Let's keep going with the recent updates to our rental...
I have been heading to thrift stores a lot this summer in search of some good deals. I came across this accordion hanging rack for $2 I think and I snatched it up. It reminded me so much of having one in my room as a little kid. I thought it would be a good addition to our entry on the wall behind our door when it opens. I love having a place to put my purse up off the ground. I know it will be handy this winter too. We have a tiny little coat closet around the corner but this is fun to have some stuff showcased too. I want to add some temporary wallpaper to this wall too. I'm thinking of putting up black chalkboard contact paper two-thirds up the wall and it can double as a place for G to draw as well. You can find that black chalkboard contact paper at Amazon.com.
For me a big part of dealing with a sub-par rental is trying to hide the or camouflage the things you don't like. Our bathroom has yellow formica and I have yet to figure out how to handle that except to just pretend it doesn't exist. I have a similar rug about in the bathroom and a neutral octopus shower curtain that we had in our previous guest bathroom. If I knew we were going to be here long-term I'd consider getting permission to paint the formica or attempt covering it with contact paper. The only issue is putting hot things on the counter so that would pose a problem with the straightener. Our carpet isn't horrible but where there is high traffic areas or especially where it ends and meets a different flooring it is a little sad. So, I covered up the horrible linoleum in the dining area with a natural fiber rug (from ikea) that also runs up over the seam onto the carpet about a foot and then this colorful rug is from Cost Plus World Market for like $17 and I added it at the sliding glass door entrance to limit the debris tracked in.
I have covered our dining room table (which is actually a very nice table from Cost Plus) with a table cloth for a while now. Forever its been a black burlap tablecloth I cut and still love but that part of the room needed some more color. I found this gorgeous tablecloth from TJMaxx/Homegoods. Its a Ralph Lauren and I actually contemplated making it into curtain panels and bought a few of them, but decided against them. BTW, finding a great print tablecloth and using them as curtain panels is a great idea!!! You can usually get each tablecloth for $15-20 at TJMaxx depending on if its a designer brand and then just clip them up with rings. They usually come in different lengths similar to curtain panels too.
I got rid of my long-time table decor of a ton of candles on a silver plate and decided to group some house plants. These guys were struggling with recovering from the move and then I had an orchid that was done flowering for now and so I grouped them to make more impact. I love it! I want to add a few more and surprisingly they are all starting to bounce back and have some good new growth on them post-move. They get better light on this table as well and I've started using plant food. My orchid has a new branch growing out and this is the first time I have actually maintained an orchid after its initial flowering instead of chucking it. I hope it has a second life! I used orchid food while it was flowering and tried to follow the instructions good and now don't use the food but just water it occasionally until its ready to flower again.
This is the view from the dining table (well actually the sliding glass door to backyard).
I restyled the bookshelves and new pillows. I added the rest of our books that were still in boxes to free up more storage space. I also added a shelf for G's books. He has sooooo many books. I didn't even have all of his unpacked. He loves having a shelf of his own and frequently lays on the floor in that corner reading his books. I now have more accessories though which previously occupied the shelves that don't have a home so I guess it didn't help much. I have been contemplating a garage sale but I don't want to do the work again. I just have so much decor and pillows and all that jazz than I could ever imagine using and my tastes are changing.
My next update for the living room is a table skirt/cover for the dresser we are using as a media console right now. Its just a bunch of dark furniture and electronics on that wall and I HATE IT! I'm hoping that a more feminine gathered skirt will make a difference. I'll post that progress soon hopefully. I'm hoping to get it sewn while in CA this coming weekend! I also want to get an new floor lamp I've been coveting from Urban Outfitters.
The more time and effort I put into this place, the more I love it and don't want to ever move. I am starting to realize that unless a home is "my style" I really just want it to have no style so that I can do whatever the heck I want to it and my style can take on the spotlight. I think that is one of the challenges I faced with our CA home. It had so much wood in the beams, floors, and kitchen floor to ceiling cabinets. It felt like a very cabin like and transitional builder home. I really want an older home the next time around, something with the right amount of age and character and then add in my own style.
But that next house we own won't be for a long time to come most likely. I'm ok with it most of the time. The biggest challenge is friends buying houses and that feeling of wanting it all too. Thankfully we have our experience with our home in CA to humble us and help us patiently wait for that goal again. I am still so grateful for this little duplex because it fits our needs to a "T" and even some of my desires. I wanted a white canvas and a good sized backyard. We got both! No neighbor problems either so that is a blessing!