This year, social distancing means working and cooking at home. It also means noticing issues in your kitchen design. Even if you live in a rental, where you can’t paint or make permanent changes, you can improve your kitchen’s look and function. The key is to make your space coordinated, clutter-free and to use removable décor that won’t impact your security deposit. Here are rental kitchen makeover ideas that won’t break the budget.
1. Rental Kitchen Makeover Step One: Ditch the Duplicates
A cost-free first step is to start with a clean slate. Clear everything from the countertops and replace only what you use frequently. Go through your cabinets and drawers and get rid of duplicate corkscrews, logo coffee cups and anything else you don’t use. Liberate your refrigerator door. Eliminating clutter will make the kitchen more attractive, organized and efficient.
2. Make Countertops “Marbleous”
Nothing dates a kitchen like faded Formica counters. Achieve the fresh look of natural stone with waterproof vinyl adhesive paper. This self-sticking paper is removable and comes in patterns to mimic marble and granite. It requires a little care: use a cutting board and avoid setting hot items directly on it. A roll that is 26” deep will cover most countertops. One 6.5-foot roll of the paper pictured above is $20 at Home Depot.
Build a Better Backsplash
Image credit: Brewster Home Fashions
Brighten your kitchen with an easy to clean new backsplash. Peel and stick backsplash tiles are simple to install and come in a variety of colors and materials. Vinyl and gel tiles are inexpensive and need no tools other than scissors. Be sure to choose removable tiles if you intend to remove them at the end of your lease. For detailed instructions, read; What you need to know about peel and stick tile.
Wallpaper for the Wow Factor
Image credit: BohoWalls
Tired of bland walls? Add vibrant color and pattern with wallpaper. Use it to create a striking backsplash. Or make a stunning accent wall. Look for removable wallpaper, which can be uninstalled, even years later, with no damage to walls. Interior designers share their favorite patterns and application tips here.
Highlight the Hardware
To update cabinets without painting, buy new hardware. Home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s have various cabinet hardware in all colors and finishes. Or shop at online specialty stores for more unique options. Match your door pulls to light fixtures, appliance handles or other accessories. For a tutorial on selecting cabinet hardware, read; How-to: Choose Cabinet Hardware.
Easy Open Shelves
Image credit: Better Homes and Gardens
Let your dishes be a design feature. Remove the doors to one or more cabinets to create open shelves. For an added pop of color, add contact paper to the back wall of the cabinet. A matched set of dishes and serving pieces make an excellent display. Open shelves work well for items used every day. You’ll save a step in unloading the dishwasher. Rarely used items gather dust on open shelves, so plan accordingly.
Create Counter Balance
In a smaller kitchen, a well-accessorized counter is carefully curated. Cluster functional yet coordinated items into a go-to kitchen station. Examples include a decorative tray, cutting board, containers of mixing spoons and utensils, a small plant or decorative spice jar. This puts the tools you use most at your fingertips. A bowl of fruit adds vibrant color. Even a dish drying rack can add style. Keep other items on the counter to a minimum.
Remember the Rug
Image credit: Ruggable
Rugs add warmth and comfort to a kitchen and conceal unattractive flooring. Choose a washable carpet with a non-slip backing. Coordinate the color with cabinets and floors or pick up accent colors in accessories. For more tips, read; How to pick a kitchen rug.
Image credit: Decor Hint
Make the kitchen your happy place with your favorite art. You’ll find inexpensive prints in various sizes online or in stores that sell home furnishings. Or get creative and take a photo of nature, a pet or create a still life arrangement from objects you have at home. Buy a matted photo frame and voila, original art.
Workspace on Wheels
Image credit: The Best Kitchen Carts
If your kitchen is short on counter space, add function with a movable island. Move a kitchen cart into place when you need extra food prep space, and wheel it out when you’re done. Here is a list of top-rated carts.
Guide Your Rental Kitchen Makeover with Style and Function
Use one or more of these budget-friendly ideas for your rental kitchen makeover. Let style and function be your guides when choosing finishes and accessories. Then enjoy your beautiful, efficient kitchen.