Command Hooks are a Renters Best Friend: command hook window treatments

I am not receiving any compensation for writing about 3M Command products, I just happen to really love them, and Ill be showcasing some of my favorite uses for them over the next few weeks.

Just like with painting policies, every landlord/housing management office has its own rules about holes in the wall. Some dont want any, some dont mind small ones as long as theyre filled before you go, and some dont even care if you fill them. Whatever your limitations, command hooks can help.

I believe that hanging window treatments, bringing in nice lighting and putting art on the walls are three of the most important things you can do to make your house feel more like a home. But for today were just going to address the window treatments. How do you hang curtains without nails, screws or at the very least thumbtacks?

Given the title of this post, I think you know the answer.

command hook hung curtain rods

Morgan of The Handcrafted Life hung these curtains using these hooks. She painted the base of the hook to match the wall and the hook portion to match the curtain rods. [tutorial]. Keep in mind that each hook has its own weight limit, and is should say what the limit is in the upper right hand corner of the package. I believe that the weight limit for these particular hooks is 3lbs each. Since there are two hooks per curtain rod, the weight of the curtain rod combined with the weight of the curtains needs to weigh less than 6lbs. If you had heavier curtains, or you were using a longer curtain rod, you could put a hook in the center for extra support.

diy curtain tie back

If you want to be able to tie your curtains back, follow Ashleys simple instructions over at Homemakers Challange, and just replace the screw in hook with a removable one.

french doors with curtains

Abby of Steals+Deals used command hooks (right side up and upside down) to hold the curtains on her offices french doors in place. For more details click here.

oddly shaped front door window treatments

Steph of Hearts and Laser Beams used a single store bought curtain panel, cut up, stitched up, buttonholed and secured in place with small command hooks to cover the oddly sized windows flanking her front door. [tutorial]

faux roman shades

Meredith of Welcome to Heardmont made these cheater roman shades using small command hooks to create the folds. Her tutorial calls for nails or screws to secure the top part to the wall, but you could probably get away with using 3M picture and frame hangers to keep your walls hole free. [tutorial]

black out shade before and after

This last one is more for function than form, but as someone who likes to sleep past sunrise, I think it deserves a mention. Lori of Family|Love|Home made these no-sew/no wall damage blackout shades to keep her kids, and by extension herself, in bed just a little bit longer each morning. [tutorial]

Blog Note: I wont be able to do any of my own home projects for a few weeks, so you can expect mostly round ups and maybe a mood board or two until mid April.However, if you have a question, tip, or submission, I would love to feature it here. At the top of this page there is a link to my submission page. Please dont be shy. I promise I dont bite.

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Container Vegetable Garden for Small Spaces

Today is the first day of Spring! Happy Equinox! Spring is gardening time, but for many of us in temporary digs, we either cant plant in our yards or we dont even have a yard to plant in. Luckily, just about anything that grows in the ground can grow in a container. So even if all you have is a tiny patio, you can still have your very own container vegetable garden.  The photo above is a great example of what you can do with just a little outdoor space. This is Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings patio container garden. Today Im going to cover some of the easiest veggies to grow in small containers, for those of you who dont have much space.


Lettuce and other greens like spinach are perfect for small container gardening. Check out the article Container Gardening: How to grow lettuce if your short on space by Megan Phillip on The Mindful Word for instructions on how to grow your own.

Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images


Beans are another garden staple that can be easily grown in containers. Bonnie Grant of Gardening Know How, explains how to do it in her article Potting Mix and Container Size for Growing Beans Tips on How To Gro Beans In Pots.



Are you a fan of spicy foods? Whether your preference is for spicy jalapenos or mild bell peppers, Growing PeppersA Delight for the Eye as well as the Taste Buds from Grow it Organically tells you everything you need to know about growing any kind of pepper. The container gardening instructions are towards the bottom of the article. Keep in mind that depending on the pepper, you may need a larger container.


Yeah, I know not everyone loves them, but if you are a lover of this little red root, or you just a really big fan of Luna Lovegood, then try growing some radishes this year. GeekGardener explains how to do it in their post How to Grow Radishes in Containers.

Small Cucumbers

You can grow any type of cucumber in a container, but the bigger ones require larger containers, so if youre looking to save space try some smaller varieties. Steve Albert of Harvest to the Table has a post on cucumber varieties that includes a section on space-saver varieties. He also has a post on Cucumber Growing Tips.


I always thought that carrots could only be grown in the ground, but luckily I was wrong. Manuela of A Cultivated Nest successfully grew a nice little crop of carrots in a pot.  Go read her Growing Carrots in a Container post for more information.



