Maximalism: The New Renter-Friendly Trend Landlords Can’t Overlook

This story was originally published at BiggerPockets.com

Want to really stand out in your market? A few renter-friendly interior design ideas can make a world of difference, elevating a run-of-the-mill property into one that attracts tenants and guests and stays occupied year-round. Today’s guest has some affordable, do-it-yourself (DIY) design hacks centered around “maximalism,” the design trend you can’t afford to not know about.

Welcome back to the BiggerPockets Real Estate podcast! If you want to boost your property’s value, keep renters happy, and get even MORE cash flow from your portfolio, you’ve come to the right place. Today, interior designer Tay “BeepBoop” Nakamoto joins the show to share some of her most popular rental design tips. Regardless of your investing strategy, whether you own short-term rentals or are flipping houses for a profit, you won’t want to miss out on these enormous value-adds. The best part? They are extremely cost-effective, easy to implement, and, most importantly, reversible!

In this episode, Tay delves into maximalism—the interior design trend that is taking the world by storm in 2024—and shares how you can seamlessly integrate this popular style with your rental properties. She even shares some of the best places to find furniture, décor, and materials, as well as some common pitfalls to avoid when tackling your own home renovation projects!

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Listen to the Podcast Here

Read the Transcript Here

Dave:
If you’re busy balancing a rental portfolio and maybe even a full-time job, you might not spend much time researching design trends. I definitely don’t. But today we are going to cover a really cool trend in design, which is maximalism. This trend is taking the internet by storm, especially with younger folks, gen Z and millennials. And we’re gonna talk through the nuts and bolts of this design trend and how you as an investor can benefit from this in a short term rental, a flip, or even a buy and hold investment.
Hey
Everyone, I’m your host, Dave Meyer, and with me today is Henry Washington. Henry, thanks for joining us today.

Henry:
Hey, thank you for having me, as always. Enjoy doing these with you. And today we’re talking to internet sensation Tay BeepBoop, who is an expert in renter friendly hacks and maximalist design. And we’re gonna be covering what exactly maximalism design is. We’ll learn about renter friendly design hacks that we can do inexpensively and that homeowners can use and stick around after our interview with ta because Dave and I are gonna talk about why this matters for investors.

Dave:
Tay welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Tay:
I’m so excited. Thanks for having me.

Dave:
We are excited to have you here. I’d love to start our conversation with just framing what Maximalist design is in the first place.

Tay:
Let’s see. Okay. Maximalism, to me, is an expression of just like fully creative, not caring about what someone else would think. So it’s just your brain on absolute steroids with no hesitation. So that’s what maximalism to me, it’s just like unabashed thoughts put into reality.

Dave:
Wow, that sounds very liberating.

Tay:
It is nice not having boundaries.

Dave:
And it seems, uh, I am an idiot when it comes to design, but it seems like maximalism is really sort of becoming a really popular trend right now. Why do you think that is?

Tay:
Uh, I hate that it’s become a trend because , I just genuinely . I genuinely like it. Like I’ve always been like this, and so I’m like, Ugh, what I like is now trendy and I wish it were just unique. But yeah, I think what happened is the pandemic really kind of blew that door wide open because people were stuck in their homes when before the pandemic, you spent maybe 20% of your day at home. The rest was outside at work. And so when people were stuck in their homes, they were like, I’m kind of sick of seeing white walls all day every day. So I think that’s what changed things and why it’s become so much more popular,

Henry:
You know, when we were growing up. So I’m a, I’m a eighties baby, right? I was, I was born in 81, so I’m showing everybody how old I am. Uh, but our homes were just always full of things. Like everyone collected things. Like my grandma collected salt and pepper shakers, and it was this weird, like, eclectic mix of salt and pepper shakers from all over the world in every shape, size, form, and fashion. My stepmother collects roosters and like, like

Dave:
Live ones.

