#RockTheRental: The Power of Paint

Feb 21, 2013 + ,

I knew you were a creative bunch! Thanks for all the suggestions on my last post. You've given me a lot of options to consider for the basement bathroom. While work is stalled at my house, things are progressing at RockTheRental:

When I start decorating a space, the first thing I consider is layout. You don't need to know exactly where everything is going to go, but thinking about the layout helps you determine where your focal points are. Where do you want to lead the eye? What do you want to notice and highlight? Once you've determined how you want the rooms to flow, you have a better idea of paint colours... do you use colours with little variation, creating a soothing backdrop where rooms melt one into the other? Or do you use contrasting colours, ones that define a space and make you stop and take pause?


When you walk into this apartment, you land in a narrow hallway. We painted the end wall in a soft blue, Para Paint's Forward Thinker (P5164-24) which helps to detract from the narrow dimensions and draw your eye forward. This area could be really cute with a mirror, a little landing spot for keys or purses.

 
We carried the same blue into the living room. The bright sunlight makes the blue appear a tad more green here, making the room feel almost beachy. I know some might argue that focal walls are "out" but in open concept spaces, they're a great way to anchor different zones. This wall will house the TV and storage and is naturally where you want to focus some attention.


For budgetary reasons, we didn't paint any of the other walls in this area. The walls are neutral enough to work with our furnishings (hopefully!).


 
In the kitchen, most everything got a coat of white paint (Para Paint Snowfall SR29/P5223-14D). Ah, so much better than that bright yellow! We're going for a bistro look here so we we painted the one pantry door in chalkboard paint. You'll see the front closet is still brown but that was painted white shortly after I took this photo. We are sooooo lucky that the landlord is cool with us painting whatever we want...



...and that includes cabinetry. To make the cabinets look more updated, we went with a grey paint on the lowers (Para Paints Ice Pick P5244-34D). And this is where we had our first #paintfail :( On the paint chip, the Ice Pick looked like a nice, neutral grey. Not too brown, not too blue. But in this kitchen, with the abundant natural light, the blue grey floors, and speckled countertop... Ice Pick looked purple-ish. Ugh. I'm not sure if we'll repaint. I might wait until we have the rest of the furnishings in before I decide.

 
The smaller bedroom is where my brother will be staying temporarily. He plans to move out in a few months and live with some of our male cousins and then this room will turn into a sewing/craft/home office. Hence the pale lilac paint! Its Gown SR9/P5195-24, a sophisticated colour that I think will work in this creative space.


 
And these are my favourite colours of them all. Walls are painted in Eyelet (Para Paints SR33/P5171-24), a refreshing but not too vibrant spring green. On the ceiling, we've put Dreaming (SR68/P5139-14) which lends a hint of pink to this feminine bedroom.

So what do you think? Its looking and feeling like an entirely different place! But paint can do that. It's the easiest and cheapest way a renter can transform their space. Most landlords will let you paint as long as you paint it back to the original colours when you move out. I think its well worth the time and effort - a few coats of paint and this place is already starting to feel like home.

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