33 Ways to Decorate a Rental — On a Budget!

going in my bedroom

September Four Interiors


There have been times when I wanted to wait until the perfect time to start — or finish — decorating a room. Perfect time meaning living in my dream house AND tons of money to spend on what I want. Unfortunately I haven’t stumbled upon the perfect time OR that pile of money. So I just jumped right in and started decorating our rental using things we already had, a little creativity, and DIY-ing everything from art to tea towels. Part of making my home beautiful, purposeful and functional is being conscious of the fact that we rent.

Not everyone can knock down or paint walls.

So this is for you. 33 ideas to decorate your rental — on a budget.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Removable fabric wallpaper is pretty ingenious. And the options are endless – via The Pretty Life Anonymous

Why didn't I know this during all these years of renting Hang a curtain rod, on command strip hooks. MIND. BLOWN.

2. Hang a curtain rod with…

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When You Look In The Mirror and You Recognize What You See..

When You Look In The Mirror and You Recognize What You See..

I’d like to thank professor and my peers for such an amazing semester. This class was definitely my outlet- I could let out my frustrations, talk about things that are really important to me, and learn to think in an objective way without feeling judged for my talents or lack there of. My only class where me was the only thing I needed!! lol
So my face is my face! The hardest part of this project for me is understanding that parts make up the whole. I couldn’t draw (or erase) one thing without completing another erasure. Once I got that down, the thing I worried about was precision. My face is something I’ve had to live with for a long time, so I’m sensitive about how I convey it (laughs!!) But the more I did it and was pleased with the fact that my pieces actually looked like MY pieces, the more objective I was in drawing it. It wasn’t as personal as it initially was- It was a charred piece of paper that became me (much like every other project in the class!)
I definitely spent less time on this project than most did. I spent about 3 hours outside of class, if that. Every time I came back I made a small change to what I’d already done then added more, and for this project, time was on my side.
So here it is 🙂 I’m happy with my piece, but I do plan to work on it more (thicken my left cheek and make my mouth a little wider).
Thanks guys! Have a good summer!


Almost Done!

Almost Done!

So, I showed a few people outside of class and I got a few mixed signals. Some told me it was terrible, some said my portrait needs to lose a few pounds, and some said it doesn’t look like me but its cool. But then there are people who tell me it looks exactly like me. So, something must be off on it. Or maybe it’s just the distortion from the camera (because I will admit it looks alot better in person!) Welp.. my new fear is that other eye, and having the time to make the skin look like skin and not a sketch. I was also told to lessen the drama in my chin, which probably isn’t a bad idea.. so I will . lol


“It Looks Like Me!” end of Day 2

My lip’s a little crooked on the right side, and will be fixed. My and Nell had a conversation about my weird lips: they’re swollen all around the sides for some odd reason so depicting it will be fun for me. I think I’ve gotten the hang of it . One thing I’m learning is definitely the weird pieces of my face.. and how to see a figure and not worry about the symbols but look at the shadows.


Day 2 Part 1: The Lion’s Nose

Day 2 Part 1: The Lion's Nose

So by the break of day two I was getting the hang of what Nell calls “make the pieces whole and connect them” or in other words, “shade what you see, idiot”. lol. I don’t know what my problem is, but I just keep wanting to draw the shapes instead of shade. But as you can see from this picture and the last, shading is a LOT more effective. Now that I see the effects of shading it is getting easier to do. MY MIND IS CHANGING!! lol


Be the bee

Be the bee

Name: Be
Subtitle: Injecting Tolerance
(His name is Be because it shows that everyone should be able to be themselves and allow others to be who they are as well.)
The social ill that Be fixes is intolerance and misunderstanding of anyone who is different (but was initially geared toward individuals with mental disorders).
Be drives and digs his thick spiral stinger into the “normal” human being so that his venom flows through the bloodstream and into the brain. The venom has a connecting neurotransmitter that fills in the spots of intolerance and misunderstanding for others in the brain.
To show the mechanical and industrial ways of the brain, the majority of Be is made of metal scraps and wires (things that have electro-conductivity). The jumbles words on the wings symbolize misunderstanding and the puzzle pieces sketched on the jumbled words symbolize connections to the misunderstanding as well as Autism Awareness.
Be is perched with his face toward the ground and his stinger toward the sky with the wings out as if he is flying. A bee signifies action so I wanted a stance of action.

Summative Statement:
This project meant a lot to me because it gave me a chance to express why I am in school at all – to prepare for supporting my autistic brother once my parents pass and to further advances in the research realm of Autism (and mental disorders all together). I have always felt that it isn’t the person with the mental illness that has the problem, but rather the people that label them. “Normal” people label things they don’t understand and treat them differently, when in reality, people with disabilities are just as happy and capable in many different aspects as everyone else.
I chose a bee to depict my super ill fighter because bees symbolize communication, action, and our ability to consciously choose the results we want in life, which are all big parts of my ill. The question was how was I going to build a bee with garbage??!!
The more I thought of the mental ill and my animal the more I thought of the mechanical ways of a bee as well as the brain of all people. They both are structured to take care of very big processes and serve a very distinct purpose. So industrial materials are best used for big jobs, so why not make the bee out of felt to mimic the way bees look (fuzzy) and metals to depict the industrialness (not a word, but oh well) of the super-bee.
The more I played with the material, the more it bent and showed its imperfections, and I initially wanted the bee to look perfectly structured without any imperfections. But making a perfect looking bee would be hypocritical to the motion I am trying to make- imperfections SHOULDN’T be judges and should be loved and appreciated. So every bend, every strand of dried hot glue, every awkwardly bent leg and antenna.. Made Be who he is. So he is perfectly imperfect.
I learned a lot about what I actually thought about this social ill and it reminded me why I am putting myself through all of this strenuous schooling. It also taught me that even when things do not go exactly how you want them due to the materials dont want to do what you want all the time, it makes you think outside the box and work with what you have and make it just as you and successful as anything you can conduct perfectly in your head. So I appreciate this project.