Henry:
No, I should have, I should have caveated that. Yeah, no, there’s, there’s it just roosters on anything. Like, it’s just crotch. I, I don’t know, like there’s something comforting to me about maximalism and just doing what you want and having what you want in there and, and being okay with it. And I think maybe it relates to like just how people in the eighties and early nineties were raised. Oh,

Tay:
Yeah. Uh, I grew up in Hawaii and I am, I’m Asian. So like, I think it’s common in the Asian culture of like, a lot of people are just hoarders. Like my auntie and uncle’s houses were like, you could, you, there were boxes everywhere, you could hardly walk, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t like scary hoarding. It’s just like everyone’s house is kind of like that. And it’s probably also like immigrant story of it’s hard to let things go. You wanna collect. And so same growing up in the nineties of you’re surrounded by things constantly and it’s kind of overwhelming. But I think in the, the modern remake of maximalism, it’s curated things or it’s intentional things. It’s not just I’m collecting trash, which is how I feel. My my family was doing it. It’s more so you’re collecting things that make you happy and bring joy.

Dave:
I like that. That’s a better version of it,

Henry:
But a lot of this can seem, you know, expensive. How did you figure out how to implement this into your lifestyle in a way that was affordable?

Tay:
My origin story is, I, I bought my first home. It needed fixing up because it’s a, it was a Victorian home, like built in 19, 1900. And so it was a bit of a wreck. It needed to be fixed. And I bought the house, all of my money was sunk into it, and I had $0 for hiring a contractor or for decorating or buying wallpaper. So how I started was finding extremely cheap hacks to make my home original and make it my own. So the easiest thing I did, which wasn’t even intentional, it’s really because I had no idea what I was doing. Like Dave, you mentioned like, you do not know the world of design. I also do not know the world of design. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m learning on the way. So I started out being just uninformed and I thought, okay, I have no money, but this house is really depressing and I need to fix it up.
So I just wanted to make a simple mural in like a corner of my wall. And I went to the hardware store, I bought five gallons of paint. ’cause I was like, I need five colors of paint. So I bought five gallons. I come home, do my mural, I still have five full gallons of paint, like murals don’t take that much paint. And so I was like, well, now I have five gallons of a rainbow color of paint. What do I do with it? And that’s when I just made the most of it and I was like, what can’t I paint in this house? And I’m just gonna do all of it From there, once I had painted walls, I was like, okay, well now I need furniture. So I started sourcing things from Facebook marketplace or literally off of the street, and then I would upcycle them and customize them so they fit my style and everything was done on the very, very cheap end.

Dave:
I do wanna dig into this, uh, concept of, of all the DIY you did, but since this is a show for real estate people, just curious, where is this Victorian house from the 19 hundreds you bought?

Tay:
That’s what is like, people on the internet, they might be like, you’re so relatable, you’re so real. But no, I’m completely unrelatable. I bought a house in San Francisco, like in the mission, in, in a very desirable neighborhood. Sorry, it’s not a house, it’s a condo. Um, but that was the first place I bought and that is why I could not afford any help because it cost so much money to buy this place.

Dave:
Are you sitting in that place right now?

Tay:
Ooh, no. I, I really ended up hating that home. Like truly, it made me mentally ill. I had like severe health issues and safety issues, and I did zero research on the house that I bought because I was an uninformed, unexperienced first time homeowner. So I, I found the house on the internet on a Wednesday. I have never viewed a house before, don’t have a realtor. By Thursday I got a realtor pre-approved for a mortgage. By Friday I went to see the house and I was in escrow. So I found it on Wednesday in escrow by Friday, I know nothing about home owning. And once I moved in, I quickly found out that there was no heating or air like ac and I didn’t realize that’s something I had to look for. I just assumed. And so it was winter and I was freezing. And I don’t know if this is even like allowed or normal, but I got the contact information for the previous owner and I’m just so, I, I’m so uninformed. I text them and I’m like, Hey, can you like tell me how to turn the heat on? And they said, oh, there is no heat. I spent so much money on this house and I’m so stupid. I didn’t check if there was heat. So there was a lot of mistakes I made and I moved out as fast as I could.

Dave:
Yeah, I I mean, sounds like health wise you needed to, uh, I’m curious, did you just, did you sell it or rent it out?

Tay:
No, I am personally very afraid of renting out. I don’t wanna be a landlord. It really terrifies me. Um, like, you know, at, at least in San Francisco, the the renter rights are so strict that someone can just really, really screw you over by renting. And I’ve made the mistake already proven that I do not do my research. So I was not gonna risk just letting anybody into that house and me being tied to that house for an indefinite amount of time when I just wanted to get out.

