Adding a Personal Touch to Your Home {and a $50 AmEx Gift Card Giveaway!!!}


The older I get, the more I value the meaning of “HOME.”

A home is so much more that a building with walls and windows.  Whether you live in an apartment, a townhome, a trailer, or a house, there are many things you can do to make it feel like “home.”

Your home is a representation of your family, the things you like, enjoy, or make you smile.



If you are looking for ways to make your home fit (or reflect) your family’s style, has great tips to help personalize your place.



Click “READ MORE” to read the rest of this post and enter to win a $50 AmEx Gift Card!!



I found many helpful ideas in their online articles, like How to Decorate Your Rental Home to Look and Feel Bigger, Quick and Easy Ways to Update Your Rental Home Décor, and Tips to Use Space Wisely in Your Rental Home.

Though many of the articles are written for renters, the tips they share in these articles can really be applied to any home.


If you’ve recently moved to a new house (like me) has the information you’ll need to make your new home reflect your personal taste.

In the article, Rental Home Decorating Basics, I found some tips on how to find your decorating style.

For example:

Pick up some interior design magazines, browse online or visit your library for ideas.


I LOVE looking through magazines, don’t you?

But sometimes, I forget that I can look at magazines at my local library too.  I need to do that sometime soon!

After looking at many magazines and online resources , I began to find that I am drawn to a cottage feel in my home.

Which explains why I decided to go with open shelving in my kitchen.



Online inspiration, like the picture below, also helped my husband and I decide what type of trim we wanted on our new addition windows.



Now that I feel I have a good handle on what my style is, it is time for me to start finding pieces of furniture for our new addition that fit within my decorating style.

Our new master bedroom is a blank canvas right now.

laundry 019

We have a huge space that needs to be filled with furniture.  I have a few pieces, but I am going to need a lot more, especially for my sitting area.

But I have one main problem:  lack of money.

Oh…you can relate?!  Smile

Well, I found a great article at Moving Today about Finding Cheap Furniture.

They have many suggestions for finding cheap furniture, but here is one I wanted to share:

Another good place to look is at work or school. Check with the office manager to see if there’s an old desk or chairs you can take off their hands. Many office buildings even cycle out their lounge or waiting room furniture every so often, so you may find items for your living room, as well as a home office.

Remember, you can always slipcover a piece of furniture to make it look like new.  For example, I slipcovered an old office chair for my office in our previous home.


Or maybe you could find some old shelves or lockers to  use in your new space.

Lockers are all the rage right now!


The Pennington Point






So, whether you’ve lived in your home for a while or have just moved into a new one, has tricks to help personalize your home:

Check out this article called, What is Your Home Decorating Style?



Maybe you are not a home owner yet.  You may be in college or still living with your parents.

When you’re ready for a new place to call home, has the information you’ll need to find the perfect property for your family – choose from rental houses, apartments, condos or townhouses.



Now for the


$50 American Express Gift Card


Here’s how to enter:

1.  Leave a comment telling me what you would love to buy for your home decor if you won!

Extra entries-(leave a separate comment for each)

2.  Follow on Twitter

3.  Tweet about this giveaway.

Win a $50 AmEx Gift Card to add more personal style to your home from @Rentals_com @beneathmyheart  #familystyle

4.  Share this giveaway on your facebook page.


This giveaway will end on Monday, March 26 at noon EST, and I will announce the winner on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012.

Good luck!



Be sure to “Like” on Facebook at or follow them on Twitter @Rentals_com for information on making your house a home.




Disclosure Statement: and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in their monthly blogger programs. As part of that program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


  1. I would buy more holidayish decorations. I’m terrible at getting our house “in the mood” for holidays other than Christmas.

  2. If I won I would buy some decorations for my new house. My mantel needs help! Thanks!

  3. I’d buy a piece of art for above our kitchen sink. We remodeled the same time you did and the only thing I have hanging up is the wreath above the sink. And it’s from Christmas!! But it’s red and so goes with the decor anyway. So a sign/art for above the sink!!

  4. We are redoing our half-bath right now. My husband is putting in a new tile floor and I will be painting. I would use the gift card to update the faucet and buy an old-world style map to hang on the one long wall. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Since my son just bought his first home I have an empty room just waiting for me decide what to do with it, I would use the gift for something in there.

