Interior decorator Bridget King has been honing her design skills for years, first as a hobby, helping her husband flip homes by styling the interiors for open houses. But when buyers started purchasing them fully furnished, the Jamaican-American knew she had something special. Her side hustle turned into a passion, and then into her own company, Captiva Design

After 17 years in the industry, she’s mastered designs that reflect how people want to live in their homes. Even for properties that need to be staged to appeal to the broadest spectrum of clients, she’s unafraid to make bolder strokes that capture the imagination. “You’ll see a lot of white in my portfolio for staging, but then I always add a pop of color,” explains King. The South Florida resident pulls color cues from the vibrant coastal environment. “I love nature,” says the designer. “I love colors that are soothing like the ocean, so you’ll see a lot of blues, teals and calming colors in my work.”

In this modern, white-box apartment, King was asked to stage a model unit representing the Aviah Flagler Village complex in Fort Lauderdale. The result is a luxurious space that combines clean, contemporary design with an eclectic coastal flair. 

Living Room

How To Make A Rental Feel Like Home
Courtesy of Rosie Mendoza Photography

First step to make a rental feel like home? Start with the rooms you will likely spend the most time in. In the living room, King composed a sleeker interpretation of the coastal interior style, building on a neutral color palette. Breaking up the base of creamy whites, she pulled in shades of ocean blue as the secondary note with artful Captiva Island throw pillows, water-themed paintings and an abstract rug.


The designer notes that this fresh take is more reflective of the way people embrace resort-inspired living today. “This style has become more modern, as opposed to the more British Caribbean look,” she explains. “If you go to all the new hotels, the influence is very clean lines with pops of color.” 

Dining Room

How To Make A Rental Feel Like Home
Courtesy of Rosie Mendoza Photography

In the dining room, a Z Gallerie mirror mimicking shattered glass hangs on the back wall opposite the table. “I just wanted to make the space feel a little different,” King says. Not only does this funky piece help bring character and individuality to the room, but the mismatched glass also gives the illusion of a bigger space, an important selling point for apartments.  

Kitchen

How To Make A Rental Feel Like Home
Courtesy of Rosie Mendoza Photography

The kitchen design is essential to make a rental feel like home. In the fully outfitted kitchen, King had to preserve the original millwork and countertops. She executed a dramatic transformation with small changes, like installing a new tile backsplash and painting the existing cabinets white to help brighten the space. She also replaced the hardware on the cabinet doors. The results are proof positive that a major style shift is possible for those limited by time and budget. “You’d be surprised how just doing a few things can upgrade your kitchen,” says King. 

Outdoor Patio

A beautiful outdoor patio connected to the main living space offers additional seating overlooking the complex’s pool. The coastal theme is represented through the use of blue and lime green throw pillows and airy plants, creating the look of a Caribbean oasis.

Bedroom

How To Make A Rental Feel Like Home
Courtesy of Rosie Mendoza Photography

There is a serene atmosphere in the master bedroom. “I like light, calm and soothing bedrooms,” says King. To create this effect, the designer paired a light-colored set from Rana Furniture with playful pieces like an art deco-style chair in the corner. Other accessories like abstract water paintings, coral embroidered pillows and textured wall art offer a nod to the home’s coastal motif. 


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