Dave:
Yeah, yeah. No, it makes sense. And I, I think, you know, we’re a, a show and a community of people who invest in real estate, but we often talk about just knowing yourself. And if you don’t wanna be a landlord, it’s not right. It’s not the right business for everyone. All right, we gotta take a short break, but we’ll be right back with more from Tay after the break.

Henry:
Welcome back to the show. We’re here with Tay Nakamoto talking about rental friendly design and how property owners can use it to benefit their bottom line. Let’s jump back in, but

Dave:
I was asking if you sold, because I’m, I was curious sort of, you made all these changes to the house, you did all this painting, all this maximalism. Did it add any value to the house when you went to go sell it?

Tay:
I wanted such a clean slate. I wanted to sell it completely as is with all the furniture. I didn’t want anything. So that just really, that really minimizes the pool of people who happen to not wanna keep their own furniture. The amount of people who like my design style. So it limits the pool, but I was still able to find a buyer who was really excited and who of course like really appreciated my style. So I don’t know if it actually lowers the value of the home because everything is completely fixable and can all be undone. I do a lot of renter friendly tricks and tips, even though I own, I like to do renter friendly changes. I opened up the question to the internet, I posted a video saying, do you think it’s possible for me to sell this as is, I don’t, I don’t particularly wanna do the work to undo it all. And maybe there’s people out there who appreciate it. And it had like millions and millions of views on all different platforms where a lot of real estate agents, they were messaging me, they were commenting, they were saying, you absolutely can do this. It might take time, but you can. So I listened to the internet and it actually worked

Henry:
One situation where listening to the internet was beneficial, you and

Tay:
Far between.

Henry:
So everything on the internet is true. Wonderful . And so what more specifically did that teach you about renter friendly DIY um, tips and tricks that people can use? Like what should someone focus on? Uh, if they want to DIY some part of their property that they can get their style into it without compromising somebody else’s home, essentially.

Tay:
Yeah. Or compromising your own value and hurting yourself in the future. Um, I know Dave mentioned this, knowing your limits is important. And that’s what I, I say a lot in, in the captions of my videos. I’m like, know your limits. If you can’t do this, like hire someone who can, like I do projects myself of changing out fixtures, doing plumbing, um, doing electrical work just because like I’ve taught myself it, I’m, I’m a lot more experienced than the layman and I trust myself. I am not saying that the average person should be doing that type of work. So that’s why I lean heavily into DIY projects because I’m not trying to damage my house in terms of like my tips for people to not damage the resale value of their home. My personal view is go renter friendly. It is the safest option, it is the least permanent. You can undo it if the styles change, if this is completely out of style and no longer the trend in five years, which it likely won’t be, you can undo it and then the next owners have free reign to do what they wanna do.

Dave:
Yeah, I think it in, in real estate investor parlance, this would probably be Henry, I don’t know what you think, like, sort of like cosmetic, what we would call like a cosmetic rehab, which is like, you’re not pulling down walls, you’re not rearranging the layout, you’re doing paint, you’re doing tile, you’re doing fixtures, stuff that you can learn and like you said is easily reversible if you need to.

Tay:
Yeah, I try to stay away from anything that requires contractor work because if I had my way, I would have all, every doorway would be a giant arch. There would be no doors, there’d be no doors on my closets. I would just have squiggles everywhere. Nothing would make sense. And in the future, people aren’t gonna appreciate that. I would appreciate it ’cause my home, but that’s not gonna work for the majority of people. So I try to stay away from really messing with the, like the in the integrity and the structure of the home. And since in San Francisco, everything is mostly Victorian style, I try to highlight the Victorian aspects of it. Like all this crown molding, all the trim. Clearly you can see that I’m like highlighting it, I’m making it pop versus trying to minimize it. Even though my style’s actually more mid-century modern, it’s like a lot more clean lines, but I’m working with what I have and trying to not mess with the, the integrity of the, the home itself.

Henry:
So what are some like specific examples of like a renter friendly DIY project that you would do or have done to that adds style for you but could easily be undone and no one would know?