  6. I would love some lighting fixtures in different parts of the house. We took down a lighting fixture when we moved in and have not really settled on anything in it’s place since . We have shuffled things around.

  7. I’d buy the wood and accessories to finally finish an accent wall in our front hallway!

  8. We just moved and could actually use a ton of things but right now, I have rugs on my mind. This g.c. would make a nice dent. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for showing my lockers! We actually use them as school lockers. The 6 of my kids that I am currently homeschooling each have a locker for their books. It works out great….looks cute, hides the mess and gives them a teeny bit of the old school experience. :)

    I’m loving watching your new room go up. It’s exciting! Lisa~

  10. We just moved and our master has twice as much wall space as our last home. We are in serious need of all decor- pictures/art, for in there! Thats what I’d buy!!

  11. As you know, I am shopping for pillows for our bed in our master suite to change it up a little! Pillows are expensive!

  12. Well being a renter makes it a little harder to find the “perfect” piece of decor because you don’t know what will fit in your next rental (we move for my hubby’s job). I would put it towards an outdoor urn or planter…it’s always nice to decorate the front door area to make you feel more welcome in your temporary home. Plus you can always use them inside as well.

  13. Hmmmm, not sure what I would buy! Maybe paint! I’m getting ready to paint my fireplace mantle, as well as my kitchen cabinets! :)

  14. I’m renovating my kitchen and connecting family room, need I say more. Furniture buying and arranging are on my radar right now. The gift card sure would help and help the budget.

  15. I shared on Facebook with my username Mary Happymommy–

  16. Good tips! Haha, the money thing…yeah! =/ I would work on my bedroom. Our schools recently consolidated here and they had an auction to get rid of a lot of excess stuff. Well, I got the date wrong…ugh. But my sister-in-law and brother-in-law went and bought a few things dirt cheap. One was a big storage unit that would have been in a science lab but the thing I loved was an old wooden double desk. I keep bugging her about it and hope maybe she’ll sell it to me!! :) One can hope!! ;)

  17. My poor house needs so much work. I think I would probably buy paint to start with. Thanks for the tips on how to find your style – we have lived in our house for 20 years now and our house still looks like we have recently moved in. No real style to it, just pieces of furniture. I definitely need help there :) Another idea for you that you might try… You can browse by state and they have everything there from music/art stuff to cars and everything in between. It is your state’s auction site for government buildings like schools, hospitals, etc. I often find lockers on there and I have bought art easels there, picture frames, chairs.. they even have nice furniture sometimes. Just a thought for you :) Have a lovely day!

  18. I would buy the last two gallons of paint so the north side of my house matched the other 3 sides.

  19. Curtains definitely!! My girls bedroom windows are naked except for blinds :( Also, I just spotted a cute jewelry organizer at the It is called the Little Black Dress Hanging Jewelry Organizer. It is sooo cute and sooo needed by my accessory loving 14 year daughter. Love your blog!!!

  20. I would like to spring up my house – maybe paint the dining room a lighter color, add some new artwork.

  21. I am getting ready to paint my pantry so I think I would buy the paint for it and the stain and paint to redo my coffee table :)

  22. I am working on decorating the boys bedroom. I have so many ideas but need to pick a theme.

  23. Traci..
    have checked for a new place in Fla for our upcoming move/transfer.
    excellent service.
    What would I purchase with the gift lamps for the bedroom!
    the current ones are on there last leg now..

  24. for my kitchen – new window treatments and/or throw rugs to brighten things up for spring/summer

  25. I need LARGE frames in a major way. I have had several things rolled in their “tubes” just waiting for afforable frames. Great giveaway and great advice….thank you!

  26. $50! hmmm-that’s a tough one but I have been looking for a sideboard to redo so I think I would visit a local consignment shop or thrift store and see what I could find. or maybe craigslist. Thank you so much, from one Tracie to another Traci

  27. I would use it towards curtains for my living room or a new light fixture in our dining room.

  28. I have recently moved into a new house and need so much help in making the space “ours”. There is so much to do in updates, $50 from amex would give me a start.

  29. I would love to win this giftcard! We are updating our front porch. I would use the giftcard to buy either an outdoor rug or curtains.

