Rental Refresh: Starting from Square One


Welcome to a brand new series! As you might know by now, we’ve decided to move back to Halifax. This city was resting in the back of our minds all year and when it came down to it, the pieces fell into place too perfectly to ignore. It was time to come home.

One of the more important pieces was finding this gem of an apartment. Finding a good rental in Halifax can be a challenge so we really lucked out on this place. It has two bedrooms, an ocean view and better yet, is directly below my best friend Jen — you might recognize the name from this LUSH blog post she wrote for me a while back.

Our landlord is this wonderful woman and her husband who have owned this house for so many years that they care deeply about the tenants that reside within its walls. Not only that, but they want the people who live here to feel at home and happy and have agreed to let us make some updates of our own!

Rental Refresh will be a series showing the ins and outs of updating an outdated apartment. I’ll be sharing the before and after photos of each room, tips and tricks we learned along the way and probably a few failures. Because nothing ever goes according to plan.

The space has some great bones and lots of beautiful natural light on even the gloomiest of days. It won’t take much to bring this space to life, but I’m sure we’ll end up going a bit OTT to make it feel like our own. Before we get started, here’s a peek at what we’re working with. Fair warning: I took these photos the morning after we moved in and didn’t tidy up or do anything to the space to make it look pretty.



The Nook

This little corner is fast becoming my favourite spot in the entire flat. It overlooks the water and fits our little dining set perfectly! We plan on painting in here and adding a hanging (plug in) light fixture but otherwise leaving it as is because it’s already pretty cute.



The Living Room

This space is full of natural light! Aside from the paint colour and blinds, there isn’t much for us to do in here either. I have a feeling that the textured plaster walls are going to be a bit of a nightmare to deal with but I know it will be worth it in the end. I also really love the original floors and radiators throughout the home. Our landlord takes such good care of these elements which gives the space lots of character. We’re going to add a big cozy couch and rug and lots of pillows and blankets to make it the perfect place for movie night.



The Office

This is another room I’m really excited about! For the first time EVER I will have an office space that I can shut the door on at the end of the night. It’s a small space but I have big plans. We’re going to try to find a pull-out couch for this room as well so friends and family can come to stay the night should they ever venture out east. One thing I’m not sure about is the blocked in doorway. I’m going to have to figure out a way to fit it seamlessly into the design in a way that doesn’t highlight how awkward the space is.



The Kitchen

Well. Here it is. The heart of the home… These multitoned cabinets are definitely an interesting combination. I’m going to take down the weird shelves because we don’t need the space, paint the cabinets white and add new hardware. Hopefully, those updates will make a huge difference! We’ve definitely already dreamed up how we would renovate the kitchen if we owned the place but there’s only so much you can do with a rental. I also need to figure out the oven. Our landlord somehow managed to clean it so it looks brand new, but the dials on the oven have worn down so much that I can’t read the numbers at all! Again, should be interesting.



The Bathroom

This bathroom is what dreams are made of right? We’re painting in here ASAP and I desperately need some baskets to organize the chaotic shelves. We pretty much just dumped the box with all our toiletries into each cubby and went about our day. It’s a very tight space but I love that I have a window in the bathroom again AND our landlord installed a new tub for us before we moved in! We’re holding onto all the little victories.


The Bedroom

The last room in the house needs about the same amount of work as the living room! A fresh coat of paint and some flowing white curtains is all we need in here to spruce it up and make it our own. I already have the layout planned in my head and I can’t wait to make it cozy!

So there we have it! That’s our little tour of the apartment before we get all our work done! I know that most rental properties don’t allow for changes like painting or even putting things on the wall so I’m grateful that we’re in a position to do so. We’re keeping the paint colours pretty neutral to make room for all the styling that I’m planning and I can’t wait to see it when it’s all done! Believe me, there’s a lot more content to follow.





1 Comment

  1. August 27, 2018 / 7:08 am

    Love this new series Rowan!! Reminds me of all my favourite TLC design shows from back in the day ūüôā Can’t wait to see the progress that you make!

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