Solutions for Renters: Kitchens
March 4, 2013
Greetings everyone! The ‘Solutions for Renters’ series continues today and I’ve gathered up a few ideas for you to spruce up those kitchen spaces with temporary solutions that incorporate your personal tastes and unique style.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the hardest to personalize since they’re mostly made up of choices that are unchangeable – cabinets, tile, flooring, countertops, and faucets – all those details you’re stuck with while you rent. So what is to be done? You can accept the situation, or tweak the space with a few of these ideas. Here are nine savvy solutions to personalize kitchens in rental homes and apartments, many apply to homeowners too looking to beautify kitchens on a budget!
1. Change the Backsplash. If you’re lucky, you’ll have decent cabinets in your rental but if you dislike the backsplash there is good news, you can always change it. Sure you won’t be ripping out tile but here are some smart and equally effective ideas. Nester wasn’t crazy about the pinkish tile in hers so she installed white beadboard panels to lighten up the look in her rental home.
Jessica at Four Generations One Roof took it to the next level with her removable backsplash where she installed beautiful glass tile on panels, ones she can take with her or reuse in the future.
Mount boards covered with chalkboard paint, consider tin tiles either plain or painted; tattoo your tiles with a few of the available products, or use vinyl to add a pattern to a plain backsplash wall. Did you know there are peel and stick tiles on the market? Time to get creative incorporate a look you love that you can install as a temporary solution while you live with someone else’s design choices.
2. Remove cabinet doors. If your kitchen cabinetry in your rental is not your favorite or you feel the need to lighten up, Emily’s solution for removing cabinet doors is a smart one. She’s not renting, but instead of repainting all of the cabinetry in her home, she simply removed the doors on the upper cabinets and painted the backs a dark charcoal – in a rental home you can do the same or even use wallpaper or wrapping paper to dress up the backs and secure it with double sided tape.
3. Slipcover Your Cabinets. Short of painting, there is little you can do disguise unattractive cabinets, but here is an effective solution that costs only a few dollars. I’m still impressed with Erin’s kitchen makeover where she removed the doors and “slipcovered” the upper cabinets with contact paper.
Other decorative papers may accomplish the same thing, consider painted pieces of thin cardboard and attaching them with glue dots or using large pieces of removable wallpaper (you can buy it at Spoonflower or Design Public and other sources online.)
4. Get Graphic. Speaking of removable wallpaper, in lieu of a cabinet cover up make a graphic statement on an accent wall with a bold print.
Or take a cue from Kristin’s lovely home and paint a chalkboard accent wall in your rental or introduce a deep brown for dramatic contrast (assuming the landlord will allow you paint).
5. Cover the Flooring. There aren’t a lot of options for covering an unattractive kitchen floor in a rental, but one of them is peel and stick vinyl tile which can later be removed but when they look as good as they do in Caitlin’s galley kitchen, who would want to?
Your other option is to include kitchen friendly rugs and runners, even indoor/outdoor versions that can be vacuumed or hosed off.
6. Maximize Storage. Space permitting, increase your storage with an open shelving unit and accessorize it with your favorite dishes, cooking utensils, and small appliances.
7. Upgrade the Lighting If your light fixtures in your rental are drab, change them out for something more stylish, more you! Light fixtures can travel with you when you move out as long as you replace the ones that were there before (but check with your landlord and hire an electrician when in doubt about installation).
8. Add Your Personality. You have artwork, photography, or mementos that make you smile so include them in your space design so you’re surrounded by things that make you happy each time you enter your kitchen.
9. Accessorize with Color. Have you ever noticed how the brightly colored accents in a room are always the first ones you notice? Employ that trick of the eye by accessorizing your kitchen with bold colorful accents, whether it’s barstools, a colorful window shade, or your kitchen appliances and favorite dishes.
Renters (current and former) let’s hear from you again, what tricks have you used in your kitchen spaces to make them more attractive and feel like home?
See Also: Solutions for Renters: In the Bedroom
Tags: solutions for renters