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| Renter’s Tips

Shop the Style: Queen of DIY

Toronto Apartments for Rent

Furniture’s really expensive, so I decided to make it myself.” – Kyla

In Kyla’s apartment, her décor means more than just style and design. It’s a direct representation of who she is, and she’s worked hard to cultivate a cozy space to call her home. By collecting family mementos and sourcing second-hand gems (and reviving them with crafty Do-It-Yourself projects) Kyla has created an apartment that is undeniably hers.

Kyla’s approach to apartment décor is a great reminder to all renters that 1) you don’t have to break the bank to have a beautiful apartment, and 2) adding your own personal touch makes the space feel comfortably your own.

However, Kyla’s imagination and artistic ability gives her a unique edge. It allows her to creatively use items in ways they might not have been made for, creating an apartment aesthetic unlike anyone else’s.

Here are Kyla’s top 3 tips to create a space that is eco-friendly, budget-friendly, and renter-friendly!

Family, First

Kyla was lucky to come from an artistic family where she could collect beautiful home treasures for free. For example, the stunning antique mirror in her bedroom was gifted to her from her grandmother. The mirror not only adds sentimental value, but also works to make the room feel bigger. Its intricate gold detailing matches perfectly with Kyla’s eclectic apartment style, too.

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Craigslist, Second

Kyla’s go-to for furniture shopping is Craigslist. It’s a fantastic community tool to score great deals and get what you need, fast. Bonus: buying second-hand furniture is better for the environment, too!

She was able to find her couch, dresser, and the unique bronze giraffes that surround her TV, Ruby and Ira. This is where Kyla’s innovative eye gives her an advantage. None of these pieces looked the way they do now when Kyla bought them. The couch cushions were lime green with red polka dots, the dresser featured an unappealing green stain, and Ruby was missing her flower crown. But Kyla knew a little creativity and elbow grease could give them new life! She expertly covered the sofa cushions with a neutral fabric, stripped the dresser of the green and gave it a fresh coat of white paint and brand-new hardware, and she handcrafted Ruby’s crown from flowers.

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More Art, Third

Lots of walls calls for lots of artwork if you ask Kyla! Adding art not only brightens up the space, it’s also another way to incorporate some personality. Lucky for Kyla, she was an art student and used her bare apartment walls as a chance to test her skills by hanging her original canvas. But, if you haven’t been blessed with the same artistic talent as Kyla has, don’t worry – she also creatively frames wrapping paper and hangs it on the wall for an inexpensive art hack!

Another cool trick Kyla made was to create art out of, well, not art! She collected a driftwood branch, decorated it with Christmas ornaments, and hung it as a focal point behind her sofa. Voilà – art!

Tip: when hanging artwork in an apartment for rent, it’s best to use removable Command Picture Hanging Strips so you don’t damage the walls. This quick video shows how easily they work!

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So, to shop Kyla’s style all you need is a strong internet connection, a little patience, and a whole lot of imagination!

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  1. Sofa – Kyla’s comfy sofa was purchased on Craigslist for only $100, but you can get look-a-like versions at IKEA and Structube for relatively inexpensively, too. Or, stick with the DIY theme and do it like Kyla did! Fabricana will be your best friend if you choose this option.
  2. Driftwood Art – On your next trip to the beach, keep your eyes pealed for a long, sturdy branch like the one Kyla hung. Be selective and choose one with little bark and good branches to hang your ornaments.
  3. Wrapping Paper Art – Do you have a wrapping paper you love? Maybe one that once wrapped a precious gift with fond memories? Carefully unravel it, measure it to fit your frame and precisely cut it to size for a quick, budget-friendly art piece. Need inspiration? This Unique Wrapping Paper from Amazon would do the trick, too!
  4. Giraffe – These corky giraffes make Kyla’s rental fun and unique. Sometimes, art doesn’t have to be hung on the walls to make an impact!
  5. Wishbone Chair – Kyla’s wishbone chair adds an element of mid-century modern flare! You can pick this up at Structube.

Key Takeaways from Kyla

  • Make Your Mark (metaphorically, of course): Kyla is proof that you can make your rental apartment a home by choosing items that resonate sentimental value.
  • Be Open-Minded: If you find yourself surfing through Craigslist ad after Craigslist ad with no luck, try thinking outside of the box. Maybe it doesn’t look like what you need right now, but with a few simple tweaks it could be perfect!
  • Artwork Goes a Long Way: Whether you’ve painted it yourself, framed wrapping paper, or purchased a piece that you love – artwork makes all the difference!

Watch Kyla’s full apartment tour here!

Feelin’ crafty yet? If you use any of Kyla’s creative DIY’s in your rental apartment, we’d love to see! Show off your tricks and tag us using #MyHollyburn on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook.

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