How to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home, Sweet Home


Recently I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful client, Jennifer, who just moved from Rome, Italy, to a rental home in Georgetown. She and I discussed a few simple ways to make her rental home feel more like her own.

Step One: Working with the existing characteristics of the home


Jennifer was ecstatic to find that her rental home had been fully painted before she moved in. We noticed that the formal living room featured a soft, blue paint scheme, and we decided to focus the design around this color. We also made use of the home’s built-in bookcases, whose orange back panels became the perfect, complimentary color for our accents!


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My main priority while working in this space was to give Jennifer pieces that work well while renting but are neutral enough to be moved into another house later on. The larger items such as the sofa, chairs and rug are very versatile pieces that will transfer into Jennifer’s next residence. The pillows, artwork and other accessories are very style-specific to her current rental, but they will be very easy to change out at a later date.


Step Two: Budgeting the project according to priority

When setting a budget, it is important to keep in mind that your project does not have to be completed all at once. I like to have my clients prioritize each room into phases.


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For example, most clients prefer to choose the main furniture pieces in Phase 1 because they tend to have longer lead times, and they are vital to the design. Phase 2 usually consists of essential accent pieces like pillows, lighting and artwork. These pieces are just as important in the overall design process, but they can wait until after the larger pieces arrive.


Step Three: Personalization



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This step is more like “styling” and tends to happen after all components of an order have arrived at a client’s house. I like to meet the client for installation and discuss ways to personalize the space with family photos, room fragrances, flowers, etc. These details are extremely personal to the client and will help them feel right at home in the rental no matter how long they plan on staying.

This was such a fun project to work on, and I can’t wait until delivery day. Stay tuned for the “after” photos!


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Grace Picchiottino

Grace Picchiottino

Grace Picchiottino Design Consultant – Ethan Allen Arlington 703-971-4504

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