Monthly Archives: March 2008

Home Decor Tips for the Renter (or Leaser)

    Just because you rent or lease, does not mean that you do not care about your decor. However when you rent or lease an apartment or home, you are often faced with a few home decor challenges. Let’s discuss those challenges and how they can be overcome.

    Home Decor always starts with some basic design rules that we need to follow in order to achieve the best results. I think most people would agree with me about the backdrop (or background) elements for home design.

1. Paint Color(s)

2. Window Treatments

3. Flooring

4. Furniture

These four elements set the base, or backdrop for your decor needs. Before we get into choosing color schemes, textures, patterns, etc… we must address these four elements of design, and this is where the renter is at a disadvantage to a home owner.

    Most landlords already supply two or three of these elements. Paint color(s), Flooring, and often it is the landlord that chooses your Window Coverings. Let us first address paint. Most landlords supply the paint color and they take a dim view of renters using any paint color other than that which they have supplied. Most landlords paint their rentals in off-white colors. This may not be your favorite color and many renters would certainly like to choose their own paint colors, but most renters would also like to get their security deposit back when they move out, so most often you are stuck with the choice that has already been made for you. This does not have to be a horrible thing, as off-white will usually work with most any home decor. Some landlords will let you paint in other colors as long as you re-paint it back to off-white before you move out. Perhaps they will allow you to paint one accent wall which can help greatly. Check with your landlord before you decide to change the paint. If they say no, it is not the end of the world. You simply have to pick your design colors from other sources than the paint.

    Most landlords also supply the Window Treatments. Most rentals that I see have been supplied with shades or blinds that are neutral colors. Here also, most landlords do not want you to remove or replace what they have supplied. Although, most landlords will not mind if you use curtains or draperies to add to the existing window treatments, so here is an area worth asking about. Always check with your landlord before you start attaching window coverings to their property. Some landlords will not allow you to nail or screw anything into the walls. Most that I know do not mind, as long as you fill the holes in when the window treatments are removed. Now you can use texture, pattern and color for your windows to compliment your home decor style.

    The next consideration will be your furnishings. Most renters already have their furniture, or at least some furniture. Many time the furniture you have may be hand-me-downs. If you do not have your furniture yet and you are on a budget, consider shopping at thrift stores or yard sales. You can usually find some great bargains and if the furniture is not the right color or does not have the right texture, you can always use paint or stain to change the color, and slip-covers can be found for sofas, chairs, etc.. and this will still allow you a good amount of latitude for your home decor.

    That leaves us with the Flooring. This is often the most aggravating part, because the flooring is almost always supplied by the landlord, and most landlords don’t care how it will tie in with your home decor needs. No matter how ugly the color is, or how old and worn the flooring is, you are pretty much stuck with it. I have had many clients who have tried to get their landlord to change the flooring, and almost always, they will not even consider it. Even when the tenant offers to pay for part of the cost. This can be frustrating, but changing the flooring is not your only solution, so don’t give up just yet. This is where area rugs can be a wonderful option. Area Rugs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and although I usually suggest that a person find their rug first before choosing other decor items, you can easily work the other way around and choose a style and color that matches your decor. Use an area rug to cover that old dirty carpet or add warmth and color over any type of hard-surface flooring. It is best to invest a little bit more for a good quality rug (many wool fiber rugs can be found for the same price or slightly more than the cheap ones you find at the chain-stores). The great thing about a good quality rug is that you can take it with you when you move, and a wool fiber rug can last a lifetime with proper care. Also, most patterns will never go out of style, if you choose a more classic or traditional pattern.

    Just because you don’t own the home you are living in does not mean you have to give up on style and decor. There are a world of possibilities, even for those who rent or lease, to make your apartment a real home. Check out our web site for an area rug to cover an ugly worn out floor, or just to add the right colors to balance your design needs.

Charles Beason

How to Measure and Calculate for Flooring (Carpet or Hard-Surface)

The Formulas for calculating flooring are simple, but if you don’t use them often, they are easy to forget… Here are the formulas for Square Feet and Square Yards (hard-surface products are usually measured in sq/ft (square feet) and soft-surface are usually measured in sq/yds (square-yards))
So Carpet, Linoleum or Vinyl would probably need a sq/yd measurement.
First you need to calculate Sq/Ft (square-feet)- The formula is:
Length X Width = Sq/Ft
So, if you have a room that is 12 ft by 12 ft:
12X12=144 sq/ft
Now that you have calculated Sq/Ft all you have to remember is that there are 9 sq/ft in 1 sq/yd. So, to calculate your square-yardage you simply divide by 9
12X12=144 sq/ft — 144 sq/ft divided by 9=16 sq/yds (square yards)
The formula looks like this
12X12/9=16 sq/yds
That is the easy part. When you calculate for flooring you must remember 2 things:
1. Always measure to the widest part of the room (including doorways, up to the middle of where the door shuts), and over any steps or rises.
2. Always add 6%(for one room) to 10% (for entire home) for waste factor. Most clients are surprised to learn that they must pay for a percentage of waste, but this is normal for the flooring industry. (I will explain why when I have more time)
Now that you have your room(s) measured. Your formula should be like this:
 Here is the break-down:
12×12=144 sq/ft
144/9=16 sq/yds
16+6%=16.96 Sq/Yds Carpet needed for this room.
(you can round up to 17 Sq/Yds)
—It is always better to have a little Flooring left over, than to come up 6 inches short and not be able to finish the Installation—
I am out of time for now, so I will continue with this lesson a little later.
Charles Beason

Was going to write about Home Design for Renters (maybe tomorrow)

    Fibromyalgia has me again today! I was going to write about Home Decor Techniques for renters, apartment dwellers… (anybody with a landlord). But the barometric pressure changed and my pain level has shot through the roof again. If you have Fibromyalgia, Arthritis or something similar, you know what I am speaking of. We become virtual weather forecasters because we hurt more when it is going to rain (or anytime the barometer changes (up hurts; but down really hurts)…
    Oh well, I will not die from it (although the option does sound good right now) and I can try again tomorrow to write my article. This is about all I can accomplish today so, we will talk soon okay? Disappointed
Charles Beason
Fibromyalgia and Business, exclusive selection of fine area rugs, information, FAQ, home decor, Q&A
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