Emily’s Top Ten ways to Refresh a Rental

My daughter doing twirls in our very empty rental.

When we first moved to Charlotte, we were under a lot of pressure to find a home and fast. We flew down to Charlotte a month before my husband’s new job started and I was six months pregnant.  After spending two days looking at condos, apartments, and homes we were rejected multiple times while applying for rentals. Mainly because Charlotte as a city is growing so fast and the housing market is hot during the summer months,  we just couldn’t get our applications in fast enough.  So if you’re planning on moving to Charlotte, make sure to secure a place way before you have to start work or better yet during the housing off time (generally October-April).

When we finally secured a home we were ecstatic! Of course moving into a rental adds a few frustrations like not being able to paint, remodel, and limits the amount of items you hang on your walls. This is a interior designer’s nightmare!

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Image credit Sherwin-Williams

Browsing Sherwin-William’s paint colors (there’s over 1,500) is something I love when dreaming of decorating or redecorating a new space.  I already have my dream paint colors picked out for when we actually do buy our own place.  I would use Fancy Pink for my daughter’s room, Charcoal Blue for my son’s room and Tidewater for our master bedroom.

When shopping for home decor items, I kept these colors and complimentary colors in mind  and I wanted to share with you my top ten ways to refresh a room if you can’t add a fresh coat of paint!



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Image credit Jacquline Marque

If you can’t paint your walls look to the ground! Colorful rugs really uplift any room’s vibes.  I love using vibrant rugs against neutral walls to make a warm room come to life.

New Bedding


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Image credit Markers Collection

I love simple white bedding but if it’s the only way to spruce up a room you have to make it colorful!

Wallpaper Ceiling


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Image credit Le Belle Photography


Wallpaper has come a long way since the 1940’s.  There is removable wallpaper that is easy to apply AND remove!  Somehow it always makes a room look bigger.


Raise Rods


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Image credit Architectonical Designs

This is a small change, but by raising curtain rods in your home (and swapping them out for amazing lucite ones!) the ceiling looks higher!




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Image credit Hippo Wong

Dressers can make a room feel cramped and almost claustrophobic. Small yet bold dressers are the perfect way to dress up a room.


Lighten up

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Image credit Marisa Vitale

Adding lighting to any room can really bring out the colors and textures.  So adding hanging or standing lights are definitely a good idea when refreshing your space.


Bold Art

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Image credit Nancy Mitchell

Family photos are drawings are great to add a personal touch to your rented space but adding bold art will really help you own the area.


Add a scent

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Image credit Cat Mecshia

Moving into a rental space you might find leftovers from the previous renters.  Like scents, and no one likes that! So adding your own preferred scents via essential oils or towels helps it smell like home.


Bedside tables


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Image credit West Elm

I don’t know what I would do without my bedside table, it holds my water favorite books and helps me wake up slowly in the morning with my soothing alarm clock.  So make sure when your looking to add a little something to a bedroom think outside the box for bedside tables.  Ones that fit your needs and sleep routines.




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Image credit Urban Outfitters

There is no better way to refresh a room than to add some comfy elements.  Adding throw pillows on chairs, beds, and even flours really make a rental look like a home and you can easily change them out with your next move.

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