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Rental Kitchens

How to update your rental kitchen, and bring in some much needed personality

As a former renter I know what it's like to read a design article or blog post featuring gorgeous white cabinets, shiny marble countertops, and sleek stainless steel appliances and get a case of total kitchen envy!

How can I ever turn my tiny rental kitchen into that? You may ask.

Honestly, you can't. But, there are a few tips that can help personalize your space, and keep you cooking happily for the duration of your lease.


PAINT. Painting can change any space for the better. Whether you go with something bold or a chalkboard backsplash, paint is a fairly inexpensive, and temporary way to add color and style to a bland kitchen. Rustoleum has a tintable chalkboard paint that comes in twelve different colors that can make it fun to leave messages for one another, or inspirational quotes when you just need a little encouragement. Most (not all) apartment complexes, and landlords will allow you to paint if you paint it back to the original color before you move out.

CHANGE HARDWARE. Rental kitchens typically come with cheap, boring, or dated hardware. Depending on the pulls you choose, changing them out can be a simple, affordable way to quickly update your cabinets and drawers. I love these which you can pick up at Lowes for $1.97 each. Be sure to keep your old hardware so you can put them back when you leave.


USE PRETTY CANISTERS AND OTHER DECOR. This is a great way to hide ugly or chipped counter tops.

ADD STORAGE. Not only is this practical, but a well chosen cabinet can bring a drab kitchen to life. Wayfair has several great choices, or you may be able to pick up a vintage piece you can refinish from a thrift store or Craigslist.

ARTWORK! Art is not just for the rest of the house. If you don't have permission to paint, a bold piece in the kitchen can distract from ugly cabinets, and bland walls. If you can't find art that you like or that's in your budget, put a peg board on the wall and hang all of your favorite pots and utensils on it.

TEMPORARY BACKSPLASH. If you're a true DIYer or aspiring to become one, you may want to try a temporary backsplash. Renter's wallpaper has come a long way. Companies like Graham and Brown and Chasing Paper have tons of beautiful options with how-to videos to help get you started.

There are also a few companies that have made tile look-alikes that are pretty easy to install and remove. I've used Smart Tiles which look like glass tiles, but are actually peel and stick! Although taking them off was very easy, they did take a little paint with them; but with just a little touch up it was as if they had never been there. Definitely worth it in my book!

These are just a few tips that can help perk up your rental kitchen. I could probably spend the whole afternoon sharing all the ideas rolling around in my head, but I'll spare you for now (maybe I'll do a part two if you ask nicely😉).

If you would like help making your rental feel more like home, please reach out to me.

Hope to hear from you soon!

P.S. What have you done to make your kitchen an inspiring place in your home? Comment below!

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