San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live in the world. This can make real estate particularly challenging. At Jack Ryan Design we love a good challenge, and although we were not knocking down any walls or remodeling any bathrooms in this San Francisco rental we wanted to create a space that felt custom and personal to the young family who lives there. There are a few meaningful ways to make a rental feel like a home while being conscientious about budget and conscientious about making choices that you can take with you if you decide to move in the future. Our top three ways to make a rental feel custom are: paint, light fixtures, and rugs.
My husband and I have always rented, yet we've managed to live in style because of the aforementioned items. People talk about the transformative nature of paint all the time, and we couldn’t agree more…but in a rental it is important to be mindful of budget because this is one item you can’t take with you if you decide to move. My guiding principle is to paint only the rooms where you crave high impact (we painted the dining room Benjamin Moore black) or where the wall color is absolutely horrible (for me, that is anything that resembles peanut butter or anything that is peach). Set a budget for paint, prioritize which rooms you feel like you NEED to paint, and skip the others.
The second most important component in making a rental feel custom and personal is lighting. We can't stress this enough. You likely will always have a dining room (or dining area), an entry, and a bedroom…so don’t worry about buying something wondering if you will use it later when/if you move in the future. If you love it, you will use it. Take down the cheap Home Depot fixtures that the apartment came with and install your own. In the dining room, we replaced the ugly dining room fixture with an amazing brass Sputnik pendant and the Murano glass lamps are from a nearby collective called Past Perfect. We added black shades and a vintage console that we also got from Past Perfect. A sexy piece of art is always a welcome addition, and can serve as a good guide for color inspiration. Between the black walls, the beautiful glass lamps, and the dramatic light fixture there isn't a thing about his room that feels "rental".
The final element that makes a rental feel more personal and stylish are floor coverings. We love rugs at Jack Ryan and although there is a growing trend for bare floors these days, unless you have beautiful stones, wood, or marble to show off.... then you are better off laying down some rugs. The graphic ivory and black rug was an easy choice with the teak mid-century table and the black walls. It adds texture and print and really ties the room together.
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