Tay:
The biggest, easiest and fastest change someone can make is installing peel and stick wallpaper. I love peel stick wallpaper. I have it in every single room in my house. The thing is, it can be a bit pricey, so it’s completely possible to just paint what you want. Like you see, say you see a wallpaper and you love the pattern, you can teach yourself how to paint, paint a mural. And I, it’s very easy to undo paint the same way it’s easy to undo wallpaper. So that is my biggest tip of changing big walls, making it a statement wall, like boom, within an hour you have a different room, which is so cool.

Dave:
Not everyone can learn to paint Tay. Like I I love how you’re just like, oh, just paint a mural. Like, oh, anyone could do that. I definitely cannot do that. ,

Tay:
Have you seen Bob Ross videos like anyone can ?

Dave:
Yes,

Henry:
I am. Also, you mentioned Know your limits. Uh, my limit would be if it involves a tool of any kind, I shouldn’t do it. So ,

Tay:
That’s good, you know, that, you know, it

Henry:
. So it’s a, I would hire somebody for literally everything that you have probably done. But that is, I understand my capacity for for, for doing any type of, of work in renovation. But you know what’s really cool is like, it’s almost like the what a time to be alive, right? Because with technology and 3D printers and uh, you know, being able to get different types of products, there’s so much advancement with products. Like we have done peel and stick backsplash tiles in our apartments and it looks like tile it al it feels like tile and you can still grout in between the lines to make it a more permanent if you want to. I think if you just spend some time like researching and going to some of these stores and seeing what’s out there, there, there are some really, really affordable, super high design style things that would cost you a fortune if it was real tile, a real wood. But it’s, there’s really, really great products out there that’s super cool.

Tay:
The research is important because with every, with every product in the world, there are really crappy versions and there’s good versions. Like there’s a lot of people who claim to sell renter friendly wallpaper, for example. And it’s not actually wallpaper, it’s actually contact paper, which is a very cheap alternative, but they’re selling it as if it’s peel and stick wallpaper and that will just rip off your paint. Like they’re just trying to make a buck on people. And so it’s really important to do your research and see reviews and talk to people who’ve used the product so you know, you’re buying the right thing. That’s my next big project is I’m coming out with a, a peel and stick tile line and I’ve always wanted to do tile, but like you said, renovating a bathroom, renovating a kitchen that’s 40 grand each. I’m not trying to spend that money, but I will spend a couple grand, like two grand on fixtures and tile that I can rip out, like peel off in a couple years.

Henry:
I was watching some of your content and I saw, um, there was like a living room where you had hung three, almost like chandelier style lights

Tay:
Look

Henry:
Yes. There that, yes, but you didn’t, you know, there was no like wiring and electrical work, but it looks like it, it was so can you like, share with us and, uh, especially me, you know, asking for a friend, like how how you’re doing some of these lighting projects and making it look as if it was, you know, designed and built that way when the builder put it in,

Tay:
Which costs thousands of dollars. A lot of my projects come from problem solving. ’cause for example, I made the same mistake if I bought this house and didn’t do enough research, I bought this house, obviously in the daytime I saw it. I move in at nighttime pitch black. I’m like, where’s the, where’s the light switch? There is no light switch, there is no lighting in this whole room. There’s not a single lighting, there’s, there’s not outlet because you don’t think to, oh God, they really trick you at those home showings, .

Dave:
They should have like a sleepover policy. You should be allowed to just sleep in the house for one night to just like see all the weird stuff that comes out when you like actually use the house.

Tay:
And in my case, I need to be able to try out one night in winter, one night in summer. .

Dave:
Yeah, there you go. .

Tay:
But, so everything’s problem solving. So that’s how I came up with this lighting idea is I hired an electrician to come here and tell me how much would it cost to install lighting. He came and he started to look in the walls and he was like, Ooh, yeah, it’s gonna, it’s gonna require me to break through multiple walls to get electricity here to this specific space that you want and it is gonna cost you thousands of dollars. And I’m not trying to spend that money. So I just came up with this way of like, okay, how can I get some light into this room? So what I did was I bought these chandeliers, they’re very lightweight, but they look massive. And I found rechargeable electric lighting pucks that actually they have light bulb screws, so they screw into the chandelier, but you can just take them down, they’re magnetic, you just pull ’em off, charge them, put ’em back up. And I installed these lightweight chandeliers into the, the joist, the beams of my ceiling. So they’re really secure, not a worry of them crashing down and like breaking your head. And it was just the perfect hack of, now I have lighting, I did not have to break through multiple walls.

