Decorating Dilemmas and a Haven Recap~

I had the opportunity of speaking at this year's Haven Conference.  Along with Stacy from Not Just a Housewife, we presented a session on Design Dilemmas.   We focused on small space decorating, decorating on a budget, and decorating for renters. 

Stacy and Me after our session on Design Dilemmas.  Photo by Aly of Entirely Eventful Day.

For my portion of the session, I shared my tips for how to make a rental space your own. 

Read more after the break...

I obviously get pretty excited when I'm talking about decorating!  Photo by Aly of Entirely Eventful Day

 Today I thought I'd share a bit of my presentation with you in case you weren't lucky enough to attend the session in person  (and I say lucky enough because we gave out Utah Truffles at our presentation...yes we did). 

Because I wanted to make my portion of the session applicable to everyone (not just to renters) I talked about what I like to call Reversible Decorating.  In other words, decorating without making permanent changes.  But all the photos I featured are from spaces that are actually rentals ... mine, The Nester's, and a client of my good friend Kirsten Krason.

I defined 3 rules of reversible decorating...

Rule 1: Focus on what you CAN do. 

It's not always within our ability to do everything (either because we signed a contract, or because we can't afford it financially etc.) but by focusing on what we can do, we can really make a space feel like our own.

Often times there are parts of  our homes that we can't change, but we can distract from them.  In the following slide, I show how I used paint to distract from the kitchen cabinetry and countertop that I am unable to change.

In our last rental house, my daughter's room was painted an unattractive green.  I had to leave the walls the color they were (because unlike the rental I currently live in, I couldn't paint in that house.)  So I chose to use accessories in a similar color to tie in the green.  And then I used art, shelving and other items on the walls to try and distract from the wall color.

Lighting is fairly easy to change out and then change back later.  The photo below (from The Nester) shows just how changing builder grade lighting fixtures to something more dramatic can really make or break a room.
There are lots of plug-in options that can be a great way to add custom lighting to a space without commitment.  The sconces in my daughter's room below are from IKEA and plug-in.

Look at the difference the curtains make in my dining room pictured below.  Windows are an easy thing to ignore when you rent...but buying window treatments that aren't custom so they can be used again, are a great way to make a space feel "finished".

The room pictured below (via Kirsten Krason) is the room of a renter who isn't allowed to make ANY changes to her space.  But by simply adding color and pattern Kirsten was able to bring life to the space.

Rule 2: Invest in pieces you can take with you.

One of the biggest mistakes renters make is to buy cheap or disposable furniture because they aren't in their "forever" home.  But there are things you can (and should) invest in for whatever space you're in.
Investing in neutral furniture is a great way to get pieces you'll love that can work in whatever home you live in. (photo via Kirsten Krason)

Area rugs are another great investment piece.  They add color, texture and interest to any space. (photo below via The Nester)

Art and accessories...these are a no brainer in any I right? (photo below via Kirsten Krason)

Rule 3:  Don't neglect the walls.

Paint is, of course, the easiest way to change a wall....but it's not the only way.  Think outside the box.

Temporary wall treatments come in many forms...vinyl, fabric, even wrapping paper.  The Nester created the wall treatment below using tape.

Yep, these walls are covered in wrapping paper that I just stapled to the walls.

If you can't change it...hide it.  Tall bookcases or curtains can easily hide boring walls.

Whatever space you are living in...make it yours.  You are worth it!

Now for just a few fun pics from the conference...

Forgive the blurriness of this photo....but I had to include it.  These are some of my dearest blogging friends. I seriously love these women!   Top row L-R Rhoda, Sandra, Gina, Brooke, Becky, Mandi, Traci, Me, Lindsay. Middle Row L-R  Myra, Emily, Chris, Sarah, Stacy, Beth, Cassity.  Bottom Row L-R  Brittany, Marianne, Roeshel.

And I've known these two beautiful ladies for as long as I've been blogging (5 years now!)  L-R Karen from The Graphics Fairy, Jennifer Rizzo and me.  It was so wonderful getting to spend time catching up with them!

Connecting with blogging friends is by far my favorite part of attending blogging conferences.  L-R  me, Aly, Stacy, Cassity and Marianne.

Thanks to the wonderful Haven team for putting on such a great conference and for giving me the opportunity to speak!   I can't wait for next year!

Unless otherwise noted all photos are mine.

Have a great day~


sonia said...

I love that huge bowl on the dining table! Wow!

stephanie at Stephanie Kraus Designs said...

great ideas and not just for renters!!

Entirely Eventful Day said...

It was such fun! Thanks for the photo credit, haha! Love you!!!

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