Randi & Joe’s Cookie-Cutter-Busting Rental Restyle

published Oct 17, 2015
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(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Name: Randi and Joe
Location: Wyoming, Michigan
Size: 770 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years; Rented

Randi and Joe live in a sprawling, 430-unit complex in Wyoming, Michigan a suburb of Grand Rapids. The rental units have the usual beige carpet, white walls, and wall-mounted air conditioners, but those items aren’t noticeable in Randi and Joe’s home. The couple has layered a lot of luxe furniture and textured accessories, making the builder-grade finishes recede—and perhaps even disappear.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Randi is the Lead Home Stylist at West Elm Grand Rapids. Her design team works with clients throughout West Michigan, from East Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo to Big Rapids. Her small-scale projects include creating a gallery wall in a client’s living room and selecting drapery panels for a bedroom. A new large-scale project she’s working on is modernizing a cottage currently clad in knotty pine. As Randi says, “There is no project too small or too large that we won’t tackle.” Her interior design education, styling skills, and eye for layering are obvious in her own home.

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: I’m pretty much all over the place. I [Randi] like a classic, elegant look while throwing in modern and rustic layers.

Inspiration: Domino, Amber Interiors, and Studio McGee

Favorite Element: Taller ceiling heights. When dealing with smaller square footage, having ceilings that are taller than the normal eight feet can help to open up the space and make it feel bigger. Sometimes it pays to live on the top floor of a building.

Biggest Challenge: Those dreaded apartment lighting fixtures. They are nothing to brag about, so incorporating decorative table and task lighting around the home helped to pull the eye away from the not-so-pretty ceiling fixtures.

What Friends Say: A lot of Ooooohs and Ahhhhhs! Actually, let me back up. They comment on the white sofa first and how crazy it is! But overall, they say the space is pretty and put together.

Biggest Embarrassment: Probably the dining area, because essentially there isn’t one. A dining table would take up a large footprint and hinder the ease of traffic patterns within the entry. We’ve made it a point to sit at the kitchen counter for meals, or indulge in front of the TV on the sofa.

Proudest DIY: My Tommy Bahama Swaying Palms drapery panels. They were the first item to be installed when moving in and they are the statement piece for the whole room. My mom, who is my seamstress, helped in making the panels and it makes them that much more special to me.

Biggest Indulgence: The media console. It was well worth the cost for something that is timeless and has tons of storage behind those beautiful, carved, hinged doors.

Best Advice: Don’t let anyone do for you what you can learn to do for yourself.

Dream Sources: Dwell Studio, Gray Malin Photography, and Jayson Home

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)



• Master bedroom (above): Behr Black Suede • Den/guest bedroom: Behr Mint Condition • White walls: previously painted by landlord

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)


• Mirrored cabinet: Target • Mirror: At Home Stores • Lamp:
Burke Decor • Vase:
West Elm • Ghost chairs: At Home Stores • Tripod accent table:
Safavieh Home • Ottoman: Target • 3D floral canvas: DIY

• Floral prints and frames: IKEA

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)


• LOVE mugs:
For Like Ever print:

• Counter stools: Home Decorators Collection, sprayed in black lacquer

(Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Coffee table: Ballard Designs
  • Side table: Serena & Lilly
  • Media console: Horchow
  • Milk glass lamp: 3 Chairs Co., also available from Jayson Home
  • Floral accent chairs: Target
  • Staredown steer print: by Amy Carroll for Minted
  • Nude art: HomeGoods
  • Banana leaf poufs: IKEA
  • White tree: HomeGoods
  • Martini table: West Elm
  • Drapery panels: DIY
  • Acrylic chair: Hobby Lobby
  • Pillows: West Elm
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Dresser and chest: Art Van circa 1990s
  • Nightstands: West Elm
  • Pineapple lamps: Zara Home
  • Mid-century butler chair: Grandfather’s, vintage
  • Bedding and pillows: West Elm
  • Brass frames: West Elm
  • Sunburst mirror: Target
  • Gallery prints: Minted
  • Wheat stalk candle sconce: vintage thrift store find
  • (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


    • Duvet: IKEA
    • Shams and pillows: West Elm
    • Brass side table: Target
    • Task lamp: HomeGoods
    • Plant and planter: IKEA
    • Agate watercolor: HomeGoods
    (Image credit: Mike Hetu)


  • Shower curtain: Target
  • Apothecary vases: HomeGoods
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    Thanks, Randi & Joe!