Dave:
And for reference, what did that cost versus the electrician’s quote, if you could remember?

Tay:
Okay. The electrician would’ve been, it would’ve been at least 2000, maybe 3000. And I went overboard. ’cause you know, I’m maximalist so I got three chandeliers when I only need one. Um, but the chandeliers are probably of 500, 600. So yeah, 600 plus the light pucks, which are, I’ll say $40, $50 for all of them at most compared to 3000.

Dave:
Awesome. Yeah. Well that’s much better.

Henry:
Absolutely. And it looks really good. I think that’s the best part about kind of what you do and what you show people how to do is you can really get these high-end design style finishes and you can save a ton of money doing it. And it’s, I I know you’ve done a bunch of different projects and can you share with us maybe what are some of the pitfalls of like taking on some of these projects on your own or maybe some lessons that you’ve learned and that you take into account every time you’re gonna do a project now to save yourself some time, headache, hassle. That’s

Tay:
Kind of my whole platform of I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m teaching myself, so I’m sharing what I’m learning and I make mistakes in almost every single project. And I, I tend to show them. And my very first project I ever did was I ripped out the, I ripped out the carpet of a stairwell because I bought the house. It smelled like dog pee. It was disgusting and dirty. It was white carpet on stairs. And so I ripped it out thinking, oh, how hard can this be? I’m just taking out carpet. I didn’t realize that it was decades old carpet on top of like a decades old runner. And so I had to pull out hundreds and hundreds of staples from the ground staples and then they used glue, they glued down the runner. So I was like, oh, I’m just gonna see, I’m just gonna stain the, the floors to match the rest of the house. I start staining and it doesn’t match the rest of the house because there was glue on it, which I couldn’t see. So it’s completely mismatched. It took weeks and like crying because I couldn’t figure out what’s wrong. And I really learned my lesson on why did I think I could rip out like Victorian stairs when I have zero experience. And I highly suggest looking into things before you start.

Dave:
I have this almost exact same story in perfect reverse. When I first bought my first property, I tried to build a staircase into like a back patio,

Tay:
Not yourself. Right?

Henry:
That’s insane.

Dave:
It was the most humiliating. I’ve probably told this story on this podcast before, but it was so humiliating. It was like in the back of this fourplex and I had these very nice tenants and they were like, we need these stairs. It was just like five or six stairs. I was like, I got this. No, I had no idea what I was doing. I had never, like, I had to like, I went to a pawn shop and bought my first drill and my first hammer and I was like, or a screwdriver. I was like, I’m gonna do this. And I like rolled up and day after day I was just failing at this, like watching YouTube, trying to do it. And then one day I pulled up and there’s just this beautiful staircase there and I was like, oh my God, what happened? And my tenant’s dad came out and he was like, I saw you out here the other day and I just felt really bad for you. So I just, I just did it for you. , you’re so lucky. . Yes, but similar staircase story, learned your limits. Do a little bit of research before you jump into something. ’cause

Tay:
No one should mess with staircases. We’re not, we’re not qualified . No,

Dave:
No, no. It’s for professionals only . Yeah. Well, back to back to uh, sort of this idea of Maxism te I, when I hear you talking, I, my investor brain starts going to the idea of short-term rentals. ’cause we’ve talked a lot about what renters can do, but owning, I own a single short-term rental, but I’ve noticed doing that, that you sort of have to redesign it every couple of years anyway. So like, this seems like such a perfect and fun way that you could keep up trends in an inexpensive way and like always have a short term rental that’s super on trend and appealing to, to modern consumers. I don’t know if you’ve come across that at all in on your platform if people are using these types of tricks or, uh, DIY projects in short-term rentals.

