02 March 2011


Making A House My Home

We have not owned a house since 2006, when we sold our home in Savannah, Georgia, and moved to Tokyo.  Moving around every few years since then has made buying again in a tanked economy simply silly.

 But white walls remind me of college apartments.  Here are a few things we do as soon as possible after moving into a new place to make yet another rental feel like home:

1.  Photos.  
     Hung on the wall, if at all possible.  Non-negotiable, for a couple reasons.  First, obviously, hanging photos of my family personalizes the       space.  And secondly, I try to hang pictures (and other meaningful items that are able to be hung) so that they aren't making clutter on bookshelves.  There are a couple of good options on the market for hanging pictures without having to put a hole in the wall.

2.  Color.
     Obviously, painting walls is difficult.  We've done it before and just painted it back when we moved, but that's kind of a pain to do.  So, whenever possible, we try to add color in creative ways, including:
             *fabric* obviously pillows and furniture items can add color, but we've draped an entire wall in fabric using a staple gun and then hot glued a border of ribbon around the edges to hide the staples.  Interesting fabric can also be stapled to a wooden frame for instant "art"
             *rugs*  super easy way to go a little crazy.  Beige is boring, right?
             *paint* I just got finished saying it's a pain to paint a rental wall, but what about just painting a square or two, or a stripe?  As long as your walls are white, you can paint over the color when you move out in just a few minutes.

3.  Plants.
     It's hard to justify spending big dollars on huge plants that you have to get rid of in a few years when you move.  But for me, the impact is well worth the money.  Plants help me feel like I live here, like this is home.  I've always been able to find someone willing to adopt my plants when I move.

Yeah, it would be nice to own my own property.  But then again, it's also really nice to have the flexibility of renting, of not being tied down.  And for now, this is our life, so we've gotten pretty good at making it (all of it) ours.

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