I’ve decided to start featuring other bloggers’ awesome rental remedies here at The Borrowed Abode, because this blog is supposed to be providing rental-friendly decor and DIY inspiration for everyone, especially including other design-obsessed renters like me.
And now, may I present to you the rented farmhouse that is the inspiration behind “Ashley’s Thrifty Living.”Though I’ve followed Ashley’s blog for almost a year, I just recently learned that she and her boyfriend rent their country farmhouse. When they moved in three years ago, the house was dated – complete with layers of wallpaper, fake wood paneling, and some interesting orange carpet. With the help of a ton of paint and some seriously thrifty craftiness, Ashley’s given the entire house a major rental remedy (with her landlord’s permission, of course).
So let’s start with the living room. Looking at the photos you’d hardly know they were of the same room! In Ashley’s words,
“We were very eager to start peeling off the wallpaper in the living room when we moved in. It was actually originally the dining room but it was much bigger and we knew we would be spending most of our time there. That’s why there is a chandelier smack dab in the middle of the room. After peeling the wallpaper off, the plaster was coming out in chucks so we had to putty and make it as smooth as possible. We painted the walls (over the wallpaper), the wood below and put in nice new carpet (that we got on sale). So it wasn’t much money to make the room beautiful! Throw in some curtains, bamboo blinds and a fake mantel and you are all set. We spend a lot of time in that living room and it still makes me smile every time I walk in.”
I’d be smiling a lot too, if I’d turned that dreary, outdated space into this amazing “after!”Speaking of the chandelier, look how she modified it to blend with the dining-room-turned-living space:
Ashley’s kitchen is another jaw-dropper, again brought about with paint and some budget-friendly accessorizing. This is only the tip of the improvements iceberg; be sure to check out her big reveal for photos of the cabinets and more.
And just look how she’s transformed her bedroom into a peaceful, breezy retreat. She painted over that wallpaper, built a headboard out of bead board and trim, and used some white paint to bring some cohesion to all her mismatched furniture. I know Ryan mocks us bloggers for painting everything white, but that can of white paint can really be a thrifty girl’s best friend.
Finally, you’ve gotta dig a girl who knows how to make herself a craft room. As with the other rooms in the house, this one was completely overhauled – from the warm sage walls to bamboo blinds and some whimsical homemade tissue paper pompoms. Just behind her sewing table is her clipboard inspiration wall – where she hung clipboards to display magazine clippings, etc. Isn’t that a clever way to keep all your ideas in plain sight? That’s just a glimpse into Ashley’s rental remedy. For more thrifty decor projects, be sure to hop over to her blog. And if you’re wondering if there are any quirks she hasn’t been able to fix, she shared “There are obviously things about the house that are dated and that we would change if it was our own house, but you learn to live with them – like the lovely orange carpet going up the stairs!”
Orange carpet or not, I think Ashley’s got a perfect example of what a difference you can make with some hard work, a few cans of paint, and some clever accessorizing. Any smart landlord should be thrilled by the improvements she’s made. What do you think?
Psst: If you’ve done a kickass job of decorating your rented space and would like me to feature it on The Borrowed Abode, brag to me at borrowedabode (at) gmail.com. I love seeing what clever designs my fellow renters come up with!