Renting: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Hi Everyone!! I'm Kim, and I write a blog called Design Thoughts and am so excited to share my Apartment living, Highs and Lows with you today!!!!

The Good

I left my home in MI (yep, that we own!!) to move to NY, into an apartment, 8 yrs ago!! Can you imagine?! To be honest, it took me many years of apt living, to find the good! (Sad, right?) But now that I have embraced it, there are so many great things about apt living!

The first, although, not glamorous at all, is that if something breaks (i.e. Dishwasher, washing machine, and furnace) you don’t have to pay for it to be fixed!!  Not having that stress is a BIGGIE for me.

Second, you can LEAVE whenever you want!!  It is SO great, knowing that if we are no longer happy living where we are, we can move, just like that, no strings attached!!

And Third, This won’t be everyone’s story, but for us, we have been VERY lucky that our landlord ROCKS!! We have been able to rip up carpet to expose hardwood, paint walls, and hang artwork, so we have been able to make this our HOME even though it’s an apartment.  It took me a very long time to accept our apartment as our home, but the minute, we left the hospital with our baby boy, everything changed.  I want to make this apartment special for him, not just a place we rent. So...that’s what we are doing, little by little, knowing that one day, we won’t be here anymore, but the time we spent here, we enjoyed, by surrounding  ourselves, with things we love!

The Bad

I’m an Interior Designer. SO, it’s very difficult, not being able to “renovate” a space, that may not be my style or preference. ( I’m talking, moving walls and re-locating plumbing) When we moved in, our bathroom had pink tiles and pink walls, and not super cool, hip, see it on the pages of Domino(yikes, old reference)  Pink, but like, no one cared EVER, pink. We had to wait, until the upstairs apartment flooded (um... 5 yrs AFTER we moved in) for our landlords to remodel the bathroom.  Our Washing Machine is in our kitchen...Lucky to have a washing machine, yes, but to have it RIGHT next to our clean dishes…Not so great. That has been BAD. So many things I would change or remodel if this was a home we owned, BUT, along with the freedom of picking up and going anytime you want, also comes the fact that you are TIED to whatever awful design elements are there.

The Ugly

Ohhh the ugly...sigh...Okay, I am going to state the obvious here, because truly, it’s the worst thing.  Other people, not your family, literally are living one wall, or floor, away from you.  Even the coolest neighbors, whom we have had, are so close, you can hear everything that’s happening, which means, of course, they also, can HEAR everything that’s happening in your home!  It’s not cool, but, you learn to live with it! The other very obvious, you are paying someone else, every single month, for a place, that’s not yours...ouch! It stings, I’m not gonna lie. I hate sending that check, BUT see the “Good” evens out ;)

I have to say; even though I can’t wait until the day we OWN again, living the “apartment life” has been great! Especially in New York…EVERYONE lives in apartments, so it’s the norm!! The key is making it your HOME, not just a place you rent!

Thank you!
Kim from Design Thoughts blog


1st picture, this living room use to have grey, commercial carpet and bright yellow walls, so ugly!
2nd picture,( real life in the Salter House) , my son Liam, enjoying hot chocolate in our "home"
3rd Missoni picture wall

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! Pls use the same format as above! 



  1. Yeah the hearing of other people is something that even in my condo that I own I still hear my downstairs neighbor coughing. I guess you can say it's so quiet you can hear them but to each his own...

    I agree w/ making it are limited but as long as you personalize the space as much as you can then it's home. =)

    Lemanie's Randomness Blog

  2. I agree with everything she said! What a great post and so nice of you to feature her Jen! I may just be emailing you somewhere down the road.

  3. I agree with everything she said! So nice of you to feature her!

  4. I agree with everything she said! So nice of you to feature her!

  5. Once again, love this! As a fellow renter {a house not apt} I can relate to alot of the featured renters! Thanks for this Jen, nice to know I am not alone!

  6. Thank you, thank you Jen for doing this series! My husband and I {had} owned from the time we got married, and just recently started renting, and i have to admit I've had a really hard time adjusting! I love reading these stories of other renters to remind me that I'm not alone in my complaints, and also to remind me of the upside of renting.

  7. Brooke: You're welcome!
    seems like you and i are on the same far our renting experience is going well, we shall see. :)

  8. All very true....but don't feel so bad for paying someone else...I mean you DO need a place to live. I get a hard time for renting all of the time, I can't afford to buy (nor do I want to get tied down to one place), so I have no other option but to pay someone else, unless I want to live on the streets, right? I am loving reading the "good" in this series...makes me feel better about renting :-)

  9. Thank you Maria :) We love it too...and thanks to Jen, for featuring me ;)

  10. She is so right about the worst being the close proximity to others! Someone on my hall is always cooking exotic food or smoking (not cigarettes!) hahaha
    xoxox -e (modern24seven)

  11. Oh God, We moved into our house semi detached to our neighbour's home (rented,not apartment) and after all the tire from moving the next morning we woke up to drums (veeerry loud drums) I was so pissed off.

    We had to set some ground rules because we decided to turn on our very loud generator throughout the night which basically did not go to well with our neighbours
    ; )

    Next, we met and set ground rules and we've been living happily ever after (well almost, there's still some odd drumming on Saturday mornings once in a while)

  12. There will always be the good, the bad and the ugly when renting an apartment because there will always be things way beyond our control. Lucky for renters with rock'n landlords like you. As for the neighbors noise, perhaps you could try sound-proofing your room with heavy curtains or other sound-proofing products which may be sold in hardware stores, home improvement centers or drywall supply houses.

  13. I have so much reading to do here in the blogosphere! Jen it's wonderful to see all the exciting things happening here on the blog and with your move and other endeavors!

    KIM!!!! I'm so excited to see a post from you here! I enjoyed it and have to say often wonder what life would be like renting vs. having a mortgage.

  14. I loved this post! You sure made an apartment look like a home - so cozy. I love your blog too!

  15. Krishann! Hi :) Unfortuantey, we have BOTH!! mortgage back in MI ( although, we have a renter that covers 1/2) AND rent!! BUT its all good!! we are here for a reason, so I cant question it :)


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