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Rental-Friendly Design Ideas and a Rental Makeover (pt.1)! #gethyped

My Flient (friend who's also a client - GO WITH IT)

I got to do a rental friendly/budget friendly e-design (and makeover) for my friend Lisa and her fam. Lisa and her husband Rob live in the 'burbs of Philly and have two sweet little girls. Lisa is an incredible friend and there are so many things I admire about her: her love for Jesus, her love and respect for her husband and the way she nurtures and cares for her girls and others. Lisa is a deep thinker and great at asking questions. You're gonna want to get in on this friendship. So here's a list where you can sign up. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Lisa's Friend Signup List



She and I are both pastor's wives so we can relate to LOTS of different "stuff" that happens in our lives. We also know first-hand how some people can expect us to be/behave/drive/eat/not be/spend our money etc. just because our husbands are pastors. It can be a little wild sometimes. BUT we both have also experienced the incredible generosity of our church community over the years too. The good outweighs the bad for sure, my friends.

(Lisa and me with all of our wild ones)

Here's why this e-design/makeover was/is really special for me. Rob and Lisa came to the states from Zimbabwe seven years ago for a life-saving kidney transplant for Rob (Lisa was pregnant with their first kiddo too). So TOTALLY stress-free for them both, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE... 🥴 They didn't know, at the time, all that was about to transpire so they left without any of their belongings. They basically had to start over with their home once they realized they would be here permanently. And for now renting is their best option. So they have never had a home here that has actually felt like their home.

Lisa and I are both very used to living on a pastor's salary (because of our aforementioned handsome husbands). NBD. But I wanted to transform the first floor of their rental (living room, dining room and half bath) and I knew even on a budget (budget, baby... cause #thatshowiroll), it would take a long time to actually be able to DO the design I was working on.


This is the part of the story where I make a quick phone call and then a few other phone calls were made and bada boom bada bing...we had all the money we needed to do the entire first floor design. Not only is Lisa an amazing friend, she also has amazing friends. Like the best kind of friends. Friends that get it. Friends that show up. Friends that meet needs. Friends that are generous with their time and their resources. (See above about the incredible generosity of church communities 🙌🏻.) You know who you are. Thank you!!

The E-Design

So now I am slowly working my way through their townhouse's first floor with a lot of paint! Today I am going to show you the half bath I designed and how it turned out! (Stay tuned for their "entryway" next week!)

Renter-Friendly Update Ideas

  1. PAINT - Ask your landlord if you can paint! This was the first thing Lisa did. And she got a quick yes! Sometimes you will have to paint it back before you move, but that's OK! Love where you live NOW.

  2. Peel and Stick Wallpaper - Guys - buy it. Now. Please. Peel and stick wallpaper is SO renter-friendly. It is 100% removable when you move out. It can be used so many places too! (Accent walls, kitchen backsplash, stair rises, bookshelves, floors...😏)

  3. Lighting - Ask if you are allowed to swap out a light fixture (or two...) OR swap them out and keep the old light so you can replace it when you move!

  4. Hardware - Switching out cabinet hardware in a kitchen or bathroom is another easy way to update a space that doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

Why Updating Rentals is Goooooooood

Some people can't get past the idea of investing in a rental. I get it. I really do. BUT GET PAST IT 😬. There are so many things you can do that will improve your space without it costing a lot of money. Also, I think it's so important to love the home that you have, rentals included! Homes are a gift, let's treat them like that. Some landlords may even offer to pay for updates - or split it with you - if you are improving the quality of their rental. It NEVER hurts to ask! Let's be honest, we take better care of things when we love them - when we are invested in them - there's no reason why that can't be your rented apartment/townhome/house right now. #letsgetit

The Before

It was so fun to design this bathroom and then actually get to make the vision happen. Here's where we started:

What I Did

(All of the update ideas I talked about above are included in Lisa's half bath design!)

1. Started by taking down the mirror and replacing it with this one. (We kept the old mirror so they can put it back if they move.)

2. Painted the walls this incredible green - Black Bamboo by Behr. (Lisa had pinned a room that she liked with this color so that made it easy to hunt down. IT'S MY NEW FAVORITE.)

3. I replaced the hardware with these beauties.

4. Put peel and stick vinyl tile wallpaper ON THE FLOOR 😬. YES I DID. Now, settle down... two reasons why this is OK:

  • CAUSE I SAID SO😬... kidding(ish) This is only a half bath and while it gets used on the daily, it doesn't get the same wear and tear as a bathroom with a tub. So durability isn't as much of an issue.

  • It was $35 for a roll (and there is enough left to do something else fun with it) so it was NOT expensive. If it gets messed up IT'S OK.

5. Lisa replaced the old light with this one I picked out! (Keeping the old one to swap back if they decide to move.)

Total for a brand new bathroom, including the paint? $188 Less than $200! (I AM GOOD AT MATH.)

The After

You ready? Me too.

Lookin' fine. Feelin' good. And i'm feeling good mostly cause I'm LOOKIN' FINE.

It used to just be a small bathroom. Now it's a small beautiful bathroom/get-a-way/sanctuary/office 😬 for my friend. This is a Lisa bathroom.

Side-by-side magic.

Lisa already had that awesome "Choose Joy" print. It works great in here. And every toilet needs a basket with extra TP #spareasquare.

Stay tuned for Lisa's new entryway that I finished this past weekend (living room and dining room after that)! Until then, please get some friends that care about the kind of room you pee in. THESE ARE THE BEST KIND OF FRIENDS.

Friends are a gift. All homes (rented or not) are a gift too.

Hoping you were reminded of both of those gifts today.

Hugs and Kisses,

Best Friends Forever,

Never Change,


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