Guest Writer: Scott Hathcock on Interior Design -- What If I....Am Renting?

What if I…Am Renting? 
By Scott Hathcock

Kiersten and I have had our share of moves.  As of today, we have moved 11 times within a span of 14 years of marriage.  With so many house moves, you will not be surprised to learn that 9 of the 11 were rentals.  Not wanting to let renting and landlords stand in the way of our personal stamp, we’ve managed to do some pretty cool transformations.  I will be featuring a few of these rental redesigns (with before and after photos) periodically in the blog. 
One common thread is the use of paint.  While there are some exceptions with landlords not allowing you to paint the walls; for the most part, changing the color of your walls is always a viable option…especially, if you are okay with painting them back to the original color before you move out. 
This first redo we will be featuring is a den/family room.  As you can see from the original photo, the room was beige prior to moving in.  The floor and fire place surrounding was tiled in neutral colored ceramic squares with smaller blue tile accents.  Not a bad pallet, but for us it lacked in warmth and personality.


Now, the after picture…
The swimming pool, in the backyard, was right off the back of this room, but the backdoor placement and windows deterred us from making the pool our focal point.  So, we opted to play-off the pool's color pallet and paint the walls with a greyish blue color.  Inside the built in bookcases (left of the fireplace), we painted the back wall orange to add pop to an otherwise unnoticed architectural feature.  One of the biggest and most noticeable changes however was to the fireplace. 
Here’s what we did:
  1. Removed the dated brass fire screen from the fireplace facing completely. 
  2. Covered the surrounding area with a tin sheet (cut by hand with tin snips) and attached it with screws.
  3. Overlaid the fireplace tile with a sheet of ply wood cut to cover the tile area and attached it with 4 screws to the outside corner studs.
  4. Covered the plywood with blue and teal glass tile sheets using the standard tile application.
  5. Made a new (4 sided) mantle that sat on the top of the original white molded mantel and attached it with a few finishing nails.  The mantel was stained maple to continue the look of the mid-century flavored furniture pieces.

Estimated cost of paint and fireplace remodel $65.00. 
Furniture wise, I should note, the mid-century looking sectional sofa and round sofa coffee table were purchased upon move-in from Craig’s List for a total of $400.            


Angie Osborne said...

This is awesome! Never thought about screwing a face on the fireplace. But, then again, I haven't had to think about living in a rental for years. :) Well done!

MegansBeadedDesigns said...

Wow! What an incredible transformation! Amazing!