I cant cook, eat, think about or even talk/write about beets without quietly singing oh ee oh, Killer Tofu to myself. I know that like radishes, not everyone is a fan.  I personally love them roasted or pickled. I think Ill try growing some this year, and you should too. If you need a little help the Hubpage article Growing Beets in Containers is full of useful information.

Hopefully Ive inspired some of you to grow some of your own food this year, even if you dont have much space for gardening. Ill be starting and documenting my own gardening efforts sometime next month. There may even be some green house building fun.

Do you have experience with container gardening? Is it something that youre interested in starting? Leave me a comment, and lets talk about it.

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Tiny Dining Room vs. Big Dining Table

If you recall from my very first post, I posted the layout of our house, and I made a few notes on it about the dining room.

floor planIt only made sense for the dining room to be connected to the kitchen, rather than out in the carpeted living/dining room. Unfortunately, as you can see, the dimensions of the dining room are already pretty small, but its made even smaller by that breakfast bar (that is way too tall to be an actual breakfast bar) jutting out into it. This is our current set up.

our dining room now

Our dining set is a bit on the big side (48 wide 30 tall, and those chairs are pretty bulky), and thats without the extra leaf and 2 additional chairs. We did discover that with this configuration it is possible for 4 people to somewhat comfortably eat a meal together, but Im not a fan of the way it looks, and I dont like that the person sitting on the far side of the table closest to the wall is kind of trapped there, until the person sitting next to them gets up. Well be keeping this dining set regardless of whether or not we continue to use it in this house. Its too nice, and we got it at too good of a price for me to be willing to part with it. I have a few ideas for what we could do.

As far as keeping the table and chairs, we could just remove one chair so theres a little more room. Its typically just the two of us, and we usually eat dinner on the couch anyway, but I would like to be able to have people over for dinner sometimes. We could move the table out into the giant living room/office when we want to be able to seat more people, but the thought of having to do that really annoys me for some reason.

Now, if we opted to put the whole thing in storage and start over fresh I have a few ideas and because I cant stand the thought of buying a crappier, smaller dining set for more than we paid for this one, most of my ideas are at least partially DIY.

Im going to go ahead and backtrack now. When I said that the idea of pulling the table into the living room annoys me, I only meant if its normally residing in out dining room. If we had a more suitable table for our dinging room, I wouldnt mind pulling the big one out for dinner parties or holidays. Is that weird?

At this point I think everybody already knows that Im more than a little bit in love with hair pin legs. So it should come as no surprise that Im a big fan of these two tables.

hair pin round table

Kate, of For Me, For you, made this round dining table with a premade table top, some stain and 4 hairpin legs. I can do that! Too bad I cant also score those sweet chairs on craigslist. [instructions] She also made a desk using hairpin legs, which I think might also make a really nice dining table.

square hairpin table

Same idea, different shape. This one was made by web designer Ashli Nixon. She also made (and by made I mean painted) that striped rug. Check out her website for more details.

pipe table

Ive also considered doing pipe legs like Mark of marybicycles. Obviously I would do this on a smaller scale, probably a square table instead of rectangular, but its the same basic idea. [instructions]

Other than that, the only thing Ive come across that seems doable is readymade unfinished furniture. Like this. And I havent even started thinking about chairs yet

What do you think? How do I make my tiny dining room both functional and stylish?


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White Wall Living Part 1

I know that many renters and military families are stuck with a no paint lease, leaving them to work with plain white or off white walls. That probably seems pretty boring to most people, but you can still put together a great room with white walls. Heres the proof:

This is how you rock a pink couch and white walls. Creative Studio Tour of Photographer Jeremy Harwell on Decor8

Simple Nordic Design. I really love that rug and the stump. via The Designer Pad.

I like the bright yellow, and think that this would be easy to pull off in a rental, because its not a real fire place. All youd need to do is buy a mantle, paint it, and stick it up against the wall .  Studio Tour of Regas NY via bklynbrideonline

White walls, white shelves, white couch, and this room still manages to to be colorful. Designed by Nate Berkus.

If you click through the link, there are more pictures of this house. The design style is eclectic and its full of vintage pieces and all white walls . . The website isnt in English, but the link is to the Google English translation. Via  Planete Deco.

Scandinavian design with animal prints and a giant A. More on the minimalist side. via Ghoofie Design.

Both white walls and a small space. These people know how to work with what theyve got. You can see the full house tour by following the link. Home Tour: Greetings from Vienna on Decor8.

There is hope. Dont despair over that no paint policy, just work around it and send me some pictures after you do.

P.S. looking back at this post, I see that two of the pictures may actually have gray walls, but I think they would work just as well with white walls, so theyre staying.




