Renting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hello everyone! I'm still on the road & boy am I EXHAUSTED. I'm literally trying to force my eyes open while I write this next post....
About a week ago I asked on my Twitter if there were any bloggers who wanted to share their rental experience with MadeByGirl readers. 

Since I will now be RENTING, I'm curious to know your thoughts on 'the GOOD, the BAD, the UGLY' of apartment living! I chose a few of the posts that were submitted to me last week. Below is the first one....I'll share more of the submissions soon! Enjoy!

Hello MadeByGirl readers, I'm Julia from Tartan & Sequins. Sharing my apartment living experience!

Let’s face it, developing a sense of style when it comes to your home is even harder than developing your personal style. Of course there are people who just get it from the start. But, for the rest of us, it usually takes some time to figure out what you like and don’t like when it comes to decorating and then gather all the parts and pieces to make the design work. 

Being able to test-drive design ideas and styles is one of the great benefits of apartment living. You can focus on developing your style while not having to worry about too many extra design elements like paint, wallpaper, construction, etc. It’s less risky to make changes when you’re living in an apartment, as a throw pillow is easier to change out than a horrible fireplace. 

Now onto the bad. Once you have developed your design sense, it can be frustrating not having control over those extra design elements mentioned above. It may even get to a point where you just have to bite the bullet on the repainting fee and go crazy with painting the place. Other changes can include replacing hardware like the towel bars in the bathroom, door/cabinet knobs, or installing curtain rods at your own expense.

The bad part about living in an apartment is that that those types of changes usually require someone else’s approval. No I don’t mean your significant other - that’s challenging enough. I mean the person who actually owns the place, the landlord.

Now, we all have things we can live with and cannot live without when it comes to apartment living. You may be able to live with a small cramped kitchen, but not having a walk-in closet to house your large collection of shoes simply will not do. Living in an apartment requires all types of tradeoffs, it’s what you do with the bad scenario that makes all the difference. I, myself, have two bay windows in my living room. 

Not a problem you say? Well, they are covered in old beige blinds and each take up an entire wall. So in an effort to inject color, establish a theme for the room and hide the blinds, I put up light olive green and white Moroccan print curtains. The bay windows are now my favorite part of the room!

If you'd like to share, the good, the bad, the ugly of living in a rental, email me your submission with 3-4 pictures of your apartment!



  1. your curtains are great! as long as you're aloud to change the window treatments (in a lot of historical buildings especially, you're not aloud), curtains are a great way to add your decor style to a room.

  2. Those curtains are fantastic, they have a lovely pattern!

  3. I totally can relate! We are currently renting our first apartment - definitely has it's good and bad aspects - what a fun concept to share! Good luck in your travels - I am a big fan of your work!

  4. Those curtains are fabulous! Yes, renting feels a bit like your hands are tied...I am sure you'll do a great job with the new place though!

  5. Sounds about right ;)

    I know Jen will have no trouble at all getting things amped up in the rental. Besides, you've liked doing white backdrops with splashes of color. that's perfect for the standard issue wall color options in a rental.


  6. The bad for me was losing privacy. Yes you can always paint, change hardware, etc. but sharing walls with people was tricky. We have dogs and like to entertain friends often. Having to worry about a bark here and there or how loud we got was stressful. And then having to hear our neighbors lives? (tv's, arguments, music)was annoying. Hopefully in NYC, the buildings are older with heavier walls.

  7. looove it <3


  8. What a great post! This really shows you what you can do with a rental especially since, at times, it can be difficult to see past all the ugly!!

  9. Love your window treatments!! Love people who are'nt afraid of color! Great style!!

  10. Beautiful photos.... I love the last one in particular :)

    XX Kathryn

  11. thnaks everyone for all of the great feedback! we've all been there so its great to hear your thoughts!

    xo julia
    Tartan & Sequins

  12. I like this series. I think one thing ppl can get away with is asking the landlord if its okay if you're willing to change it back. Sometimes they get more lenient with painting etc. Not my apt tho :-( some idiot painted the woodwork so they banned it.


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