Moving is stressful. Period. The logistics, the financial burden, and the house-hunt itself can be enough to make anyone pull their hair out. Add children into the mix, and you’ve got a whole new ballgame. My parents saw this firsthand when they uprooted me in sixth grade. While it ended up being the best decision, at the time it was terribly hard on me.
When transitioning in between homes, an inviting place to land can make all the difference. Isobel Benesch made it her mission to ease that moving stress for her own children when her husband Dustin started a new job in San Diego, CA. Their children Holden and Gray are under the age of four, so Isobel and Dustin were a bit anxious about how the move would affect the family. In order to make the transition easier, Isobel went straight to work adding colorful and familiar decorations to their new rental. Paintings came out of storage, playful bunting went up, and works created (and inspired by) the boys were scattered around the space. She wasn’t sure if her strategy would work or not, but it’s proven to be a wild success. Holden takes pride in seeing his work displayed, and the home’s seaside color palette has kept him and Gray soothed and smiling since day one.
While most of the fun touches Isobel has added are inspired by her children, the realities of renting also played a major role in her choices. Permanent changes were out of the question, so instead she’s gone about dodging and covering up some of the home’s less-than-ideal qualities in some pretty clever ways. As you peek inside, you’ll barely notice the “blah” carpeting now that she’s layered patterned rugs on top of it. You’d also never know that the space was a rental after gazing upon the eye-catching mural in the kids’ room. She and Dustin stenciled a stunning, geometric pattern on the home’s standard, white walls. Overall, they’ve crafted one of the most personalized rentals I’ve ever seen, and proven just how comforting design can be. Enjoy! —Garrett
Photography by Chrissy Powers