Renting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The GOOD

Renting certainly has its perks, including calling the landlord to fix broken appliances, and no strings attached freedom to move to a new apartment at the end of the lease.  Renting also gives you an opportunity to declutter with each move.  From a design perspective, moving to a new apartment gives you the opportunity to start over! With craigslist and ebay, you can sell your rugs and lamps and go in an entirely new design direction.  Even if you keep everything, your stuff will look different in each apartment which is very cool.  


Many rental apartments are large, white boxes so you get to exercise your design muscle to make the rental apartment a home.  I would never make structural changes to a rental apartment, but paint is an easy and harmless solution.  Just paint over when you leave.  Renting is a fantastic option if you find yourself living in a less than permanent location.  


My husband and I are from the North Carolina and Alabama, and there is a good chance we could leave NY one day.  Renting allows us to pick up and leave when the time feels right without worrying about selling or carrying an apartment in another state.  






The BAD


Finding a balance between doing enough to make your apartment feel like home and resisting the urge to do more can be incredibly difficult.  I would love to own a home, cultivate a design plan and obsess over the state of every corner.  Pinterest does not help the situation.  When you rent you have to really evaluate your design choices or you could end up spending lots of money between moves.  


You have to decide whether or not to hang a TV if you only plan to stay a year.  You have to decide if you want to buy a 5x7 area rug to use now even though you would likely replace it with an 8x10 rug in a larger space in the future (I sold my watermelon colored madeline weinrib rug on ebay last year and have not replaced the rug for this reason).  You have to decide on your bedding.  Decide if you want neutrals that could work in your current bedroom and a color scheme you select for your future bedroom, or if you want to go bold (I like white bedding.  Brought in colorful accessories and painted the walls).


Should you monogram the cheap euro shams to make your bedroom look more complete, or just replace them in the future? Do you want to buy a headboard or bed now or wait?  I am holding off buying a headboard/bed because my only option in NY would be a headboard (need space under the bed for storage, would never ever do a footboard in a NY apartment-no room), and I might rather have a full blown bed in the future.   


 So the solution I've found is to use paint for cheap but high impact fixes (painted bedside tables and kitchen table/chairs) rather than buying something now that might need to be replaced in 2 years.  And if you must buy something new, try to buy something that could work in a future space.  We recently bought a new sofa-clean lines, gray linen upholstery-should work anywhere.
   






The UGLY


Rent tends to increase.  Not so grand entrance: I am dying to have a front door (with an amazing antique knocker) that I can decorate with plants, trees and pumpkins according to the season.  My cable box is sitting on a shelf in the living room.  Cords are everywhere, and I draped a canvas drop cloth over the shelf to try to disguise them.  It's pretty hideous but more economical than having the wires hidden in the wall or buying a temporary piece of furniture.  I started blogging recently .   




 Best, Coby Kutcher from Orange Cashmere blog! 



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5 comments

  1. Ooh....love those Ikat pillows. So pretty.

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  2. Love the apartment, especially the living room area. I'm desperately trying to find a new coffee table and absolutely love yours!

    Small world too, I'm from Alabama and live in NC =)

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  3. I'm obsessed with that little living room set-up -- it's total perfection... The couch, that coffee table, the pillows... Well done!!!

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  4. I agree with previous comments! the living room is lovely =)
    the bedroom with the dark teal colour is very interesting. what colour is that? and what was your decision on choosing that colour?

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  5. Thank you again Jen! I didn't see the comments before.

    Decoguy: The bedroom paint is Realm by Behr. The bedroom is pretty small and does not actually have a door, so I wanted to give it its own identity-was going for a dark, glowy effect and brought in light with lamps and white linens.

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