Tay:
Oh, I get requests all the time to design people’s short-term rentals. So I understand like my, my type of work and my style is very short term rental friendly. And like you said, it’s, it’s the trend and people want it. So I’m a massive proponent of even if you own renter friendly is the way to decorate. I will say a disclaimer because personally morally I am very against short term rentals, which you might not wanna post about, but I just have to say it because it is very important to me. Um, just specifically in, I’m specifically talking about locations where there’s massive housing crisis. Like, like I’m from Hawaii and it has been completely destroyed by short-term rentals. And the housing market has pushed out locals and natives and even my family was pushed out. You can’t afford to live there anymore. So that’s why I’m super, I have strong moral opinions on it, but specifically for, for very like touristy areas where it’s affecting locals and that’s why I’ve turned down like all asks to decorate for short term rentals. But I, I know the, the benefit that it has for a lot of markets, like certain markets where people, they, first of all they need a place to stay. And then secondly, where they’re trying to attract tourism, like, like there are some crazy short term rentals that are specifically designed to be insane and to be like an attraction. Like I will travel two, three hours just to get to that weird house that is, that is a potato. Like there’s actually a, I seen that it is literally a potato.

Dave:
I was wondering where you’re going, but potato was not what I was expecting.

Tay:
No, there’s some really, really crazy short-term rentals where it’s like, that is a tourist attraction and I would go there and it helps those like small, those small areas that wouldn’t get tourism. And so there’s definitely a, a positive to it, but, um, because of my own personal experience in my homeland of Hawaii, that’s why I I don’t respond to helping them design those places.

Dave:
All right, Tay, well thank you so much for, for sharing that and for your, your personal experience. We, we absolutely appreciate your, you sharing with us your feelings on all of this. I’d love to just hear any last tips that you have for us on maximalist design and how real estate investors or people who are just listening to this and wanna do it for their personal home, uh, could add value and just add some, maybe some joy and fulfillment to their life through, through these types of projects.

Tay:
Home owning is such a massive goal to accomplish and I’m so proud of everyone who gets there. Like, it is so hard. And so for all the people listening who are homeowners, I understand that you might have so much money sunk into that place and you want to make it your own and make it feel like your home. So finding the, the cheap hacks to get it there. You don’t have to do it the expensive way and do the full blown demos to get it there. You can also find us cheaper alternatives and don’t feel like you have to break the bank to make your home even better. Just know that if you do some research, there are other options.

Dave:
I love that. Well, Tay, thank you so much for sharing your story and all your tips and tricks with our audience. If anyone wants to connect with Tay, we’ll of course put all of her contact information and social handles in the show description below. Thanks again, Tay. Thank you.

Henry:
Thank you very much. My wife will be super pumped. I hope

Tay:
I meet her .

Dave:
All right, we gotta take one more quick break, but when we come back we’ll connect the dots on how investors can use maximalism and these rental friendly hacks to increase the value of their properties. Stick around.

Henry:
Welcome back to the BiggerPockets podcast. Let’s jump back in.

Dave:
Super fun conversation with Tay there. Henry. What do you make of all this? How can investors apply these ideas to their portfolios?

Henry:
Yeah, I think this is, uh, great information if you are a real estate investor, especially a landlord. ’cause I think when people think about flips, people, their brains often go to like, what are things that I can do to make my house pop? But you also typically have bigger budgets on those projects. Where I think this is really helpful for people is landlords, because there’s just a sea of the same white boring walls, the same boring finishes. They’re very basic, cheap level finishes. And you get this, these products that are, there’s no life in them. And what we’ve learned in our rental business is whenever I add a feature wall or wherever I add a something other than a subway tile backsplash, like the, the property rents so much faster and they typically rent for a little more money. Yeah. Every single time. And so we have started to, every time a property turns over, we try to find a wall in the living room that’s big enough for us to add a feature wall too. And when I say a feature wall, all we’re doing is making a design out of little one by trim. And then we’re painting that wall a color that pops.

Dave:
Oh, that one by trim. People love that.

Henry:
Couple hundred bucks in materials, couple hundred bucks in labor and people love it and they wanna rent the property faster. And so yeah, it’s, it’s, there are lots of really inexpensive things you can do to make your property stand out. ’cause you have to think about it. If you have a house and you’ve got people touring properties, they’re not typically just looking at one unit that day that they’re looking at properties to rent. They’re gonna look at a bunch. And so if they’re gonna look at 3, 4, 5 units, you want them to look at yours and remember it, right? You want them to look at yours and feel at home. And for a few hundred bucks to be able to make some changes. Like I think peel and stick wallpaper’s a great idea. Um, and you can put that in smaller spaces and make them pop.
Like just creating something inexpensively that makes you stand out. I, it, it is proven for us to be, uh, a worthwhile endeavor. Especially like the peel and stick, uh, back splash tiles we were talking about. We did that in a rental. We tested it in a rental. It’s holding up great. I was just in that rental like last week checking up on it because we had storms go through and so I had to actually go into my units and it looks great. It holds up like regular tile and like people like these places ran so much faster.

