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This Homeowner Turned An Old 3-Room Rental Flat Into A Chic Bachelorette Pad With $0 Spent On Reno

17 April 2023 | BY

Interior stylists changed this old and cluttered rental flat into a chic, resort-like home on a small budget.

resort bachelorette pad

One of the biggest headaches about renting is that you can’t make any major changes to your home because, at the end of the day, it ain’t yours. However, landlord limitations haven’t stopped people from getting creative and turning a drab space into a vibrant abode. 

In 2021, interior stylists Sum Of Us gave this old, dusty, and cluttered rental flat a monochromatic makeover to turn it into a super chic bachelorette pad.  There was one catch: the homeowner had a budget of $5,000 to make it work.

Old 3-room rental flat makeover

The condition of the 3-room rental flat that homeowner Edlyn moved into was, for lack of a better word, “used.” However, through the grime and clutter, she saw potential in the space and set her heart on transforming it into a resort-like place where she could comfortably work from. But she also knew she couldn’t do it alone. This is where Sum Of Us enters the picture.

Edlyn reached out to the team after coming across their work and they immediately came back with a lookbook that checked all of her requirements: a monochromatic home with hints of warm wood that can have her feel like she’s living in a seaside resort. 

bachelorette pad - living room with cluterThe living room before.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

resort bachelorette pad with green sofa and wooden coffee tableThe living room after.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

However, Edlyn was reluctant to spend a huge chunk of change on sprucing up a place that wasn’t her permanent home. So she set aside $5,000 for the team at Sum Of Us to work with. It might not seem like much on paper, but they made the tight budget work.

Working with a budget of $5,000

A $5,000 budget to transform a 700sqft apartment is not easy, and it was something that Sum Of Us had to consider carefully when curating the pieces that will go into the space. One way they did it was to scour furniture stores for pre-loved pieces that looked expensive and tasteful while still remaining wallet-friendly. 

bachelorette pad - dining room with clutterThe dining room before.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

resort bachelorette pad with wooden dining table and black decorThe dining room after.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

It helped that the base of the house came in neutral white tones so it was a good foundation to work on. Plus, there were only a couple of rooms to tackle for the redesign, mainly the living room, dining room, bedroom, and the second bedroom which would be Edlyn’s home office.

But before the team at Sum Of Us brought in any new pieces of furniture, they made one tweak that wouldn’t eat into the budget at all: reconfiguring the rooms to be more spacious and practical. “You will be surprised how such a little tweak in the layout can make a big difference and add more personality to the space,” Sum Of Us said about this change.

“Now, one can feel a positive energy just entering the house.”

messy bachelorette padThe old configuration of the apartment.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

One of the most significant changes made was centring the dining room around the dining table. It was previously tucked away in one dark corner of the room, and Sum Of Us moved it to the centre of the space during the transformation. This gives the communal experience shared around the dining table a bigger priority when Edlyn hosts her friends and family.

The sofa was also rearranged so it had its back against the wall instead of floating in the middle. This way, the different spaces don’t feel as segregated and the whole space has a more cohesive vibe.

And when it came to finally styling the place, Sum Of Us and Edlyn sourced pieces that embodied “bougie on a budget.” Simple DIY projects were taken on and IKEA shopping trips were made for the little details like changing the colour of a lamp and the photo frames that dotted the space.

bachelorette pad - bedroom with window and bedThe bedroom before.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

resort bachelorette pad with mirror and sheets and beanbagThe bedroom after the transformation.
Image credit: Sum Of Us

But not everything was nickel-and-dimed. Edlyn was willing to splurge a bit more on pieces that could follow her to her next home too, mainly well-made rugs for the living room and quality bedsheets from Sunday Bedding.

“[The sheets] were expensive, but they provided the ultimate comfort I needed to lounge around at home and made my bedroom the perfect place to snooze in and recover,” she said.

Once the final pieces were in place, Edlyn tallied up the costs and was pleased that she and the team at Sum Of Us kept to her budget. “I won’t say I made savings, but I made good value purchases that made a rental home feel like a proper home.”

Tips on transforming a rental home

Aside from reconfiguring the layout of the home to breathe new life into it, Sum Of Us has plenty more tips on how fellow renters can transform their temporary accommodations into a cosy, personable home.

tv console with lamp and black framesImage credit: Sum Of Us

First off is to look beyond IKEA and check out online stores or even Carousell for affordable furniture. “There are also great options which might look more elegant and help to create an expensive look without burning a hole in their pockets,” Sum Of Us said.

Also, but not least, it can be worthwhile to invest in quality pieces, especially modular furniture. “As long as it’s not fixed carpentry, you can bring it along with you when you move,” they said.

And last but not least, it’s worth asking your landlord if they can give the house a fresh coat of paint before you move in. “Sometimes they touch up the house a little if the original condition is lacking,” Sum Of Us explained. “In this instance, you get the opportunity to choose interesting accent colours for some of the spaces.” 

Styling a monochromatic resort-like bachelorette pad

bachelorette pad living roomImage credit: Sum Of Us

Styling a rental apartment might seem like a low-priority endeavour for some. But when you’re going to be spending at least a year there, it’s important to make it a homely environment so that you’ll have someplace to relax and unwind. If you lack the time to curate pieces of furniture and place them in the right positions, that’s where Sum Of Us can step in to help.

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Cover image adapted from: Sum Of Us

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