Richard added so much personality and warmth to his rental, it's kind of astounding. The totally fine but pretty sterile space was full of the standard rental woes; outdated overhead lighting, bland cabinets and a kitchen floor that has seen better days. With a mix of gifts, Craigslist and new purchases, Richard turned the bland apartment into a welcoming and charming home.
From Richard: After twenty two years in my old apartment, I decided to take the 500 square feet residence above my vintage menswear shop in Chicago (Richard's Fabulous Finds).
I replaced all of the light fixtures, dated 80s gold chrome, with oiled bronze flush mounts. The ceiling fan was a must for the living area (sale score at Menards, $69), and the amazing brass chandelier was a recent find my friend Kim Tanner at Strangelovely Vintage made (she also snagged me the brilliant black wingback chair), which centers the butcher block kitchen island (Craigslist, $200) nicely (red stools from Blinq- pair $46) . I had the backsplash installed with glass tiles from Home Depot (Canyon Vista). Dimmers were added to all light switches as I like a warm glow at night.
All new black matte hardware replaced the silver chrome on the kitchen cabinets after a thorough scrubbing and application of lemon oil to darken the wood. The large bamboo mat adds warmth to the white tile floor (Ebay, $49).
I believe in accent walls instead of painting an entire room, especially in a rental where you have to paint it back to white when you move. The living room is by Behr in Dark Ash. My Great-Great Grandmother's chest as coffee table and provides extra storage.
Thank you so much, Richard! You can see more on Richard's blog Richard's Fabulous Finds.