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Wall Mounted TV with Hidden Cords

Over the weekend we mounted our TV, and sunk the wires into the wall. This isnt really going to be a tutorial, because we used kits (will provide links) for both projects, but I did take some process shots.

tv before

This is the before shot. I actually didnt mind it like this (aside from the fact that it was a little messy that day), but my husband really likes mounted TVs, and since I dont really have much of an opinion on the subject, mounted TV it was. My only requirement was that he sink the wires into the wall, because I didnt want to have a bunch of ugly wires hanging down below the TV like we did in our last place.

attaching wall mount

We used this mounting system, which comes with full instructions. It  mounts very close to the wall, and we ended up deciding not to use the safety straps after my husband poked himself in the eye with a wire hanger trying to get the TV off the wall.

(Insert picture that I forgot to take of the TV mounted on the wall before we sunk the wires whoops. Im slacking guys. Sorry)

We used this kit to hide the wires in the wall. Now we may actually be violating the terms of our lease my doing this, Im not sure. It does require cutting two sizable circles out of the drywall we should be able to patch them back in and paint over them when we move out, but if you arent willing to take that risk, then Ill be giving you some alternatives at the end of this post.

holes in the wall

So, like I said, the kit comes with a circular drywall cutting tool. You cut two holes, one hole behind where the TV will be, and another down by where your outlets/dvd players/gaming consoles/etc are. In our case the lower hole will be covered by our media console thingy (technical term).

wires coming out of top hole wire coming out of bottom hole

The kit comes with a hook to help pull the wires through the wall, and these white plastic covers to make things a little prettier. The top one even has an electrical outlet in it that you can plug the TV into.

behind the tv

This picture shows that when they say flat mount, they arent kidding. This thing is practically one with the wall.

tv mounted

and the after. Look Ma, no ugly cords. I know that the TV isnt centered over the media console, were actually planning on moving the console over so that the right side lines up with the right edge of the TV, and then maybe mounting some shelves or hanging some art on the left side. Looking at this, Im even kind of tempted to do another IKEA leg makeover but thats for another day.

As promised here are a few alternatives for those of you who dont want to cut circles out of your drywall.

1. You could just leave your TV on a media stand. Really, it looks fine, and its a lot less effort.

2.  You can get a wire cover like this.

wire cover

3. You could try to prettify them like Jen of InsideWays did. [tutorial]


And a few ideas that I dont have pictures of, but I still think might work:

– you could wallpaper a piece of plywood, cut out a hole for the TV mounting device, attach the plywood to the wall, and have the wires run underneath it.

– you could try strategically leaning or hanging framed art work around and under your TV to conceal the cords.

If you have any other ideas about how to hide not so attractive TV cords, please share them in the comments.


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When You Cant Paint Part 1: Tape WallPaper

Whether painting is strictly forbidden in your lease, or youre just not willing to paint a place that you might be leaving at a moments notice, many of us in temporary digs end up living with white walls. Now theres nothing wrong with white walls. They can look great with the right decor. Ill even be posting some white wall living inspiration in the future, but if those white walls are starting to bore you, dont fret. There are plenty of non-paint options. Today were going to explore what you can do with a simple roll of washi or masking tape (which are essentially the same thing, except washi tape is adorable because everything is cuter in Japan).

Jenny of Little Green Notebook, created a faux diamond wallpaper with four rolls of aqua washi tape.

you can find the how to here. I havent found very many other examples of people using this method, but I found plenty of pattern inspiration (I was considering doing this on the walls in our last place, so Ive already done some inspiration hunting).

herringbone via apartment therapy

 starburst via 4men1lady

striped hexagons via depositphotos

1. Chevron Print via Schumacher 2. Ikat Zig Zag via Royal Design Studio 3. Hexagon Weave via DecorPad 4. More Chevron via Spoonflower

Obviously these are just a few options. You could always go with stripes or zig zags, or maybe even polka dots if you have a craft punch. Geometric patterns made up of straight lines are going to work best, since tape is essentially just a straight line. Something simple like the diamond pattern might work for a whole room, but for a more complicated design I would suggest just doing an accent wall.

When it comes to tape selection, the options are pretty much endless.

Theres every color of washi tape imaginable, via Happy Tape

And all manner of printed washi tape as well. These are pretty basic patterns. but you can get lots of cute illustrated ones as well, via Cute Tape.

Scotch tape is even making decorative masking tapes now. I found 4 solid colors and 2 patterned versions (one not pictured). via Office Depot

This is by no means the ultimate list of tape sources. Just do an etsy search for washi tape, and you will find yourself 5 hours later still scrolling through the options.

Just remember that this kind of project is only advised with masking and washi tape. Duct tape, and other types of tape could end up damaging your walls.

Im still thinking about trying this in our new house. If you end up creating your own version of this project, send me a picture or link. I would love to see your results and feature you on Temporary Digs.


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