Presenting Curbed's Rental Redo, a Renters Week 2013 contest wherein creative, ambitious, and deserving renters are given the chance to score $2,500 to the home furnishings store of their choice simply by outlining what they'd like to do with their lackluster, hodgepodge, or underfunded spaces. Over the next few days, the finalists' entries and testimonials will unfold right here; on Friday, they'll face off in a countrywide poll. We'll crown the winner on Mon., Nov. 25.
"If these walls could talk, they'd like you know they need a redo!" writes Aniluz, who lives in a "quaint" one-bedroom apartment in downtown Miami. Admitting that her "unique DIY approach leaves much to be desired," Aniluz has held off inviting friends over because "let's face it, eating on the floor just isn't the most comfortable setup." In the combined living/dining room (above and below), which "totally has the potential to be a great entertaining space," she'd love a "real couch" with orange accents—"to keep it spicy!"—as well as a "nice, long, classy bench table" to accommodate large dinner parties. "I'd probably still keep the hammock," she concedes, "because, well, let's fact it, having a hammock library in your living room is awesome. But I know what I really need to do to make this redo totally fabulous is real seating!"
As for the bedroom:
"My bedroom (↓) is actually pretty great as it is. Probably because I didn't DIY anything in it —ha! But to really take it up a notch, and redo it in all its glory, I would put a mantel in it. Yes, a mantel. Who says renters can't have mantel?! The bare wall opposite the bed would be perfect for a mantel! (Editor's note: faux mantels and fireplaces are actually a thing renters can do; just check out Apartment Therapy's past coverage on the topic.)