Our Rental Nest

After we sold our second home, we went full speed into hunting for another fixer upper to get our hands on but after one bad inspection report and then a negotiation we walked away from, we came up short.  They were blessings in disguise though because soon after, we were given a rental offer we couldn't refuse; one that would allow us to pay off most or all of our student loans and live debt-free.  Whoop, whoop!  So we hopped into our first ever rental house.  Of course, because we don't own this house, it wouldn't be prudent to pour money into lots of renovations (which is so hard, by the way) but there's no stopping upping the aesthetic appeal.  So, with our budgetiest project house to date, we are on our way to pretty.  Come on in for a tour!


It was dark and not taking in any light from the heavily-curtained rooms next door but those curtains came off, paint went up, and...

Say it with me, that relaxed "aaaaaah".  Details here.  :)

Dining Room
First of all, the dining area in this house is carpeted which is AWESOME, especially when there are little kids that are a part of your fam.  Am I right?  (Do you feel the sarcasm seeping through the screen?!)  So, the first thing we did before we even ate one meal in this room is to lay down a rug we had to catch any and all accidents.  Then we painted, I made new curtains, and we hung some things and here we are, lighter, brighter, and all around better:

Living Room
Technically, I believe this room is supposed to be a formal living room but since we don't need nor have two sets of living room furniture, it's warped into a home office/kids' art/homework room.
The spotted wallpaper accent wall cost a total of $20 thanks to a lucky clearance find, the storage cabinet in the corner is a hand-me-down that I painted white, and the kids' table is also a hand-me-down.  The swing arm lamps flanking the window were thrift store finds I rehabbed and here are details on the gallery wall above the desk.  

The kitchen was the first room to get a makeover - one that rang in at only $160.  You can see the full reveal here.  We knew that it would be take the most energy to transform and if we didn't do it right off the bat, we probably wouldn't do it as our lease term got shorter and shorter.  It's the smallest kitchen we've had to live in to date so finding a place for all of our kitchen stuff was...interesting.  First, we tore down that striped wallpaper and gave the walls and cabinets a fresh coat of paint.  We said goodbye to the old, gunked up cabinet hardware and hello to some new goldies and installed some subway tile...wallpaper, that is.  We also ripped out that wood header over the sink, made a pendant light for over the sink, and added a drum shade to the ceiling fan.

We made and installed some easy, breezy spice shelves to add some flavor to the other side of the room.  #seewhatIdidthere

Our landlord graciously installed a dishwasher for us before we moved in and as great as it is, it kinda stuck out like sore thumb.  So, we "temporarily" painted it to make it blend in more.  The pot rack we installed on the far wall got our pans off the counter top as there was no room for them in the lower cabinets.

Laundry Room
 The laundry room also got a fresh coat of white paint like it's neighbor, the kitchen.  After that, we moved some shelves around and replaced the old washer and dryer with our own.  You can read more about this space here.

Room numero dos to get a makeover.  The lack of flow between this room and it's next door neighbor, the kitchen, was killing me so I had to do something and do it quick.  Here's what this side of the room looks like after we did some tweaking:

Get in on the whole tour plus sources here.  With the actual living room in this house (through that wall on the left) becoming a sort of multi-purpose room for us, this room has taken on the living room title vs. den.  What's the difference you ask?  No clue.  We've never really had a "den" but we've had living rooms and they've all functioned like this one so living room it is.  :)


I had lots of fun injecting lots of DIY projects into that little corner over by the back door - yarn art, a framed Christ picture, and a floating vase.  I also added some words to an old casino painting, updated the fan with some new-to-us shades, and we hacked an Ikea shoe cabinet to add some much-needed function.


Bathroom #1
What do you get when you mix outdated floral wallpaper and bad, orange-hued lightbulbs?  This bathroom.

But what can you get when you have a few little hands to help rip off wallpaper, insert some new bulbs, slap some paint around, and hang some fun stuff?  This:
And all for around $30.  Read about it here.

Bedroom #1

Bedroom #2

Otherwise known as the kids' bedroom - yep, all four of 'em in one small room.  As crammed as that maybe sounds, it's actually been so fun for them.

To make it even more fun, we made it over.  You can read all about it here.

Master Bedroom

The master was just like every other room in this house - a cardboard box.  Brown e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.  

So, not only did we rid it of a lot of that, we injected color in the form of a whole green wall to get us far away from that box vibe.  You can read details and get all the sources here.

Master Bathroom
Down with the frilly curtains and up with the white paint and decor.
I also sprouted this great idea to add a mirror to the existing mirror to liven things up.  Read all about it here.


  1. Can you tell me what color white you used on the walls and cabinets? We just purchased a home with similar 90's oak trim (that I'm trying to embrace without painting) and I like the wall / trim contrast in your photos. Any chance it's Valspar Ultra White (our current frontrunner)? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kara! It's Pure White by Sherwin-Williams. I love that you're embracing the wood trim! It makes for a fun challenge but I'm sure it'll look awesome when you're done!