Living in a rental has a distinct decor disadvantage: no paint color.

Mike Renner and Heather Ziegler

Occupation: Owners, What the Rock?!

Age: Both 39

Neighborhood: Italian Village

Label your style: "Rock 'n' roll meets California coast"

Living in a rental has a distinct decor disadvantage: no paint color.

Landlords typically outlaw painting walls or require them to be painted over with primer before move-out, which makes dark colors virtually impossible.

So a bright and bold assortment of paintings and various finds from Mike Renner's and Heather Ziegler's travels liven up the walls of the couple's rented Italian Village abode.

As owners of Short North boutique What the Rock?!, they've met plenty of local artists whose work they've wanted to take home.

"A lot of [the artists] are friends, and a lot have had shows at the store," Ziegler said. "After the show, it's like, 'Ooh, I want this one.'"

The couple's living room is filled with friends' art. They're originally from California and try to maintain some of that beachy vibe.

"I miss the beach, I do. I miss the dramatic nature of northern California, and I try to bring some of that here," said Ziegler, showing off a wine bottle partially filled with sand she collected.

Black-and-white Ramones and pirate shower curtains, always a favorite at What the Rock?!, wrap around the free-standing tub.


Upstairs, things cool off a bit with a black-and-white color scheme. Zeigler brought the vanity with her from a costume shop where she worked in California, then found the perfect dresser at an antique store in Grove City. Her earrings - many of them her own work - hang on a hybrid display-storage board at right.

A devilish face peers from a painted skateboard, the work of Cyrus Fire. "We picked that out of all of his skateboards. I really liked the bold colors. He's a little scary, but not really."

A Devo painting by Rob Jones hangs above a record player. "We play records most of the time. We've been kind of building a slow collection - some are from Ohio, some of them have come with us. I wish we had more."

Knickknacks line the living room mantle. Here, a John Lennon figurine from What the Rock?! is surrounded by a flock of hand-painted owls. The one on the left is made from a tiny squash. "It's an odd mix," Ziegler said. "We have a lot of things going on."

Zorro, the couple's five-month-old kitten, loves to curl up against the What the Rock?! boombox pillow on this old chair. (Zorro's also been trying her paw at being a shop kitty.) Both the chair and footstool are secondhand. "We try to hang paintings to bring in color - plus the footstool and the curtains, those kinds of things."