The Renter’s Guide to Kitchen Improvements
If you rent your home or apartment, you might be a little jealous at times of the creative latitude homeowners have over their kitchens. While renters usually aren’t able to undertake permanent renovation projects, it doesn’t mean you can’t significantly spruce up your kitchen. Here are some suggestions on how to transform your rental kitchen’s appearance and functionality — without making permanent changes.
Ask your landlord
The degree of change you can bring to a rental often depends upon the terms of your lease, so it’s a good idea to check with your landlord first, suggests Houzz.com. Some landlords might allow more significant improvements — such as changing floor tiling, painting walls, or remodeling cabinets, while others could balk at anything beyond simple decorations.
Houzz recommends you research local laws to help determine costs your landlord might cover. In some cases, landlords are required to upgrade or replace tiling, floors, and fixtures according to a timetable. By paying bills in a timely fashion and otherwise being a model tenant, you can lay the groundwork for a courteous conversation with your landlord regarding your proposed changes, Houzz says.
Rental kitchens are often smaller, which means space saving might be a priority. Getting organized not only helps you make better use of your space but can also be a creative way of improving your kitchen’s appearance. Consider the following kitchen organization ideas:
- Better Homes and Gardens suggests adding metal shelving for extra storage space and a contemporary decorative touch. In a similar vein, TheKitchn.com suggests adding shelves to store overflow items.
- But don’t stop with exterior shelving. TheKitchn also suggests drawer organizers or liners to create additional shelving and space in which to tuck away less attractive items.
- Pots, pans and kitchen utensils deserve their time in the light, too. The Huffington Post suggests hanging pot racks to display kitchen wares and organizing utensils in attractive countertop containers.
- A wall-mounted pot rack, says TheKitchn, can not only help organize your cookware, but will open up additional storage space in your cabinets and drawers.
Beautify your kitchen
While getting organized is a great first step, you can go one further by making some simple, cost-effective changes to beautify your rental kitchen. Although these upgrades are easy to reverse upon move-out, they can add some serious polish to your home.
- New drawer pulls, cabinet handles, or faucet fixtures are inexpensive and a good way to modernize an outdated kitchen, suggest Houzz and The Huffington Post. When you move out, just replace with the original fixtures.
- Unattractive floors can be easily concealed by a decorative rug, suggests The Huffington Post. For a more dramatic change, try temporary stick-on tiles, says Houzz.com.
- Stick-on tiles can serve another purpose, too: Try using them to decorate walls or add a new, temporary kitchen backsplash, suggests The Huffington Post.
- If your landlord allows it, a coat of fresh wall or cabinet paint can do wonders. Try lively colors to add zest to an otherwise drab kitchen, suggests Houzz.com.
- ApartmentTherapy.com recommends bringing in new lighting to enliven your kitchen space. Plug-in lamps or accent lights can add personality and brighten a dark galley kitchen.
- Art or decorative dishes hung on your walls can beautify your kitchen and conceal bad wallpaper. TheKitchn suggests getting creative and bringing in your personality through accent pieces.
- Don’t forget fruit and flowers, says The Huffington Post. These can be displayed nicely on countertops or stools.
Your rental may not be a permanent home, but there’s no reason it can’t look more like one. Inject your personality into a rental kitchen with a few simple, easily reversible changes that can transform it into a beautiful, well-organized space.