This week has been really exciting and really difficult. Exciting because we clicked these pics last week and I’ve been looking and re-looking at them and itching to write this post. Difficult because I have been DYING to share the pics with you guys (and I did give you a sneak peek on Instagram).. but not before I’d written this post. So finally the post is written.. and today I have for you, Em’s rental living room reveal!
Em’s Rental Living Room Plan:
As always, let’s start with the plan. For complete details on how we went about planning this, I would suggest you read this post, where we introduced Em’s living room. In short, all our planning was based on these basics.
- The aim is to create a gorgeous space where they will be happy to invite their friends over and entertain.
- This is a rental living room, so we make it gorgeous without over-spending.
- Refurbish and reuse whatever furniture Em already has and wants to keep.
- If new furniture is required, avoid any built in cabinets / furniture which Em will have to leave behind when she moves. Instead, invest in free-standing pieces that she can take along with her.
We picked the colour scheme from this rug Em had. It’s basically multi-coloured, and yet the first colour you see if you just glance at it is pink.
So we chose a bright pink as our main colour and here’s what we achieved.
We moved the shoe-rack into the first part of the passage and put the mirror on to the passage wall just as we had planned. The passage is narrow so you see it more like a side-view than a full on front view, but we still wanted it to make a good first impact. We painted it a bright pink. The mirror was originally in a natural polish. We added a hint of gold to it and it went perfectly on that wall.
That bench was earlier placed near the dining table. We moved it into the passage. It fits in perfectly with the narrow, long shape of the passage. Since the shoe rack is in the first part of the passage just adjacent to it, the bench also gives some seating for putting on and removing shoes. A few bright cushions in pinks, purples and oranges complete the look.
The Living Room:
The biggest problem in the living room were the large, dark, bulky sofas. (Check out the previous post, or the before after images below to see.) We couldn’t change the sofas, so we lightened them up by re-upholstering them in a cream coloured fabric. Again, bright cushions added the colour. Wall art always adds the personal touch to any space.
The opposite wall has the television. Em wanted to change her old TV unit, so we got this small, sweet one which fit in nicely into that little niche. Em also wanted the Gayatri Mantra in her living room. She had it in her old place and it is very special to the whole family. We thought it would look great in the niche.
We dressed up the corner with a pendant light and some artwork. Em already had that elephant table which I loved instantly. Later, if they feel the need for more seating, they can easily add a small chair or a pouffe there. The sheer curtains keep the glare out while yet allowing the natural light in.
Just at the entrance, to the left of the living area, we have a small bar unit. We wanted a tall, narrow unit which will fit in perfectly along that small wall and Em liked this one best. It is also close to the kitchen entrance, which makes it easier to get in supplies while using it.
This sign board Em picked up says it all, and is the reason we’re making over her rental living room!
The Dining Room:
The pink in the dining room comes from that beautiful silk wall-drape. We had a few issues to deal with in the dining room and here’s how we did it.
The first was all those electrical boards and gadgets all over that wall (see the before pic). They were a real eye sore, but hiding them would mean making some kind of a fixed paneling. It didn’t make sense to do that in a rental living room, and I advised against it. Our solution is more beautiful and more budget friendly. We took a curtain and rod draped it with this beautiful silk fabric.
We shifted the door bell and wifi so that they fit in behind the wall drape. The main box we couldn’t move, and though you can still see it, it’s not the first thing that catches the eye.
We chose a light console under it and added some plants and personal memorabilia to complete the look.
The second problem was the entrance to the kitchen, which was wide open. We could get wooden paneling and a sliding door done, but again, it’s too much expense on a home that’s not your own. And it’s not like you can carry it with you when you leave. I suggested this metal grill instead. It screens the entrance partially, reduces the eyesore, and can be removed from here and reused at their new place whenever they move.
The third was the window. It overlooks a duct and has an aluminium frame which looks shabby in the middle of the dining room. We ordered this mirror frame.. without the mirror.. the exact size of the window. We’ve hung it on screws around the window, just like you would hang a painting or a mirror. And it makes that window frame less ugly. Em wanted to be able to open the window for cross ventilation, but she doesn’t want the view behind it. She is considering adding a frosted glass film to the window to block that out too.
The fourth problem was the lights above the dining table. There weren’t any. The only light point was the tubelight above the window we just talked about. There was no light point on the ceiling, but Em wanted lights above her dining table. Instead of hiding the wires in ugly casing pattis or making a false ceiling so all the wiring could go behind it, we draped the exposed wires along the ceiling and made them a part of our light installation.
The balcony was a clean slate so we could go with any look we wanted. We chose light cane furniture which is comfortable and gives a great outdoorsy look. The pink seat cushions tie in with the pink from the living room.
Em was hesitant about getting plants into the home. I suggested some Areca palm. They fill up the space nicely with green and are really easy to maintain. You can’t kill them unless you try really hard! I’m happy to say that the palm is thriving and she has declared herself a plant lover. Every now and then she’ll get herself a new little plant baby or a pretty ceramic pot and send me a pic.
For example, the little plant in that blue ceramic pot you see in the corner above is a ‘touch-me-not’. I remember playing with them as kids and I have no idea where she found it. But every time I go there, I make sure to touch all the leaves and watch them close!
Before and After:
And of course, we must end the rental living room makeover with some before and after pics. So here goes.
The living room…
The TV wall…
Electrical box wall…
And the balcony…
That brings us to the end of our rental living room reveal for Em. From conceptualising our ideas to shopping together for furniture and accessories to actually styling the place for the shoot, we worked together every step of the way. I had great fun working on this project with Em and seeing her dreams turn into reality in front of our eyes. I hope you had just as much fun reading this post…
Get The Look:
In this project, we worked a lot with what we already had. But a few of the pieces used in this rental living room are available online. If you like them and would like to get a similar look in your place, you can find them at the links below.
As always, I would love to hear what you think about it. So do write in to me in the comments.
Until next time,