Don’t paint the walls. Don’t hang up artwork. Don’t swap out the light fixtures. Landlords sure know how to put a damper on decorating. When designer Lisa Canning and her family of (almost) nine moved into their rental home just north of Toronto earlier this year, she knew it had to function for their busy lifestyle — and that vision included a few minor renovations. After talking it over with her landlord (always get approval!), she decided to wrap the walls in shiplap to enhance the home’s cabin-like character and install solid interior doors to replace the dated louvered doors that weren’t quite soundproof enough for a young family. Get her tips on budgeting for rental renos and discover how she defined zones in an open floorplan.

Video and photography: James Bombales

Producer and editor: Kelsey Pudloski

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