By Julea Joseph, guest contributor
This home needed a big shot of decorating Botox. Luckily, there are several ways to turn this average condo into a design all-star.
A few months ago, my interior design client, Susan, purchased the condo as an investment property. She intended to rent it out but wanted to upgrade it first to make it a winner on the rental circuit.
The condo already had plenty of perks: a great location close to the train and good bones. But it needed a spruce up on the decorating side.
Susan wanted to make just enough simple—yet dramatic—choices and improvements to take the home from bland to grand.
With a few simple changes, the space went from dated and definitely boring, to a front-of-the-line rental, with a fresh and airy style.
Take a look at some of the before photos.
Now, look at the after pics...
Here are five ways we enhanced the space:
- Interior trim and walls
By painting the trim, we expanded the entire space, making the home feel large and airy. I picked the White Dove paint color by Sherwin-Williams. (Extra tip to beef up the base trim: Add an additional trim piece above the baseboard to the desired height.)
As for the wall color, we painted all the public spaces one color choice (Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray HC-173—one of my go-to Home Staging paint colors). The result? A move-in ready space, that feels large, open, and ready for the new renters’ decorative personality.
Painting cabinets is another great way to refresh a rental property. In this project, we chose two colors—black on the bottom and white on the top. This enhanced the existing floor tile and lighting. It also added height to a galley kitchen. Plus, it gave the space a super high-end style. Again, I chose the White Dove paint color by Sherwin-Williams on the upper cabinets, and then I used Iron Ore paint color SW 7069 by Sherwin-Williams on the bottom cabinets. (Note: The cabinet pulls didn’t even have to be changed. Bonus!)
Dated light fixtures can make a home look dark, dull, and tired. Trend forward and make
the space functional with some budget-friendly new light fixtures. In the dining room I
choose a modern, statement making fixture. (Lowe’s Catalina Sputnik Chandelier)
If the counters are showing their age or are a dark color, new counters can be an
important upgrade. New countertops also give the new resident a clean, fresh slate. We
chose a Quartz counter in a white to compliment the kitchen design.
- High-end details
A few luxury details will elevate the property to a new level. These don’t have to be
expensive—they just need to LOOK expensive. Here are a few examples of how to
Backsplashes: Add a fun tile back splash in the kitchen sink area. In my client’s condo, this chic backplash was just enough to bring the entire black and white theme together. I used a cement tile look (Encaustic tile from Lowe’s)
Door trim: We upgraded the opening to the bedroom spaces to make it a focal point of the space. Doing this one opening with trim made the home feel very custom.
Blinds: We replaced the wood blinds with fabric Roman Shades. A basic wood-look blind is a common choice, but a fabric Roman Shade gave the space a custom, high-end feel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julea Joseph is the owner and lead designer at Reinventing Space in Chicago. Visit her website and blog at Julea.com