Our Rental House: A Dining Room + Living Room Tour

Welcome, welcome to the next installment of our new rental house tour. I realize that this house is, um, not quite like our old house. But hopefully, like us, y'all see it's potential. And, of course, remember that it's only temporary! Once we sell our old house, our dream house is right around the corner.

On with the tour. Here's the dining room the day before we moved in. The handyman is still finishing up some of the kitchen renovations, so don't mind his rear end.


And what it looks like today!

Clearly, I didn't stage the room for pictures (this is a "keep it real"/before house tour!), so there's still a ways to go for a true "after" photo. But it's a start! David and I brought our furniture and rug from our old dining room. Right now, the leaf in the table isn't pulled out, but there's plenty of room in here to extend the table fully. Which is great for dinner parties.

You may notice that the table is off-centered in the room... it's actually centered to the light fixture. Which is kind of weird, by the way. Well, different. I haven't decided if I like it.

But anyways, the fixture is hung off-center to provide a hallway type walking space on the side of the table. That's the only access to the kitchen (besides the secret passageway) so I guess it makes sense. Slash it kind of drives me crazy. But I'll go with it!

Here's the dining room view from the kitchen.

What, you other bloggers actually clear the kid junk out of your frames before you snap photos? Oops.


1. Hang art on walls.
2. Paint walls?
3. Switch out light fixture?
4. Curtains for the windows. 
5. Go buck wild and paint the chairs?

On to the living room. It's a really good sized space, which I love. Here it is before we moved in.

Ah, a little scary, I know. I'm not a huge fan of the Berber carpet in the room (which is in okay condition, it was cleaned before we moved in, of course), but I layered our big Pottery Barn rug over it to hide most of it. David and I basically just transplanted all of our furniture/design elements from our old living room into this space. I think it works well!

Keep in mind that I haven't decorated at all in these pictures. The stuff you see on the mantel and on the floor are just thrown around randomly! Definitely not intentional.

I'm trying to create a little mudroom/entry space on this side of the room.

You like that over-used coat rack? Mhmm. You'd think 900 people lived here with us! Coats for all!

There are built-in shelving units on one side of the room, which are great. I need some major how-to-style-a-bookshelf tips, though. I'm having such a hard time getting it decorated!

I think it's a great space for us. The mantel is a little bit wonky (not sure what's up with the actual wood mantelpiece being so high? and the brick is sort of half-distressed, half-painted?) but I actually don't mind it too much.


1. Hang art.
2. Organize baby gear in room. (is this possible?!)
3. Decorate the built-in bookshelves.
4. Decorate the wonky mantel.
5. Add another rug to the entry area?

 And I'm sure there are a million more things I could do to the room. I can't even get on Pinterest anymore, there are so many fabulous DIY ideas floating around that I want to get my hands on! What do y'all think? Love our new rental space? I'll be back later this week with the last part of the tour... the bedrooms and bathrooms! Duh duh duhhhhhhhh!


  1. Michelle, I am loving what just adding some furniture and cozy rugs does to the space! I love it, and nice work and getting things done so quickly with a little baby and a job! Bravo!!!!

  2. Holy crap--haha--I am so impressed all you have gotten done already! It is looking good--Love your living room!

  3. You did a great job transforming both spaces already!! Looks comfy and a great place to curl up on the couch!! Wish we could do play dates!!

  4. It looks great! So much potential. The built ins are a great feature

    Can't wait to see more!


  5. The light fixture would be amazing with an Edison light bulb or silver dipped / mercury bottom lightbulb:)

  6. It all looks fantastic! I think these are my favorite rooms so far! The living room looks SO great!

  7. You have done such a fantastic job with your space! I love your decorating style and the cozy feel that you have created. Looks great!

  8. You found a rental with good bones! You're living room looks cozy already!

  9. It looks great. Laughing at the back shot of the handy man- wonder if knows that picture is floating around the blogasphere?? Lovely space girl!

  10. I love the size of the living and dining area. It already looks so cozy. I like the bookshelves too! That's one thing I wish our new house had - built-in's!

  11. Love the living room! I think your stuff fits in so well. Can't wait to see more!

  12. I cant even tell you how happy I am to see your real life living space!! I love when "Bloggers are people too" lol. I also have a design blog, and sometimes, ya know what..Im not moving the dog bed, or the batcave, or the bouncy before I snap a picture!! Its looking Great!! We also just moved into a new rental house and its been fun coming up with ways to design on the cheap..that dont look cheap!!

  13. What a great house!! You guys lucked out finding it...and it already looks like 'you.' It will be so fun to watch you transform it more. And dang you look good....no sign you were ever pregnant! Were you faking it and really you hired a surrogate?!

  14. I think it's awesome!! Lots of possibilities here to keep you busy, Michelle! Yay for new beginnings!
    xo Heidi

  15. Hey lady--
    I think it looks great! And I love the built in book shelf. I think the hard part about being in a rental house is figuring out how all of your stuff fits into your new space.

  16. You are doing a great job! What part of town are you looking to buy in? We just put our house on the market and might have to go into temp housing....ugh I dread it but you make it look, well, fun!

  17. hi! where is the blue rug in your living room from and do you like it?
    thanks! katie

    1. Pottery Barn! And yes, we love it : ) I swear by their wool rugs, they're the best!


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear what you think. I ♥ comments.

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