Photo courtesy of Sara Ligorria-Tramp for EHD

Make it Home: Tips for Adding Personality to Your Leased Living Space

Even if you don’t own the house you lease, there’s no reason you can’t make it feel like home by taking a creative approach to designing and decorating your space. More U.S. households are renting now than at any point in the last 50 years. That’s why Invitation Homes, the premier home leasing company in the United States, put together a team of design experts to create the “Make It Home” design forecast with lease-friendly, affordable design and decor ideas created with renters in mind. Before starting any design, you need a plan. Here are a few tips to reimagine your rental home:

Embrace Color and Pattern

Emily Henderson, author of “Styled,” a “New York Times” bestseller, believes color gives a room life, but it doesn’t have to be on the walls. With rugs, textiles and furniture, you can have a lively, fun, lease-friendly room by choosing colors that are on the opposite sides of the color wheel to ensure balance.

Personalize Gallery Walls

The gallery wall is still having a moment, and this decorative element is all about customization. All you need is a little wall space and some creativity to infuse your space with a heavy dose of you. Henderson suggests displaying your favorite photos, prints and unique items like personal mementos to give them the eye-catching showcase they deserve.

Watch this video to see how these tips come to life in the Family Room.

Temporary Wall Coverings

A permanent wall texture or design may be a no-no in a rental, but removable wallpaper is a yes-yes and an instant way to add personality to your space. Brittany Hayes, author of the “Addison’s Wonderland” blog, believes that bold and daring geometric patterns are perfect for creating an accent wall. Or simply incorporate your favorite colors to embrace a custom feel while you lease.

Unconventional Storage

Staying organized is key when living a leasing lifestyle. “Live Pretty on a Penny” blog writer Erin Marshall recommends using space-saving and unconventional items that are beautiful and functional to effectively store and organize items. Look for furnishings that are both attractive and practical so you can achieve the look you want with the benefit of added storage. Options like nesting chairs or storage boxes that double as benches can add seating options with a modest footprint.

Live Outdoors

Maximize your living space by creating usable outdoor settings. With the right combination of outdoor seating, pillows, shade and colorful planters, you can turn any patio into an outdoor oasis, said Rhoda Vickers, author of the “Southern Hospitality” blog. Whether you treat the space as a garden retreat or an extension of your entertaining area where guests can spill out during a party, the right decorative elements can allow you to add livable square footage without any construction.

Reimagine Lighting

Set the tone of each room by incorporating LED bulbs to brighten up the space or smart home bulbs that allow you to change the ambience as you wish. Kevin O’Gara, the “Thou Swell” blog writer, approaches design with the idea that every room should have a mix of lighting, including overhead, accent and task lights, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get creative with setting the mood. Take your design beyond basic by installing your own fixtures that enhance the room’s lighting and add a decorative element that complements the overall aesthetic.

Give Space a Dual Purpose

It’s all about maximizing your space when leasing, according to Brittni Mehlhoff, author of the “Paper and Stitch” blog. Make the most of a space that can pull double-duty. For example, in a space such as your guest room, create a bookshelf that doubles as a desk and serves as your home office, as well.

Make it a Smart Home

Smart homes aren’t just for homeowners. Options like thermostats, doorbell cameras, smart locks, light bulbs and smart plugs all can be easily integrated into a rented property, said Meghan Giddens, design expert at Invitation Homes. In fact, nearly everything in your home can be connected to the internet and controlled by your smart device. Just keep any originals stored safely, and when it comes time to move out, swap out your devices.

Light and Bright Paint

Cooler paint tones and white trim can brighten a room and offer a timeless color scheme. Plus, they welcome of-the-moment decor. If your lease allows it, Giddens recommends creating a light and airy ambiance with paint to bring a rental space to life. If you’re unsure about your lease guidelines, talk to your property manager before painting.

Learn more about the Make it Home Show House and the designers here.



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