This recent article on Houzz, below, gives many case studies for making a rental your own.
I’d like to highlight a few basic principles it contains, which I think you will find applicable to many design scenarios.
Have a plan
It sounds obvious, but just like the construction adage “measure twice, cut once,” it pays off in the long run to take time at the beginning to figure out what will best serve you and your living space.
A few considerations:
- What does the space need?
A small room vs a large room, a sunny climate vs. a cloudy climate: things like this will impact the colors you choose, the amount of stuff you want to have, and so forth. Also, are there elements already in place — like large windows or a fireplace — which you will have to plan around?
- What do you need?
You have to compromise with the aesthetics of whomever you might be living with (the next consideration below); but you should not over-compromise on your preferences. If the room seems to call for an open layout, but you prefer a pleasant clutter, then it is better to find a way to make the latter work, then to go for minimalism!
- If you are sharing the space, find design elements that you can all agree on.
If the design is not comfortable for everyone, it won’t be comfortable for anyone.
Paint is the great arbiter of a room’s feel. It is a relatively quick, easy way to adapt a room to your taste.
If you can’t paint…
- Use oversized artwork to transform a wall
- Collage a collection of smaller framed objects, photos or paintings to do the same
- Use fabrics for a similar effect (curtains aren’t just for windows!)
Add a personal story
By way of memorabilia, found objects and so forth, find a way to bring an element that has a personal meaning into each room.
See the article in full below.