10 Ways to Improve a Rental Kitchen

When you’re renting there’s nothing more you dream of than owning your own beautiful, stylish home. Right now we’re renting a cute bungalow close to downtown Charleston and trust me, I constantly look at design blogs, magazines, and Pinterest dreaming of my own beautiful home. 

Instead of dreaming, let’s actually make your home beautiful! 

Today we’re going to focus on how to make your rental kitchen, the most dreaded of all rentals, look like a million bucks, for a fraction of the cost. There are a lot of things you can do to make your kitchen better without having to pick up a hammer. 

Art

via Design Milk

Adding art to any room will make it pop more and the same goes for your kitchen. Art can give your kitchen an entirely new look and it’s more affordable than ever to add art to your home. My personal favorites are thrift stores, Hobby Lobby (hello 50%!), and finding cool frames to hold family photos. We personally love mounting a brown roll to a wall so you can write down your grocery lists, I love you messages, and draw silly pictures! Plus, it’d be great for kids to draw on too!

Display Your Dishes 

via A Beautiful Mess 

Do you have a cool coffee mug, Pyrex, or vintage collection of dishes? Display them! Take off your cabinet doors for that cool open look and display your dishes by color, pattern, or style. This is a great idea if you have crystal or china plates that otherwise aren’t displayed. 

Plants

via Red Online

Ok, we all know here my love for plants. They’re cheap, beautiful, and bring a certain sense of calm to any room. Grab a cool planter and plant some rosemary, oregano, basil, and other herbs, plus you can add them to your cooking. How cool is that?

Update the Details

via Studio McGee

It’s surprising what new hardware can do to a kitchen. We swapped out the old hardware on our bar cart and it instantly gave it a new look. Just like that! Hobby Lobby is another great place for cool hardware or you can hit up Anthropologie, Lowes, or Home Depot. The good part about switching out hardware is you can take it with you when you leave. Done!

Paint 

via This Old House

You’ll have to check with your landlord on this one but color can make all the difference. Painting your walls, or go crazy and paint your cabinets, can make you feel as if you have a new kitchen. If you choose to paint your cabinets, try painting just the upper or the lower cabinets so it doesn’t overpower the room.

Curtains

via Narratives

If you like the more country-kitchen look, replace your lower cabinet doors with a curtain skirt. It’s a look that’s becoming increasingly popular plus it looks tres French chic, no?

Inside Out

via A Beautiful Mess 

If it seems daunting to paint your cabinets, give them a face lift by painting the inside of your cabinets a fun pop of color. 

Light Fixtures

Meg & Joe’s “In Full Bloom” House Tour 

Much like switching out cabinet hardware, replacing your old light fixtures with some more fun can make a world of a difference. Replacing your light fixtures is easier than you think. Here are some simple tutorials for removing your old fixtures and installing new ones. 

Making these simple changes will help your kitchen become your dream kitchen in no time! See, living in a rental isn’t all that bad! Are you looking to update your rental kitchen? What are you looking to make different about it? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear if you have any other cool ideas for updating a rental kitchen. 

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20 comments

  1. We just bought a house after a few years of renting different places. It’s so disheartening to not be able to do what you want but it’s all the sweeter when you get a place of your own. Great list. You can make anywhere a home with your own personal touch 🙂

  2. I adore the idea of the mounted brown paper roll on the wall! What a neat idea. We aren’t renting, but I love these ideas in my own home. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Awesome ideas! Many of these I may be able to implement in my small NYC apt though I do know that painting will not happen because my landlord said no but there are other things right? Thanks again for this!

  4. Great Ideas. I love the painting of the cabinets on the inside. I love how much character it gives the space. I also like the hardware updates. You are totally right. It changes the space for sure!

  5. I love that brown paper roller idea, that’s so cool. The visual effect of painting the inside of the kitchen cabinets was very cool too. Great tips here!

  6. Love all of these ideas! Painting the cabinets would be such a fun pop of colour! I’d love to do that in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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