  30. I would love to win the 50 dollars. I would buy lots of plants and flowers for my garden….:)

  31. I am the final stages of up-doing my boys’ room (meaning I didn’t redesign, I just added another bed, and rearranging/adding new wall decor), so I would use it to finish that project.

    I also like on Facebook for an additional entry!


  32. An area rug for my hall …. Love my hardwood floors but an area rug just dresses them up a bit!! :) … thanks for the opportunity Traci

  33. We’re in the process of buying our first home (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) so a $50 AmEx card could go to just about anything! Probably gardening stuff, knowing me LOL :)

  34. There are only about a bajillion things that I need to buy right now for my house, but the thing I want/need the most is an electric fireplace for part of our upstairs level. Oh, and I need a entry table and a new coffee table and a new bed and dresser for my son. It never ends!!!!

  35. I need to update my entry way but buying a rug for it!


  36. i follow twitter page @MicaStaheli.


  37. I would buy Felt for the inside of my buffet drawers
    a whole new supply of Purdy paint brushes
    decorative knobs and handles for my old buffet

    sharing on my Shabby Daze page and I liked Rentals on Facebook but I don’t have twitter.

  38. Perfect topic for me…we live in the house on our church property where my husband is on staff. Ours to live in, but not ours by ownership.
    I think, if I won, I would use it on bedding. Yeah, that’s it…luxurious bedding!
    Remember, making a HOME is not the same as building a house! Thanks, Sarah

  39. I would like to brighten up my house. Maybe something new for the walls, a new rug, anything!!!!

  40. I would probably an ottomon for my living room. Or maybe a new lamp for the family room. Would be fun to have to make a choice :)

  41. I think I would use it toward a new kitchen table; or a rug to go under my existing one :) There’s so much I’d like to change about this place…

  42. I would purchase lumber so my husband will make my dream bench to hold all the kids’ shoes. Keepin’ my fingers crossed!

  43. I’d like to buy some art for my family room after we replace the paneling with drywall and paint it a gray color.

  44. I would definetely buy two new doorknobs, we are in the process of redoing our front room, and the doorknobs are brass, I want to buy some antique ones to give my home what it deserves!

  45. We are getting ready to move into a 1950’s ranch style home so there are LOTS of things to buy! Paint, flooring, lights, etc….

  46. I don’t know that I actually need any more furniture or decorative items, but I could definitely use supplies to help transform the ones i have sitting in my basement. I think probably I would buy some fabric.

  47. I would buy more pictures/art for the walls. Seriously need some in our bedroom and bath.

  48. I need to freshen up my dining room with some new placemats or a runner or…… :) Thanks for offering this!

  49. I would love to use an American Express gift card to finish my kids’ bathroom. I still need a bath rug, towel hooks and some decor.

  50. I would buy some architectural items/art work to put over my sofa ~ right now it’s a blank wall!

  51. We just moved into a new home and our windows are bare! I would use it toward window treatments! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  52. I’d buy a doormat from Ballards, I’ve been wanting that doormat for a long time now,
    it’d look great on my entryway!!!

  53. I would use the money toward replacing the living area window treatments, or a rug shampooer. (sp?)

  54. I would LOVE to buy more flowers for my porch :) I have a beautiful wrought iron piece that hos 9 “pockets” that are in desperate need of some beautiful flowers now that Spring is here!

  55. I would love to buy lamps for our master bedroom! I’ve finally found two bedside tables that are the same height and wood-color. It would be wonderful to have two matching lamps to pull it all together!!!

  56. I want a subway sign, need a rug for the living room or maybe a new lamp! Thanks for the giveaway. Love your style!

  57. I would use it towards a new chandelier over my kitchen island…trying to renovate a very 90’s house! Thank you!

  58. There are so many things that I would like to buy for our house. I always budget, save and then purchase. Right now, saving for a food processor.

  59. I would purchase a new bedside table that doesn’t look like a nightstand. I’m wanting a different look. Maybe more of a chest approach. That would make me happy! Angie

  60. If I were to win the $50 giftcard, I would use it to buy fabric to make new pillows for the living room. Fingers crossed!