Debonair vs. Awkward

Debonair vs. Awkward

This was by far the hardest project I’ve had to do for this class. I was stuck at the beginning thumbnails for the longest amount of time because of two factors that just so happen to be the most important ones for a successful project:
• Inability to ask “what if”
• Inability to extract preconceived images of a word and form a new one with undetectable figures
When I tell you I wanted to cause death to the words debonair and awkward, that’s what I mean. When I was doing the word debonair all I could think about was sharp, but smooth… charismatic and sexy… James Bond. So my mind (and my thumbnails) were surrounded by tuxedos. Upside down ones, right side up ones, sideway ones… I could NOT get away from the idea of the tuxedo. I had to sit and really thing what is it about James bond that makes him debonair and not what it is about debonair that makes it James Bond.

It was about crisp shapes, perfection, sleekness, and centered geometry. I do feel that the picture I ended with depicted that well. Once I did that, I think that awkward came a lot easier.

I was so apt to hold on to one idea, it was really hard to stop and focus and exhaust one idea before going to the next. That may have been where my downfall could have been. I wish I’d spent more time taking the thumbnails seriously, but asking what if just made the word more and more complicated and I just ended up adding more details for aesthetics instead of bettering the depiction of the words.

This was hard but I am glad we did it.


Familiar vs. Strange

Familiar vs. Strange

What drew me to Lizzie’s project was definitely the pink and the yarn. At first glance I didn’t know what the yarn was, and even after walking up on it I still didn’t know. But after I knew what her words were and she mentioned that the yarn was from a hat (and I would have never guessed that!) I smiled because it was definitely strange to see. The way she took the picture – the closeness and the interesting angle- was really what sold that the yarn was strange.

If there is one that that is familiar it’s a bathroom sign and a square house with the triangle roof. If you’d gone to elementary school you’ve come into contact with both and when I saw her familiar things I immediately took it back to elementary days- nostalgia and reminiscing. And nostalgia and reminiscence are the most familiar things I can access in my mind, if that makes sense.
I genuinely was impressed with the simplicity of Lizzie’s piece . She always has a knack for taking simple idea then turning into complex ideas and emotions. Good job 🙂


“I Miss You Too, Mila Boo.”

So.. I’m not so sure where I want to start with this.. The man who inspired my valentine is the very person I hate to love. We constantly have to remind each other that no matter crap we have to put up with, it’s always worth it, and that we love each other with our body, mind, and soul. So my valentine goes as much to him as it does to the 3 parts of a person that makes a person who they are..

I chose a thin metal wire to build most of the piece, to show how the parts are connected and come together to make something amazing, even if they aren’t the same. I chose black play dough for his body to represent physical love. Biologically and really, just animalistic we yearn for bodily love. This kind of love seems dark, hard, plain to see and touch, which is why I chose black play dough. At first I wanted the body to be perfect but when I kept looking at it, and touching it, I liked him looking fragile and kind of worn down. It gave him character so I left him.

A friend of mine game me love fortunes for Valentines Day so I used those as my depiction of the mind love. This kind of love is black and white and plain, like the body, but it’s also logical. When I mention that I love someone because they are trustworthy, it makes perfect sense. So I needed linear text that was small enough for the piece and they just worked. However I wish I could have reached farther down to put the text by the man’s feet and horizontally rather than vertical.. Technical issues.. lol

And the soul, which seemed whimsical, light, and impossible to explain and track was the hardest to convey, so I just continued with the wire sprouting from the man’s body and head because all I know is that it is connected to the other loves. I initially used the water beads to so depict the colors I imagine love being in the soul (sky blue and lavender purple) but most of them would slide off the wire or crumble (Other technical problems.. ☹) But they kept falling into the vase I was framing it all in. That made me think of all the times I’d tried at love and it didn’t work out. The feelings didn’t disappear, but were just suppressed and overcome. Kind of like how something falls to your feet, so I left the water beads where they were ☺.

So, there it is. I was kind of relieved I didn’t have to explain it because I was really feeling like I was going to cry while explaining it. While I was making it I really was thinking about so many things me and my guy have gone through.. Ahh to much. So yea ☺


If I had an unlimited budget, in both money and time.. I would have a life size version of this and use sculpting clay to frame my boyfriend (who the black mangled clay man is based on) tattoos, battle scars, and all. I would also get a glass blower and make big glass bulbs to depict the water beads at the bottom.. use thousands of fortune cookie fortunes based on love surrounding his legs.. I would use a mixture of the glass bulbs and fiber optics to depict the part above the glass (the soul). Real flashy and special.. lol