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This Jersey City Interior Designer Created a Makeover Biz for Rentals

by Samantha Impaglia
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There’s nothing like a refreshing home makeover to bring the welcoming vibes to a new level. Event planner and interior designer Lauren Lemkowitz of Rental Re/Do is here to give us the inside scoop on her latest adventure with design, which happens to be her own home. Read on to learn more about Lauren and her Jersey City home makeover.

Disclaimer: Do you know live in a beautifully designed home or know of one? Submit it for consideration to email hello@hobokengirl.com.

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Lauren’s background in events and design had her living in various New York City apartments over a period of ten years before founding Rental Re/Do. She is originally a New Yorker but started working in Jersey City after she moved to The Heights one year ago. When it comes to personal design style, she focuses on putting a special touch on each property to make them feel more custom.

Hoboken Girl: What inspired you to get into this industry?

Lauren Lemkowitz: I have always been a renter in NYC and every apartment I have lived in has come with cheap finishes, hardware, and lighting. I always found a way to make every mediocre rental apartment look amazing. I wanted to help other renters do the same, so, Rental Re/Do was born.

HG: Tell us about Rental Re/Do.

LL: Our mission is to help renters to upgrade their homes and love where they live. We sell everything needed to fundamentally upgrade an apartment into a better, more beautiful space. Our products include lighting, kitchen and cabinet hardware, planters, and wall plates.

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HG: What are your top 3-5 tips for transforming an anonymous apartment into something chic + homey?

LL: The first thing is to know that you can make your home yours, whether you own or rent.

1. Don’t try to do everything at once. Think about the spaces you spend the most time in, and the most high-touch objects in your home, and start by focusing on those.

2. Lighting is an easy way to control the mood of your home. Install dimmers to create more calm and low-key energy. Make sure to use soft white light bulbs. Daylight and bright white bulbs any space feel like an office and should be immediately replaced.

3. Use rugs to define different zones within a single room – even if it’s small. And use rug pads to protect the flooring underneath and to prevent the rugs from slipping.

4. Clutter is the enemy of any space, big or small. Getting rid of unwanted items is the first step, but moving towards consciously purchasing items for your home is a great way to keep your space organized, practice sustainability, and save money.

5. If you’re a renter, save everything that you deinstall so you can reinstall it when moving out, and avoid that awkward landlord conversation.

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HG: What would you say sets your company/product apart?

LL: I am really proud of the products that we carry. We have exclusive partnerships with international designers and we worked hard to keep everything affordable.

Read More: Urban Spaces: How Hoboken + Jersey City Locals Designed Theirs

HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

LL: I am a big fan of housewares that have a simple but beautiful utilitarian design. Many Dutch and Nordic brands fall into this category and have inspired both the items we carry online and my personal taste.

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HG: What are your goals for this year?

LL: To increase our product offerings on our site. We also plan to launch a marketplace for companies to showcase homewares specifically geared towards the renter and homeowner.

HG: What’s a typical day look like for you?

LL: I do everything for my company, including logistics, PR, marketing, you name it. After I drop my son off at school my day begins with answering emails, mailing packages, checking on the website, and trying to build relationships with my customers and audience.

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HG: What has been the highlight in your career/life so far?

LL: Starting this business has been an absolute highlight, as it melds my experience in event production, interior and exterior design, and my entrepreneurial spirit. I have such big plans for this company that I find every day a stepping stone to achieving them.

HG: What advice would you give to those who want to start their own business?

LL: Dream big, but know it will take time and that is okay. In the beginning, I was harder on myself because things weren’t moving at the pace I wanted, but once I slowed down and started to appreciate the small wins, I realized my business is already successful on a level I never could have imagined.

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Local Fun

HG: What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken or Jersey City?

LL: Prato, I love an Italian bakery and this place hits all the right notes.

HG: What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken or Jersey City?

LL: Plntd, it is the best little store for plants and while you are there, check out our planters.

HG: What do you love most about Hoboken + Jersey City?

LL: JC is so close to NYC, yet it feels like you are in a completely new city that has a real community atmosphere.

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See More: Urban Spaces: How Hoboken + Jersey City Locals Designed Theirs | Part ll

HG: What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

LL: Playground hop with my toddler, each one is so different and it has been a lot of fun to explore.

HG: Tell us about another business in the area you admire.

LL: Sure Things Vintage in the Heights is a newly opened gem. It has a nice selection of highly curated items that I can certainly appreciate.

HG: What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken or Jersey City?

LL: Riverside Park in the Heights, especially the farmers market on Saturday, and the community garden.

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HG: What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

LL: My home 🙂

HG: Where do you go out with friends in the area?

LL: Low Fidelity is the best bar in the Heights, it has killer margaritas and pizza.

Keep up with Lauren and Rental Re/Do on Instagram, the website, or contact her via email here.

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