Personalizing Your Rental

There are many different ways to make your rental feel like your home.  Here are a few ways to personalize your space and make it yours:

–          Replacing old cabinet handles with new ones can instantly refresh your space.


–          You can really expand the look and feel of your space by adding mirrors.  For a more dramatic effect, go for a large wall sized mirror.


–          Painting your walls is the cheapest and most effective way to really personalize the space.


–          If your landlord doesn’t allow you to paint, you can personalize your walls with art, large tapestries, removable wall decals and a collage of framed pictures.

wall decals

–          Changing your light fixture can make a huge impact to the space. If this is not allowed in your rental, then choose floor and table lamps that are beautiful in design and function.

light fixture

–          You can create a built in look by using tall bookcases and grouping them together.

book cases

–          Adding potted plants to your home can bring life to a space.  If you have a terrace or balcony you can use tall potted bamboo to add some privacy to the area.

potted plants

Guide to a Well Lit Room

Good lighting is never really noticed, it is something that is experienced.   Here are a few tips to obtaining the right amount of lighting for your desired space.

Localize your light source:  The goal here is to incorporate multiple points of light.  You want the room to have layers of light that blend well together.

layers of light

Add a dimmer:  Dimmers are great for multi-purpose rooms.  They allow flexibility to your desired level of lighting and are a great source of energy savings.

DIM lighting Romantic-Bedroom-Ideas-With-Decorative-Lighting

Know the functionality of the room: It is important to know what the space is primarily being used for.  Different spaces call for different types of lighting, so it is best to determine the use from the beginning.

functionality contemporary-kitchen-lighting-and-cabinet-lighting

Choosing the right bulb: CFLs and LED are a really good option to use when deciding on a bulb.  They can be pricey but are great energy savers and can save you money in the long run.  Avoid using fluorescent tubes, for they produce a light that is not pleasing to the eye.






5 Things Not to Do When Starting a Home Renovation

Renovating your home can be very stressful.  Here are a few things you can do to lower your stress and to manage your expectations:

1 – Expecting Perfection – Don’t expect your renovation to be absolutely perfect – there are human hands that are working in your space which cannot compete with the preciseness of a machine.

2 – Decide on the budget later – The amount you can spend on your home can essentially be limitless, so it is a good idea to have a set budget in mind to keep costs from inflating.

3 – Go with the cheapest bid for the job – You want to go for quality when it comes to your renovation, so going the cheapest route may end up costing you more in the long run.

4 – Settle for a verbal contract – Every job should have a signed contract specifying what you’ve agreed to. It helps avoid misunderstandings, disappointments, and unrealistic expectations.

5 – Design your space based on a fantasy version of you – it is important to design for how you live and not confuse that with an unrealistic vision for your life.

Basic Window Treatment Options

Window treatments are very important to have in your space.  They provide privacy, allow you to control light coming in and also provide a sense of completion to a designed space.  Here are a few different window treatment options for you to choose from:

Curtains – are the most popular and widely used window treatment option.   They come in different colors, patterns, fabrics.  They can be hung from a curtain rod or rings attached to a rod which are installed above a window frame.  There are many different ways to hang and drape your curtains and there are many different lengths to choose from as well.


Drapes – are similar to curtains but are normally made from a heavier, lined fabric and are hung from a traverse rod with a string for easy open and closing.  Drapes provide a more grander look and are usually found in formal type rooms.

Drapes Grand-Salon

Sheers – are most commonly used with curtains and drapes.  They are mostly used for decoration for they don’t provide privacy or light control.

Sheers elegant-contemporary-living-room-design-ideas-with-beautiful-vertical-sheers-luminette-wandcord-blinds-sliding-panel-window-and-glazed-doors-treatment-ideas-furniture-and-accessories-sliding-panel-int-565x452

Blinds – are also very popular and widely used.  They provide privacy and allow you to control light coming into your home.  They are made from wood, metal or vinyl and come in all different widths and lengths.

Blinds Interior_Design_4_Vue_6_0_img

Shutters – are normally made from wood and provide privacy and light control.  They also can open and close in a fashion similar to a door, therefore providing more options in allowing light in.

shutters hunter-douglas-interior-shutters-500

Shades – are another popular choice.  They regulate the amount of light that comes into your space and come in different types of styles and materials.  Some of these styles include, roman, pleated, solar, motorized, balloon and roller.

shades contemporary-window-blinds


Sustainable Flooring

There are many different sustainable flooring products out there that are made from renewable, ecologically sound resources.  These products include hardwood substitutes, natural fiber carpets and linoleum.

Wood – The wood flooring that you use would have to be reclaimed wood in order for it to meet the Materials & Resources criteria for LEED certification.

reclaimed wood

Bamboo Flooring – This type of flooring is made from grass and is anti-bacterial, water resistant and very durable.  Some bamboo floors are considered to be less sustainable if they contain formaldehyde vs natural based adhesives.


Cork Flooring – is a renewable and sustainable resource that is anti-microbial.

cork flooring


Linoleum Flooring – is made from dried and milled flax seeds mixed with other plant materials that are renewable and 100% biodegradable.

linoleum flooring

Rubber Flooring –  is only considered sustainable if it is not made from a petroleum product.  It comes from a rubber tree that is renewable.

rubber flooring

Natural and Recycled Carpet –  Carpets such as sisal, wool, cotton, jute and coconut husk are all sustainable.

natural carpet

Coconut Timber Flooring – is a hardwood substitute from a coconut palm tree.  This flooring is made from matured palm trees that no longer bear fruits.