Everyone knows that moving is a massive pain. But few people know that special kind of hell that is moving to a new space, often in a new city, for a very short period of time. I just moved from LA to SF to work at WIRED for the summer, and how to decorate a space that I'm only renting for three months has been tough. So I was excited to see a new post on Design*Sponge about a maker couple dealing with an eight-week sublet, an even bigger challenge than the one I faced.
Tara Mangini and Percy Bright, who run a vintage shop and design business, did a wonderful job with turning a space that isn't theirs into a welcoming home. They built a simple platform bed, more suited to their needs than the black iron bed that that came with the apartment, and picked up a few tasteful pieces from Ikea. With the addition of some simple DIY shelving units and unique art, their short-term rental feels a lot more comfortable than living with other peoples stuff for months on end.
My biggest DIY accomplishment in my temporary SF home was building myself a desk. Back in LA, I have a beautiful and authentic (but massive and insanely heavy) mid-century modern desk, and there was no way I was going to attempt to bring that up north to only have to bring it back down to LA again three months later. So I bought a pair of sawhorse legs and some plywood with a nice color to it and made a new desk. Turned out pretty nice — I almost like it better than my clunky "classic" desk — and it only cost me about $30 to make. I also left my custom-built record shelf (and all my records, sigh!) back in LA, and picked up a cheapy $20 bookcase from Ikea that doesn't look half bad.
Nothing compares to having a space that is all your own, filled with your furniture, art, and tchotches. But there are some easy and cheap DIY projects that can make living in a stranger's home less uncomfortable until a more permanent housing situation becomes available, and Mangini and Bright's work serves as an inspiration.