At a recent dinner party of friends and fellow renters, we all agreed that being a renter means never truly settling in: you can't always paint the interior, drill holes in the wall, rewire lighting, or rip up your unattractive carpet (though one couple at the party scandalously did so anyway).
Inspired by our renting woes, I came up with a list of 10 investment ideas that are both versatile and enduring classics you'll want to take with you from rental to rental.
Against the Wall
Above: West Elm's Whitewashed Wood and Metal Shelves allow for a small library without drilling into the wall and are on wheels for easy moving; $899.
Above: A floor mirror adds depth to an otherwise small room or hallway. The Metal Floor Mirror with a brushed nickel frame leans perfectly against the wall; $299 from West Elm.
Living and Lighting
Above: When overhead lighting isn't an option, Gubi's Grasshopper Floor Lamp will travel with you through every move; $875 from Design Within Reach.
Above: When you can't hang Tse & Tse's pendant lights from your ceiling, an alternative is their Cornet Clip Lamp for clipping onto furniture or wall brackets; $205 from Horne. See more clip lights in our 10 Easy Pieces: Clip-On Lights.
Above: A free-standing coat rack solves the problem of drilling into the walls: the European beechwood Tra Coat Rack can support a surprising number of coats, jackets, hats, scarves. Go to Architonic for pricing and sourcing information. For more free-standing options, see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Free-standing Coat Racks.
In the Kitchen
Above: When it comes to compact seating for accommodating impromptu dinner guests, the stackable stool is an enduring classic. Alvar Aalto's E60 Stools are available in lacquered birch (shown), black, or white; priced at $290 each from All Modern.
Above: The Axis Spring Tension Dividers help divide built in drawers in the kitchen and throughout the rental. Made of wood, the dividers are $18.99 for a set of two from Amazon.
Above: For those fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, EMU Design Studio's 19th century-inspired cafe chair, the Arc En Ciel Folding Chair in steel folds up into a compact stack of chairs; currently on sale for $75.65 from Design Within Reach.
Above: The indoor/outdoor rug is a versatile option for bringing character to small outdoor decks (or tiny lightwells for the urban dweller). William Sonoma's Recycled Yarn Nautical Stripe Outdoor Rug is made with thick yarns spun from recycled soda bottles. Surprisingly soft underfoot, it is available in blue stripe, orange stripe, or green stripe; $29 to $349 depending on size.
N.B.: Are you an urban dweller? Get inspired with 1,401 images of Small Space Living in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.