Before and After: A Rental Apartment Transformed From Drab to Fab

Before and After: A Rental Apartment Transformed From Drab to Fab

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Adrienne Breaux
Nov 6, 2018
(Image credit: Pati Robins)

"If you want to try something like painting your walls a zesty color—just go for it—it's only paint," advises blogger and DIY master Pati Robins. She's been living in this rental home for 13 years, and as seen with these before photos, it's had quite the transformation. "If you don't like it you can always repaint it—and if you don't try it, you will always wonder 'what if?'"

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

"I love DIY and I always try to make things by myself as it saves money, and most importantly fills you with a sense of pride when you achieve something."

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

"I love a good challenge and being as stubborn as I am I will sit and keep trying until I make it work."

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

The after photos of Pati's home are shockingly different, but don't be under the impression that this all cost her and her husband a ton of money. Dramatic paint choices splashed across the walls make a huge visual impact. Plenty of furnishings were purchased second-hand, from thrift stores, or at IKEA and other affordable sources. And lots of projects feature reclaimed materials, like the shelves in the kitchen, which are made from recycled scaffold boards.

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Pati is a natural at finding items at discounted prices... especially lighting. "I am a sucker for pretty lights—and I always try and source them cheaper than a standard price. It takes longer and requires some patience for the item to come up on offer or sale—but I do love a good bargain (and dislike paying full price)."

(Image credit: Pati Robins)
(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Along with having to workaround the home being a rental, Pati also had to take into consideration the adaptations made to the home to help her husband's mobility. "My husband is a disabled (handicapped) army veteran, so our home had to have a lot of adaptations fitted—from an outside wheelchair lift, to a stair lift, to a bed lift, and a fully adapted bathroom (that I have yet to redecorate)."

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

"Adaptations of those type are not always nice to look at, but they serve their purpose—they help my husband be more mobile and independent. Since we had those fitted, my husband has hated them (as they reminded him too much of a hospital. Which may be why we have darker walls; they seem to make him more relaxed.)"

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

"I've tried my hardest in blending his adaptations with the house so they do not become a feature. For instance, on the staircase, the stair lift used to be cream colored—which stuck out like a sore thumb—and I have repainted it black to help it blend in. And under all those layers of things in the master bedroom there is a bed lift hidden; we believe that your disability should never be something that defines you or your home—there is always a way around it to make it work without spending a ton of money."

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

IKEA hacks also have their part in this home's transformation, like the one in Pati's daughter's bedroom; the desk is a DIY using an IKEA Kallax and old worktop cut to reduce the depth.

(Image credit: Pati Robins)
(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Thank you, Pati!!


See all of Pati's house tour → A Delightfully Dark & Dramatic DIY Rental Home

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