Keyanna Bowen, star of Magnolia Network's "Rental Redo," is an expert at making small changes to majorly elevate a lackluster space — both on screen and in her personal life. After moving into her first rental unit, she worked with her landlord to come up with a renovation and design plan that better reflected her personality and made her feel more at home than a boring, generic apartment. Since then, Bowen has made it her mission to help other renters and homeowners with modest budgets demand more out of their spaces without paying a fortune in renovation costs — which are the type of upgrades that most home improvement shows tend to focus on.
Because so many aspects of rental units tend to be builder grade, they can cause the entire unit to look dated, drab, and devoid of personality and character, which prevents many renters from ever truly loving where they live. Even homeowners can struggle with knowing how to elevate their space, as many people don't have the budget for a big, home improvement network-worthy redo.
In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Keyanna Bowen shared a few simple and foolproof ways to elevate your living space and make it feel more high-end.
When it comes to making your living space feel more luxe, don't underestimate the power of a little paint. "Paint is one of the most cost effective ways that you can transform your space," Keyanna Bowen told us. "Even if it's just refreshing it with a fresh white coat of paint, having something fresh and new or adding color to the walls will instantly make the space feel new and have more personality."
While paint might seem like too permanent of a change for renters who are cautious about not upsetting their landlord or property management company, Bowen says it's actually a great option for both renters and homeowners who want to elevate their space. "The good thing about paint is that you could always paint it back to the original color," she said. "That's a stipulation that a lot of people have in their lease agreements, that if you do paint, you have to change it back. Paint might seem permanent, but you can always just change it back to the original color before you leave."
Swapping out some of the existing hardware and fixtures in your rental unit can also help it feel more high-end. "A lot of times when you're in a rental — it's very generic, builder-grade type light fixtures,” Keyanna Bowen said. "Swapping them out for something that is more visually interesting, or something that has a little bit more [flair] and character, will actually help elevate the space and also make it feel like it has a little bit more of an architectural interest to it."
Bowen added that buying new, visually interesting light fixtures is one thing she recommends that both renters and homeowners do, as they are an investment that can last a long time. "The best thing about a light fixture is that you can take it with you to your next place," Bowen said, whether that be a rental or a house that you own. "You can splurge a little bit on the nicer fixtures; keep the old one when you take it down. And then when you move out, if you ever move from your rental, just pop the old one back in and take the new one with you."
Magnolia Network's "Rental Redo" featuring Keyanna Bowen can be streamed now on Discovery+ and the Magnolia app. New episodes drop every Friday through October 7.