Being in a rental doesn’t mean boring. Today some of my very good friends and a fellow military family have let me share a tour of their home. Dan and Robin along with their three children moved to Germany less than a year ago. In that time they have managed to turn a bland all white rental into a fun family home full of color and pattern.
“We picked this house for its spaciousness and character. We loved the balconies and the views of the village. After living here, I still enjoy those things, but have grown to absolutely love the amount of light we get through our many windows. This house definitely has more windows than I have ever had before which made Fabric.com my new best friend.”
Many designers will tell you that interiors evolve over time but for military families we do not always have that luxury. Our collection of furniture and accessories may evolve over time, and most likely thousands of miles, but our interiors must pull together pretty quickly once we arrive. Dan and Robin’s home is no exception. They have been in Germany just over nine months and their home already feels cozy and settled.
“Moving a lot, I’ve learned to only keep the decor that really makes me happy. If it doesn’t bring a smile, then it’s gone so I don’t have to unpack it at the next house. This concept has kept me from becoming a pack-rat for sure” Robin∼
“A house becomes a home for us as soon as the boxes are cleared away, the decor is in place, and I can enjoy my own things once again. We love colorful things so as soon as the bright stuff comes out of the boxes and the rugs get unrolled, it truly becomes our space. Plus, I tend to like quirky things like our bear painting from Gatlinburg, TN and our ostrich picture from an artist in Indiana. So things that you don’t see in other people’s homes, makes this one seem like our own unique space.”Robin∼
This house may look a little familiar to you from my Almost Built In post. When Dan and Robin first moved in I built them a set of “Built Ins” that are actually free-standing and can be removed when they leave. When making a rental your own cosmetic upgrades that are removable are essential. Paint of course is always the easiest up grade. Dan and Robin’s landlord gave them the go-ahead for paint as long as it was returned to white when they move out.
“Even though we move a lot and often times they are rentals, I think it is important to still make it ours. Painting is a must. We are not white wall kind of people and need the warmth of color on the walls! In this house we’ll have to paint the walls again before we leave, but it was definitely worth it”Robin∼
Robin uses bold patterned curtains in almost every room to bring impact to the space. “I’ve definitely improved my sewing skills over the years so I find the fabric I like and make my own pillows and curtains. I love patterns so this is the most affordable way to get the look I want without a high price tag.”Robin∼
Living in a new home every few years also means sometimes you need new furniture to fill the space. For those times thrift shopping is the key. The piece above is an old TV cabinet found in a thrift store here in Germany. A little green paint goes a long way to bring big impact.
“I love to go to thrift stores and find a great deal on something that maybe just needs painted or tweaked a little to make it pretty. That’s also the best place to find little treasures that are unique and bring a smile!”Robin∼
You can see in the kid’s rooms more of these pieces that were refurbished with a little paint and made new again.
And of course lots of fun fabrics and bright colorful rugs.
One of my favorite space in Dan and Robin’s house has to be the master bedroom. It has two huge windows and wide balcony for sitting. The light in this room is amazing with pops of yellow that make it feel so sunny, and of course who doesn’t love an Ikea MASKROS pendant which they added after they moved in. This room feels like sunshine.
Dan and Robin prove that moving constantly and living in rentals does not mean you have to give up on style and personality.Color and pattern make a statement whether you paint the walls or not but most of all objects and are that you love make a house a home.
If this doesn’t inspire you to spice of your rental I don’t know what will.
Thanks to Dan and Robin for sharing their home and their style.
Photos by Maggie Overby