Before and After: One Little Change Totally Transforms This Rental Bedroom

published Mar 15, 2020
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About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Dim all-white bedroom

When you’re working with both a rental and a small budget, it can seem like you don’t have any decorating options. But there are plenty of ways to customize a rental so it feels more homey. That’s the advice designer Suzanne Kryton gave her sister when she moved into a room in a rental apartment. “She moved into a basement suite and all the walls were a dingy, boring beige color before,” Suzanne says. “My sister asked for my help to freshen up the space and make it her own. She didn’t want the fact that she was renting to hold her back from loving where she lived.”

Since the budget was small, Suzanne said they basically had enough for a can of paint and a new light fixture. She took a look at what they had to work with: plenty of cool art, a fun duvet on the bed, and a ledge going around the room. She decided to leverage all three. Says Suzanne: “The landlord was OK with us painting so we got to work!”

Credit: Brock Kryton

They got a huge impact with not a lot of money (or time) thanks to a leafy shade of green (Behr’s Vine Leaf). “It is such a vibrant, yet moody tone that it really sets the feeling for the whole room,” says Suzanne. Keeping it just behind the bed made for a focal point without darkening the whole space—a risk in a basement bedroom.

The deep green helps show off the artwork that was already there, which Suzanne just arranged on the ledge. She also added a black bracket and hung a bare-bulb plug in pendant light from it. The light adds some character and also comes in handy for reading in bed.

“We wanted this room to be a cozy oasis that my sister could enjoy after a long day at work,” Suzanne says. Her advice for any other renters looking to cozy up their space: “Go for it! It’s only paint!”

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