idea I've seen. Thanks! :)

BeccaBonnet said...

Oh, I love love love this! I just moved into my first big-girl apartment and am trying to find my decorating style! Thanks for this great ideas that will help make my apartment cozier! I liked Apartment Guide on Facebook and am looking forward to many more great tips!

I'm About This Life said...

Wendy,
Every since finding your blog (by accident) I have transformed my house into DYI bliss. I saw your photo of your Princess' room and I love the wall scones. I was wondering where you purchased them? I'm finding it difficult to find nice wall scones for our bedroom. Thanks so much for all your inspiration!!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Hi I'm About This Life:

I actually got them at IKEA. They're a super deal..and so pretty!

Thanks for your kind words!!

Wendy