Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › A Real Life Renters Story: My Passion for Handmade, Sentimental Décor

If someone were to ask me what my biggest passion is in terms of my home and my perspective as a renter, my absolute answer is handmade, sentimental décor.

Why sentimental décor? In my opinion, the best part of my house has nothing to do with the walls or the architecture or the appliances or the floors. The best part of my house is who I share it with: my family!

Over the past year, my family has lived in not just one home, not just two homes, but in three different homes! Based on my husband’s job relocation, we moved from the house we owned in February 2013. We rented a house for six months and then relocated again to a new rental house in October 2013. Now in our third home of the year, it’s been quite the design lesson to learn how to make each of these different places feel like home. My answer? Handmade, sentimental décor.

When I look around my home and see décor that is personalized for my family, I instantly feel at home. Whether it’s a piece that has our names on it, art that contains a Bible verse or song lyrics that are special to us or even just photos of my family, personalized décor makes me feel connected to the space.

Because I have such a passion for personalized, sentimental décor, one of my hobbies is to create this type of décor for my home. There’s nothing I love more than DIYing (do-it-yourselfing!) a piece of décor that I can put in my home for my family to love. I’m certainly no artist, but my passion for sentimental décor drives me to learn how to create pieces that are special to us.

Here are a few of my favorite DIY sentimental décor projects that I’ve created for my family!

While I was pregnant with my son, I made him this sweet piece of art out of scrapbook paper and canvas. We live in Atlanta, so I created the city’s skyline with important buildings and landmarks that he’ll recognize later on in his life. Learn more about this art piece here. I think it’s so special that he has a rendering of the city he lives in right on his bedroom walls.

While we’re not typically very sappy people, I created a handmade piece of art for my husband a few years ago. It’s simply a print of “I love you” in sign language pasted and framed onto some pretty scrapbook paper. This sweet, sentimental art still sits on my husband’s side of the dresser. Not only is a DIY project like this simple and easy, but it’s awesome décor, as well!

When my family decided we wanted an herb garden in the middle of winter, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a sweet little garden wall in our kitchen! Learn about how I created this garden wall right here. By simply adding these plants to our space with a few nails on the wall, I created an area that was pretty, functional for my family’s needs and special to us.

A couple of years ago, I created this rustic pallet inspired art from free wood that was in my basement! I painted one of my favorite quotes on the surface of the wood and hung it in my living room. Actually, it has traveled with us and been on the walls of all three living rooms over the past year! A full how-to tutorial can be found here.

While art is certainly a very important part of our home décor, I also like to create sentimental, personalized décor from furniture, as well. Last year, I updated a standard, boring bookshelf and created a fun, colorful piece that represents my family’s personality. You can read about how I painted this shelf right here. We store our shoes on this shelf every single day. And, every single day, I smile at this fun shelf and it’s colorful, patterned design!

It’s pretty clear that when it comes to my home, whether it’s an apartment, a rental home or a home I own, I am passionate about sentimental décor. By creating these simple pieces and displaying them in my home (and many, many more that I have worked on over the years!), I feel like I am creating a special place for my family to live. No matter what building we are actually living in!

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About :

Michelle is a southern gal with an eye for designing rooms on the cheap and a mouth that either makes you laugh or gets her in trouble. Over at her blog, Ten June, she shares stories about the renovation of her 1952 ranch in north Georgia, her family’s recent move into a rental home in a new city and all of the DIY home improvement, design and decor projects she's done along the way. Michelle's also that girl you see parked at a red light, blasting rap music and dancing her little heart out like no one's watching. It's true. She's really good at dancing the sprinkler. The rest of the cast of characters over at Michelle's house include her handy hubby David, their adorable toddler (who they've affectionately nicknamed HDawg), their loyal mutt Tucker and their sweet baby bean #2 on the way, expected to arrive in early March, 2014! Follow Michelle at her blog, Ten June, or on Instagram or Twitter at @tenjuneblog.


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