Reader OMG! – Tania’s Renter-Friendly Boho Decor
Reader OMG! is a series showcasing home tours from my favorite people…The DIY Playbook readers! Every month or so, I highlight the home of someone with some serious design style. I hope that these swoon-worthy spaces will make you say “OMG”…hence the name! It also gives me a chance to feature home styles outside of my own, so you can take away some fresh ideas for your space.
We have featured so many amazing homes in the series, check them all out here. Here are some of my favorites…
- Andrea’s City City Condo
- Tracey’s Beach House
- Vanessa’s DIY Cabin in the Woods
- Cindu’s Historic Chicago Home
- Sophia’s Mozambique Safe Haven
- Molly’s Charming Condo
Tania’s Boho Rental
- Homeowner: Tania, her husband Steve, and two cats
- Location: Chicago, Illinois
- Home Type: 2 Bedroom, 1 Bath apartment
- Year Built: 1901
- Describe your Home Style: My style is boho chic with an artsy flair. I have a playful approach to styling and love to mix and match contemporary pieces with boho textiles and vintage finds.
- Favorite Spot in your House: The dining room. I love to bring my laptop and work on the round table, facing the living room. I like multipurpose rooms and open spaces, and I get a great view of the two rooms and how they flow and work together from my favorite spot.
I met Tania many years ago and have liked her ever since. She and her husband, Steve, are good friends with good friends of ours – Jon & Christina – whose home you toured here! We would run into them a few times a year and we always had such great vibes with them. You know the people that are just easy to be around? That’s Steve and Tania.
Tania is an artist through and through. She paints and is also a jewelry designer. I saw her at a party over the summer and loved all of the necklaces she was wearing. I love the look of layering necklaces, but somehow mine always end up in a tangled bunch.
She told me that she would design some pieces for me to wear that wouldn’t tangle. We set a date for me to go over to her place and pick out what I wanted. (If you want to check out her amazing jewelry and artwork, you can find it here.)
Renter-Friendly Boho Decor
Oh my goodness. Guys, I wasn’t expecting to see the cutest freakin’ place ever, with such a welcoming atmosphere. Steve and Tania live in a historic rental in the Lakeview area of the city and she has turned it into a gorgeous place with bohemian flair. I immediately asked her if we could feature her home on the blog. Luckily, she said “Yes” and I went back a few weeks later to shoot her home myself.
This is a rental, yet it is far from generic with white walls and no character.
Instead, it oozes charm and personality and showcases the style of this hip couple. All of the art on the walls was made by Tania and she has styled every surface to perfection, with antique store finds and sometimes even dumpster-diving finds! I want this home tour to be an example of what you can do, outside of large DIY home renovations, to give your home personality. Get ready for lots of renter-friendly DIYs and major inspo from these bohemian vibes!
The Living Room
This living room is a great example of Tania’s boho style. A gray sectional on its own could go with just about any style, but she adds a jute woven rug, baskets for different textures, and gorgeous throw pillows to add pattern and life to the small space. Those natural materials really bring out the boho look.
Tania painted the wall art above the sofa and I love the scale of the two pieces taking up about 2/3rd the width of the couch. It’s a gorgeous focal point and really makes it a feature wall of the living room.
The hairpin table was a find from the alley! It was missing a leg, but she liked the size and shape as a coffee table. She cleaned it up, painted it, and gave it new legs! The wood table was just a stump that she found next to a construction site. She cleaned it up and varnished it so she could safely bring it into her home. She then pairs the two different sizes of tables next to each other for one large look. I love these budget-friendly ideas to finish off a space and give that bohemian vibe to a room.
The Entryway & Dining Room
First, let’s discuss the entryway. Tania said she likes to think of the door and the small spaces next to it as their mini entryway. She changes things up, seasonally, to capture the mood she wants to feel upon walking in. For summer, she showcased a collection of hats and oversized baskets on the door. It’s super practical for storage and adds a beautiful texture to the plain white door. These are budget-friendly ways to get rid of that rental feel and make a space feel more personal.
Next to it, she has a bench with a beautiful tribal lumbar pillow with earthy tones. She told me she is on the lookout for a vintage dresser to add more storage to this area, along with an oversized mirror. I can’t wait to see when she finds the perfect piece!
As for the rest of the dining room, those built-ins are a SHOWSTOPPER. My mouth fell open when I saw them. The detailing is incredible. She found lots of vintage barware to display and even miniature cocktail glasses!
I love how she mixes contemporary pieces with the very ornate traditional look of the built-in. The white tulip table has clean lines and works beautifully next to that vintage backdrop. Overhead, she swapped an outdated light fixture for a textured basket shade.
Tania has made the most of this small kitchen. She was originally considering buying a custom-made piece as her kitchen island, but then a good friend offered her this table that had been sitting in her garage for years. She cleaned it up and added wheels to the bottom so it could easily move around. This is absolutely genius, especially for a rental home. I love how she styled it with flowers, plants, and other natural elements.
The trays above the island were a thrift store find, underneath a pile of books. Tania is such an amazing thrifter and I love how she gives new life to pieces and sees past their original purpose. She swears by double-sided wall tape to hang things on her walls, without putting too many holes in them. I’m also a big fan of command strips for gallery walls. Gotta get that security deposit back, right?
The Home Office
Tania and her husband will both use this space when they need to close the door and have a conference call. It’s a good spot to sit and get work done. And I’m not surprised to hear that Tania made a DIY project out of almost every piece in this entire room. She found the desk in the alley. Originally, it was a coffee table and she switched out the legs. The bookshelf used to be a light wood and she painted it white and gray to blend in with the paint colors of the room and take up less visual space.
The small side table was another piece of furniture that was a thrift store find. She had no idea what she was going to use it for but scooped it up because it was the right mix of vintage and industrial. It’s moved around their home, but it feels just right in this space. Here’s what Tania has to say about vintage shopping…
It’s funny, a lot of people see something like this and say “I could never do that,” or “That would never fit in with my stuff.” But the thing is you can’t just plop any vintage piece in with non-vintage furniture and décor pieces. The best way to do it is by peppering in one-of-a-kind, vintage finds with character. So, get thee to flea markets and look for something similar to add personality to your place.
Outdoor space in the city is a wonderful luxury and Tania has made the most of this little slice of heaven. She said while she can’t have an outdoor dinner party, she definitely has one-on-one cocktail hour conversations out here that are epic!
Again, she made the large pieces in this space. The couch is made out of pallets because she couldn’t find anything small enough to fit the balcony and low enough to not block the view. She then added cushions right on top. The side table is a wood stump she brought home from a hike. She cleaned it and weatherproofed it and now it’s the perfect outdoor side table.
Shop The Look – Tania’s Boho Rental
I mean, are you guys blown away yet, or what? I left this photoshoot feeling so inspired. Plus, I was peeking my head down the alleys around me to see if I could find hidden gems just like Tania did. I think this is my motivation to hit up thrift stores more often…
A huge thank you to Tania for opening up her home to us and encouraging us with her renter-friendly bohemian decor ideas. You can shop her artwork and jewelry right here and follow her on Instagram for artsy inspiration!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.