  61. I now follow on twitter, my twitter name is Ourazfamily

  62. I love reading your blog; you inspire me to make my house a home even though we will most likely move within the next 6 months. I saw an amazing DIY planter on pinterest and would use the gift card to purchase supplies to make it. My front door needs a big touch of spring!

  63. I so so so want to create a family tree vignette on my wall – Rustic Branches and our ancestors photos in sweet little vintage-looking frames hanging from the limbs. I dream about this project constantly.
    Thank You For the Opportunity to Make This Dream a Reality!
    Laurie aka Idgie
    P.S. I enjoy your posts so very much! You are an inspiration!

  64. I would love to get my daughter a new comforter. OR, I’ll be going to a huge antique show here in Texas, next week, and I could use it there :O).

  65. Thanks for all the links on this wonderful post! We own our home but want to keep it as up to date as possible in case we do have a move in our near future. I would love to repaint several rooms in our home and a gift card would go towards that project. Thanks again!

  66. well, i would probably shop for my son’s playroom…there are about 5 squillion pieces of legos and guys everywhere…plus, he has bins to put them in but i want more organization!!!!!!!!!! there is a brand new container store here and i bet i could easily drop $50 in there!! maybe, just maybe i would buy something for myself ….i could use a brand new wreath and some urns for the porch!! :0)

  67. I need a new kitchen floor. There are 3 spots where it has worn through to the subflooring. I would put the gift certificate toward a new floor.

  68. I can’t think of one particular item. I’d probably use it towards paint for our master bedroom. We’ve lived here 9 years and the bedroom is still a dark burgundy sponge painted dungeon!

  69. I would buy wallpaper for my kitchen or a new comforter set for my bedroom. :)


  70. I would use the money to buy coordinating picture frames for all the family pictures I want to use for a “Wall of Fame.”

  71. If I were lucky enough to win the gift card, I would start looking at new lighting for our kitchen. Thank you for the chance to win.

  72. I would use the money to buy some of the old fashioned looking tin for our dining room ceiling

  73. this is a hard one… i think i might spend the $50 on mulch. whoa- that was really boring. let’s say– frames for the entryway. yeah, frames are WAY more exciting than mulch. wow. :-) either way, $50 from amex would bet fun o spend even if it is on boring things!

  74. I’m in the process of doing a makeover on our master bedroom right now. So I’d use the card for some of the finishing touches. Maybe new curtains or artwork :)

  75. I would love to finally get some curtains for my living and dining rooms. That would really help make the rooms look more “finished”!

  76. I would love to get some new accents for the furniture, wall decor, or a vessel sink for the bathroom!

  77. I’d love to get some pretty pots for my houseplants instead of the cheap, ugly plastic ones.

  78. I would get a nice dresser with lots of drawers, redo it, and make it into an entertainment center.

  79. Oh how I adore that first photo with the blowsy flowers in those white pots! They kind of look like Guara! I think I would definitely buy some plants that look just like that for my front porch! Thanks for this great giveaway today! :)

    xoxo laurie

  80. I would buy new everyday glasses! We are doing open shelves in out kitchen and I have the worse set of miss-matched glasses – definately time to coordinate!

  81. I love using recycled furniture – slipcovers are great! Our front entry area needs a new rug, and we are working on a mudroom area in a hallway.

  82. I would love to buy new tile for our bathroom floor! Thanks for the chance to win!
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  83. Follow on Twitter @CrazyItalian0
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  84. tweet-!/CrazyItalian0/status/183507401859792896
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  85. shared on fb-
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  86. I would either pay a babysitter so I can get many of my projects done…. or I would buy composite wood to fix a outdoor bench thats now in pieces. Ahhhh, the projects never end. :o)

  87. i light for my foyer
    currently it is just a light bulb and it drives me crazy..


  88. What a lovely offer! I would like curtains for my LR/DR combo or the wood to do wainscoting in my back hall and office!

  89. I would buy some bead-board wall-paper for my half bath. It’s cheaper than the real thing and easily installed by myself. I don’t get much help from the hubby unfortunately. He will work on outside stuff, in the barn, but when it comes to the things your husband does…nah! He hates redecorating so I pretty much do as much by myself as possible and then reel him in for the final stages kicking and screaming all the way! LOL!! He’s wonderful in every other way just not this.
    Gmama Jane

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