Q&A: Renovating a Rental with DIY and Plants with @rachelkathleenhome
Rachel (@rachelkathleenhome) is a plant-loving homebody and DIY-er renovating her rental one project at a time. Rachel is known for her neutral boho decor, and has a lot of plants integrated into her space - including a wall of Wally Eco and Loop planters. Read on for her insights into her favorite projects, how she made her plant wall, and how she works around her biggest design obstacle: renting.
Many thanks to our interviewer, Elise!
Wow! What a good question, so hard for me to choose favorites but I would say my DIY office pegboard, entryway hexagon shelves, triangle bookshelf and bathroom pegrail are my top four! I try to make tutorials for all of my DIY’s and save them to my IG highlights! I just started working with wood last year so I’m always learning as I go and trying to share projects that I believe anyone could do! I love the feeling of knowing I created something in my home rather than just buying it!
I am absolutely in love with our new living room! Our past living rooms have always been my least favorite room in the entire house. Our couch was a really old hand-me-down and I couldn’t stand how uncomfortable it was. I dreaded watching TV from it and usually chose to sit on the floor. I dreamed about having a comfortable living room in our next rental because it’s the main “hangout” spot in the house and the one room I’ve always dreaded. I wanted to have a space that I really enjoyed lounging in at the end of a hard day at work and a space where I could have friends over and make them feel comfortable. I can honestly say our new living room exceeds my expectations in both design and comfort. I was able to achieve a natural and minimal style that I love so much and incorporate some furniture in my favorite color—olive green!
I’ve always been so intrigued by WallyGro products and couldn’t stop gushing over these living walls people were creating in their homes. When I set up the office space and had a big empty wall to fill, I immediately started playing with the idea of a WallyGro plant wall! I photoshopped some different planters on my wall and knew I had to order some right away! There’s just something so special about having plants in your home. I always feel more calm when I’m surrounded by plants and it brings a smile to my face to have them in my own home. I love taking care of them and watching them grow—it’s so soothing and rewarding. I truly love bringing life indoors, and using WallyGro planters was the best way to do it!
First, I really wanted to chose plants that didn’t require a ton of water since I would need to get a stool to reach the top Eco planters! Secondly, I knew my west-facing window didn’t give a ton of light, so I wanted plants with a more moderate light requirement! I absolutely love heart leaf philodendrons, so I knew I wanted to incorporate those somehow! I decided to go for a more symmetrical look and make the entire bottom row of Eco planters philodendrons! For the top row, I wanted something a bit different. Originally, I wanted ZZ plants, but chose to go with Chinese Evergreens instead! I love the grass-like look it has and I feel like it balances out the viney look of the philodendrons. For the Loop planters I just couldn’t imagine a better plant than snake plants! I’m not sure why—but I just love the look of a snake plant in the Loop planters, and they are one of the easiest plants to care for so it was a win-win!
Renting has definitely been the biggest design obstacle! If I had it my way, I’d rip out all the carpet and have hard floors, have open shelving in the kitchen, replace light fixtures, paint the walls any color I’d like etc. Though I’d love to do all of these things, I love that renting forces me to get creative! There’s so much you can do to a rental to make it unique and fit your style if you just do some digging and think outside the box! Nowadays they have so many incredible temporary products like peel and stick flooring, wallpaper, and wall decals. You can add peel and stick contact paper and tile to your cabinets, countertops, and backsplash to completely transform your kitchen. You can even contact paper your refrigerator—the possibilities are endless! The rental community on Instagram and Pinterest is absolutely incredible and everyone is always coming up with ideas I’d never even think of! One of my friends decided to do a completely renter friendly board and batten wall in her bedroom and I was SHOCKED! Though I can’t do all the renovations I’d like to, being a renter is so much fun and I love sharing my projects with everyone! Sometimes you can feel really stuck as a renter and live in a space that never truly feels like “you”—I want to share with people that it IS possible to make your rental space feel like home—one DIY project at a time.
Thanks to Rachel for sharing her thoughts and her methods with us! See her work online: