Home Living: Rental Series #4 Make it Do

9:12:00 PM

peach walls, bathroom artwork, peach and mint, small bathroom
 Our bathroom is a peachy-tan color. I prefer more neutral walls, but the finishes were so clean in this bathroom, keeping the peachy-tan color seemed like the best option. How to brighten it up? Add large scale art that includes the peachy color. The art also has lots of fun and bright colors, so the bathroom feel lighter and happier now. 

I T ' S   W H A T   Y O U   D O   W I T H   W H A T   

Y O U ' V E   G O T .

There will be no perfect home. There are quirks or things that you would ideally want to be different. It doesn't make sense to fix everything. Time and money have to be factored in as well as how long you may be in your place.

With creativity, you can often improve what you don't love with just a little effort.



I've found that once I've reached a comfortable level of clean and brightness, I have to EMBRACE a lot of the things I'd still like to change. Once I decide to EMBRACE (the trim, paint color, carpet color, weird column, etc.), I make so much more progress!

Story #1

Our current home is trimmed with basic dark wood. I definitely prefer white trim all the way! I can't change the trim because there it soooo much of it! I finally came to the realization that embracing it would be the best thing to do. So, I got some stain and touched up the dings and cleaned it up. "Hey, that's not so bad!" I choose dark wood for framing and decor shelf options. Now everything blends, looks intentional, and feels much better!

Story #2
In our second apartment, we had a lot of mismatched carpet. Our living room featured a "lovely" blue-gray 1980's color. I had big plans for our living room to have lots of enlivening reds and golds. I tried to decorate the room accordingly and just became more and more frustrated with the carpet I couldn't change. I finally decided to switch to a cool blue, green and gold color palette and what do you know? The carpet didn't bother me any more.

M A K E   I T   I N T E N T I O N A L

That's another key word. Once I embraced the blue carpet and decided to include the blue in the color scheme, I wasn't fighting it anymore!

B E   C R E A T I V E

So how do we deal with those really tricky things? Here is the process I use to come up with an idea. Hopefully this will help you, as each place has its own different quirks.

First, I set up a situation in which I can be inspired-- for me I just need to be alone and I need it to be quiet. I sit in front of the spot or in the room that has the problem. I study this spot (often times this includes reminding myself of the reasons I don't like it).

After a period of study, I ask myself, "What am I fighting against? Color? Texture? Age? Awkwardness?"

I then try to think if there is a way to FIX it (or cover it up) that makes sense. If there is, I try that solution first. Sometimes that is all that is needed, but other times you may still want to move on to the next step.

If there isn't a possibility for a fix (for example, if something is unchangeable--like carpet color), I move on and think, "How can I EMBRACE this?"  and "What can I add to other parts of the room to make it seem like this is intentional?"


So how to EMBRACE the thing you don't like? How to make it seem INTENTIONAL? REPETITION. What?! Repeat the color/texture/size/look of the that very thing through out the room.

It's choosing picture frames and shelving that match the trim.
It's adding blue to the color scheme.

Simply adding multiple things that match the problem (but in modern, updated, tasteful ways of course), makes it seem like you totally meant to have the groovy textured 70's carpet. It automatically blends and eases the eye as it moves around the room.

Repetition is important when decorating any room. For example, if you really like bright and light-colored spaces, sticking a black TV against a wall is definitely not going to blend. You may need to go against your initial desire for white and light, and implement darker bookshelves and/or accessories to help the eye move around the room more smoothly.


P R A C T I C A L   T I P S

  • Wall paint color that you can't change? Go with it. Look up color schemes that include the wall color and choose a few favorites. See if you can accessorize or add wall art that will make it better.
  • Awkward column? Add some artwork, photos, a sconce or maybe even a flag! Attach shelves to make a floor to ceiling bookshelf. If you're handy, you could add DIY seating around the bottom. If the column is in a small space, highlighting the column might make the space feel too busy. Maybe keeping it simple and trying to make it blend is the best option.
  • 70's carpet? Play the game I played with the blue-grey, but also, layer rugs! An extra large jute rug on the bottom with a happy rug on top will add more texture. The jute will help tone down the brown/orange. This also works with worn-out carpet.
  • Washer and dryer in kitchen? Aside from keeping the laundry baskets out of the kitchen, you could add a door or curtain to cover the area. You could add more industrial accessories to make it seem more intentional. Examples include a metal back splash that matches the washer/dryer, or a metal cornice box above the window. 

F I N A L  T H O U G H T S

Hopefully this has helped you think about ways you can make things work. If you have any specific questions about a particular problem you're facing, please email me-- brightappleblossom@gmail.com. I love a good challenging brainstorm.

Good luck!


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