Base Housing Doesn’t Have to be Basic


At some point in a military career, you are likely to live in military base housing or some type of off-base, privatized housing. Base housing isn’t always basic, but it usually is a standard home with builder grade materials. In some locations, you may be lucky enough to get a historic home where the layout and functions aren’t as practical, but the history and beauty makes it worth it!

Here, find 8 ways to make your home a little less basic and a little more fabulous:


Painting an accent wall or an entire room can really offer some flare to the mostly “white walls” in base housing. Of course, the downside to this is that many companies do require the walls to be painted back to their original color at the end of the lease. Depending on the length of your orders, painting may not be worth it to you!

White walls were painted with Behr’s Anonymous, and the color is the perfect backdrop to this gallery wall!


Temporary Wallpaper is all the rage right now! Not only is it removable, but it also is an affordable and quick option to add some design to your white walls. I would suggest this in a bathroom or child’s room to add dimension and a custom look. Amazon has many options, including a chalkboard option. I know my daughter would love that! 

Window Treatments

Curtains, valances or cornice boards really transform a space and make a home feel a little more cozy. There are so many amazing textures and fabrics to choose from. They also provide a little more privacy and keep your home cool! This is one of the first things I do when we move. My husband does NOT love the day he has to hang curtain rods. In our current base home, he had to hang nine curtain rods (we have lots of windows). A tip for when you do PCS, be sure to put all of the screws and brackets into a ziplock bag and label for each curtain rod. Also, have the movers wrap them in paper, so they are not damaged and the extension rods lost. Curtain rods tend to be pricey, especially when you have to buy a few! 

Curtains can add texture and a pop of color to any room. I love these fun curtains from Target’s Pillowfort brand. Even better, I got them on sale!

Light Fixtures

I love lighting and when I did the walk-through on our base home, I knew the “chandelier” had to go. We have 2-year orders to our current location, and I knew I wanted something more pleasing to look at every day when I am washing dishes or cooking. Light fixtures actually offer a lot of bang for their buck. Wayfair, Joss & Main and even Home Depot (remember that military discount) have great options. I purchased my fixture for less than $70 and plan to take it with me when we move. It really transforms the space and blends with our decor so much better than the builder grade fixture!


 I love adding little touches of faux greenery to bookshelves, tables or wall shelves. It adds a fresh touch and never dies! Larger plants and the now popular fiddle leaf fig tree also make a home feel more homey and add color.

An affordable fiddle leaf fig tree from Etsy.

Gallery or collage walls can really add a beautiful touch to a large wall or staircase. I love accenting with letters or monograms and one of my favorite things is family photos, especially canvases. I always order my canvas during a sale and have had a great experience with Walgreens and Costco print centers. A great place for inspiration for gallery walls is Pinterest or White Walls

Military Memorabilia

Let’s be honest. We all have it. It may not be practical to display it in every home, but these pieces are really unique and tell part of  your story. Everywhere we are stationed, I collect items for our home as memories. Right now, our guest bathroom is our “Hawaii room” and contains art and other items I collected during our time there. 

Curb Appeal

Nothing can transform a space more than adding curb appeal to a home. I love sprucing up the front door with a wreath, door mat and fresh potted plant. It’s an easy and affordable to way to add a personal touch to your home. 

 If after all of this, you still feel as though your base home is basic, take a look at some of the incredible views and surroundings from a few base housing locations across the world. As military families, we are pretty luck to live in some amazing places!

Fort Drum, NY

Top to Bottom- 1st column: NS Mayport, Camp Pendleton and Ford Island/Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Top to Bottom- 2nd column:Fort Drum, MCBH Kaneohe Bay and Ford Island/Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.


L to R (clockwise): Hanscom AFB, Fort Knox, Air Force Academy and Langley AFB.

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Allison Chance
Allison is a Navy spouse currently stationed in Monterey, California. Allison is a licensed REALTOR® in Florida and California. She currently works for Over the Moon Realty, Inc. and offers the Homes for Heroes Program, where she gives back a portion of her commission to heroes! Her family consists of her husband, Kyle, their daughter, Charlotte, and their miniature dachshund Macey Jane. Photography, Lilly Pulitzer, working out and organizing are just a few of Allison’s favorite things. Allison was a contributor with Jacksonville Moms Blog at her last duty station and loves blogging and interacting with other moms! You can follow along with "The Chance Clan" at !