How to Decorate a Rental: Family Room

I’ve moved…it wasn’t something we were actively considering.  Mr and I had been tossing around the idea of selling our house for the last year.  We had outgrown it, as well as we really wanted to take advantage of the seller’s market at the moment.  Some friends of ours were looking for someone to rent their house quickly, and because we had tossed around the idea of selling for a while, and because our friends’ house is larger than our current house…we jumped on their offer.  We have packed up the first house we’ve ever owned, moved it all to the new house (which, thankfully is less than a half mile down the road), and have been getting ready to put the old house up on the market.  We have accomplished all of this within a few weeks, while also having Thanksgiving, battling a killer head cold we’ve all been passing around, and still parenting 4 boys, taking them to-and-from school.  Oh did I mention I also started another semester of school, and I switched from part-time to full-time?!  I seriously do not know how to do anything easy or slow down.  After all, I developed this blog in the middle of my last pregnancy, while going to school, and being sick as a dog til Goob was born.

Anyway, just as we were beginning some decor projects on the old house, we up and left.  So now I am attempting to make this rental feel like home for the 4 amigos while keeping in mind that we are renters.  Renting your residence is on the rise, the current average American under age 35 is more likely to be a renter instead of an owner.  Taking that, as well as the fact that of the 10 residence Mr and I have lived in during our marriage, we owned only one of them…technically still own it, fingers crossed we won’t by next year.  We may not be home owning experts, but renting experts, we definitely are.  Over the years, I have acquired various tips and tricks to help make a rental feel like your own place without upsetting the owners, or majorly changing anything in the rental.

The two areas of every house we’ve ever resided in that have been the main focus, and have helped make the house feel more like a home are the family room and kitchen.  With having an almost 9-month-old who is trying his darnedest to crawl, Mr and I knew we needed to have the family room completely put together before any other room in this house.  A majority of the first floor is tile, and while it is durable and easy to maintain, it is also cold, hard, and difficult to crawl on.   Finding the perfect area rug was at the top of our priority list.

Mr found this area rug on Amazon…of course…and I am in LOVE!  This beast is 11″x15″ and the plushiest thread I have ever felt.  When the FedEx gal dropped it off, it was raining and she didn’t have a dolly to help her move this monster of a thing, so while she and I were becoming soaked while trying to move the rug, which thankfully was wrapped, out of her van and into my garage; and after attempting and failing a few times, I went and found our moving dolly and used that.  Yes, we’ve moved so much we own our own moving dolly, as well as our own piano dolly.  Helping the FedEx lady was the first half of the adventure.  Later that night, after kiddos were in bed, Mr and I tried to lay it out…our sectional and end-table had already been placed in the room and we really wanted to attempt to lay the area rug down without having to take the sectional apart…big fail on our thought process.  I’m sure if y’all had been a fly on the wall when we were maneuvering everything around, you would’ve laughed so hard you would’ve been in jeopardy of peeing your pants.  In the end, we were able to place the area rug without any injuries or having to call a neighbor to help out.

I am not a professional decorator, but I know what I like and it helps me to create mood boards when I am attempting to pull together a room.  This is the mood board I threw together for the family room.  We already had several elements, such as the sectional and various trinkets.  I also love the combination of grey and yellow together.  It is a color family that Mr likes as well.  Our style is also a mish-mesh of rustic mission, country chic, and a little of mountain cabin thrown into the mix.  I am a sucker for a beautiful buffalo plaid print.  One thing I have learned with decorating a rental is it is super easy to change the whole feel of a room with the color scheme in the accent pillows and decor pieces.  Usually, our family room is grey, navy and yellow tones; but at the moment we have Christmas decor up, and when it comes to this time of year burgundy reds and ivories are my favorite.

The coffee table was a happy accident.  We were looking for area rugs at a local furniture store and happened across this coffee table.  It was a floor model, but in perfect condition, so we got it for a steal.  It is a deep charcoal tone and solid wood.  We still need to hang the curtains up from the old house, which is from IKEA and have a giraffe print in white and light grey, which will go perfectly.  and there are still some little finishing touches I want to add, such as pillows, something to hang on the wall above the sectional and a floor lamp to switch out the chrome one we currently have.  But other than that, this room is pretty much done.

One thing I am coveting at the moment are these La Jolla baskets and I desperately want one to house the baby toys that are kept in the family room.  I would love the small and medium sizes to sit side by side right next to the TV stand.

Aren’t they gorgeous????  They are super durable too, and at the moment they are on sale.  I may be asking for them as an early Christmas present.

Also, aren’t these pillows just darling???  One of my best friends has her own pillow design company and she is a genius when it comes to these beautiful pillow covers.  I have been coveting her pillow covers ever since she opened her shop at the beginning of the year, and now I have a reason to purchase some.  She sews all of them in-house and has the cutest detail of a gold zipper on each cover.  Her fabric is top quality and she will even do custom orders.  If you want to order some for yourself, click on the image of the pillows.


I will update as I add other finishing touches to the family room.  Decor and furniture always add to a room and can turn any generic room into a cozy place.  Some rentals will allow you to paint as long as you paint the walls the original color when you move out.  Some rentals don’t, but hanging curtains, adding lamps and pillows in your color scheme and hanging art and photos on the walls are a sure way to cozy up a room.

Hope y’all are having an amazing week, I am sorry I’ve been MIA for almost a month, life kept escaping me during this impromptu transition.  Now that we are finding our rhythm again, I will be back weekly.  Also, stay tuned for a Christmas give away.  I will be posting it at the beginning of next week.

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