Dave:
That’s awesome. Yeah, I think I’ve been guilty of this in the past of thinking, Hey, I don’t wanna put off any potential renters. And that is sort of this reductive thing where you just do the gray with the white trim that everyone has everywhere. But you have to think that yes, you might not put off anyone if you’re doing that, but you’re also not attracting anyone because it’s, it’s boring. And so if you do something cool and interesting, maybe three out of five people aren’t interesting, but the two people who like it might really like it and might be really interested in it and be enthusiastic and passionate about renting your play. So I really like it. And I also love the framework about what she calls rental friendly design, where it’s just cosmetic stuff. This isn’t like you’re fundamentally altering the, your house. Like she was joking about making every doorway in her house an arch. I don’t think I’m gonna do that anytime soon, . But I like these idea of reversible things so you can stay on trend because as all of us who own rental properties already know you have to upgrade them, you have to, you know, do a cosmetic refresh every couple of years anyway. So you might as well make it cool and trendy in what people want because you’re gonna have to update it five years, put new paint in anyway, you, and then you can adapt again.

Henry:
So I wanna ask you like, on the other end of the spectrum, as a landlord, like do you feel like a, you should know what some of these trends are that people are doing to like be aware of what’s going on in your property and b do you care, like, do you want your tenants to come and tell you they’re gonna do this if they’re just gonna, if it’s something so easy to undo? Well,

Dave:
Everything design related gives me crippling anxiety. I hate it so much. Like I can’t make decisions about this, so I don’t wanna know. Um, but I, the thing I really like about it’s, ’cause I often get tenants who ask me to alter the premise, the premises. And I sometimes say yes, but like a lot of times I’m like, no, I don’t want you to do that. But there are so many cool things, like you were talking about that now I can even suggest or collaborate with them on like these idea of those like lighting pods. Like I have units. I was writing that down ’cause I have units that don’t have overhead lighting. I was like, that’s a great feature I can add now. And or if someone requests something like that, even in a living room, I’ll just buy that and have that and make it a cooler experience. So to me it’s, I I really like those kind of like tech hacks to upgrade the quality of the property. Dude, don’t put me in front of like wallpaper and ask me to choose. I will, I’ll just go blank and say nothing.

Henry:
Yeah, I think for me, from a landlord’s perspective, if somebody were to come to me and want to do maybe some of these projects, I would most, like if somebody comes to me and they want to paint my unit, I typically tell ’em no because it’s very rare that they’re gonna go back and paint it back the way it was. Um, uh, and so I think from the perspective, if it was me, I would want to know what was going on so that I could do kind of what you said is, say if somebody has an idea that they wanna do something, I could say, no, I don’t want you to do that, but here are some options I am okay with, here are some things that you can add that I’m totally fine with. Um, because I would either know that I could quickly remove it when I need to or I might want to keep it and when it’s done.

Dave:
Yeah, exactly. Like you can’t paint, but peel and stick wallpaper cool. With that idea like that. I think that’s a great way to build rapport with a tenant. All right. Well thank you so much for joining me on this conversation and please, I, I can’t see Jess, your wife in the background, but was she’s just like over your shoulder watching this interview, ?

Henry:
No, she wasn’t. She couldn’t be, uh, she couldn’t be around today, so she’s gonna have to listen like a fan like everybody else.

Dave:
. All right, well thank you all so much for listening. We’ll see you again soon for another episode of the BiggerPockets Real Estate Podcast.

Watch the Episode Here

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Y8nmV20befk123

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • The best renter-friendly, do-it-yourself (DIY) design hacks for rentals
  • How to implement maximalism throughout your rental properties
  • Why you must know your limits when making design changes
  • Where to find budget-friendly furniture and décor for your property
  • How landlords can benefit from keeping up with the latest design trends
  • Common pitfalls to avoid when tackling your own home design projects
  • And So Much More!

Links from the Show

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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