Whether for a year or a week, there are a lot of great things about renting a home: ease, flexibility, variety. But rentals lack a certain amount of, shall we say, gusto. Owners often strip rentals down to bare bones decor for preservation’s sake—or at the least scale back on those personal touches that make a space feel special.
We turned to Kate Driver, the interior design mastermind behind Los Angeles-based firm West Haddon Hall, to solve this dilemma. She recently revamped her Los Angeles rental and shares her tips to help us do the same.
3. Fill the walls.
“Add art that speaks to you personally. Something you have collected in your travels adds a memory to the space. You can always frame it later if you don’t have time now.”
4. Invest in common spaces.
“Focus on the living room and dining room, where you’re going to make the biggest impact if you have a dinner party or friends over. Pillows, small chairs, and area rugs are all things you can take with you later. In the dining room, invest in flatware or china and table linens to create a personalized layered look.”
5. Splurge on one textile.
“One expensive textile, whether a rug, nice pillows, or upholstery fabric, makes a room instantly stand out.”
6. Get shady.
“A lot of rentals have inexpensive plastic blinds. Upgrading those to woven, wooden, or cream linen roman shades completely changes a space. It’s a sunk cost, but easy to source at blinds.com.”
7. Add flowers.
“Flowers and greenery always help round out a space. I like very low flowers on the kitchen or dining room table so everyone can see each other, and then big blue-and-white or concrete pots everywhere else with about two dozen big, long stems.”
8. Think hardware—an unexpected difference maker.
“A kitchen suddenly looks very elevated if you pick cabinetry knobs, pulls, or hinges that are more curated than what a landlord has chosen.”