Last week I posted my top tips on how to decorate when you’re renting. When I shared it on Instagram, I got the question about how to update a your rental kitchen and get your deposit back. With the kitchen we rented, we really lucked out on because it was recently redone and nice and neutral (the only thing I did was switch out the lighting). But I think usually, rental kitchens are one of the trickier parts of not owning!
I am of the school of thought that you should love where you live. Even if its temporary. I believe that making your home feel special is never a waste of money because it effects your quality of life. So if you’re renting somewhere 6 months or 6 years, here are some ideas to spruce up your kitchen.
First up, let’s tackle the fridge. This is actually a really fun project because there are so many options! If you want to keep things neutral, you can cover the fridge in Stainless Steel contact paper and instantly give your appliances (yes, this’ll work on your dishwasher too!) an instant upgrade. Plus one roll is less than $20 (and available on Amazon)!
You can add any style of contact paper or removable wallpaper and your fridge will be completely transformed. How great does this patterned fridge look?!
I really love the idea of making the fridge a focal point with pattern. Kitchens can be so serious, why not shake things up?! On Etsy, there are some super affordable options. This striped one is my favorite for $45 and you can customize the size to work with your fridge. This would also work great if you own and want to add personality to your kitchen.
If I had had time in my rental kitchen, this is the upgrade I would have done (the walls were just white with no back splash). For a renter friendly back splash, you have two options- you can go for a peel and stick removable tile or removable wallpaper. My favorite idea is to add removable subway tile wallpaper. Subway tile is so timeless and will look beautiful in any kitchen. Plus these are available from Target (aka an excuse for a Target run). This peel and stick subway tile from Amazon looks pretty good too.
Of course, if you want to add some color and personality, a back splash is another place to inject that in! Why not add a flower pattern? Or faux penny tile? I think this lemon wallpaper would be perfect too!
When I saw Brady Tolbert’s kitchen makeover, I was so inspired! Who would have thought to cover existing ugly floors with peel and stick tile?! The beauty of this stuff if that you just need scissors and a ruler to install and completely transform your room.
Peel and stick tiles usually come in 12″ squares and are $0.50- $1.00 a piece. That is so much bang for your buck! I’ve used it many times and am always pleasantly surprised at how quickly it can be installed. I found some affordable choices on Amazon options that I love- this triangle pattern that mimics the look of concrete tile is great. This wood hexagon tile looks super high end. Lastly, I think this diamond black and white pattern is super classic.
My bet is that most rental kitchens out there don’t have the ideal cabinet color or and super banged up. You might see a recurring pattern, but contact paper is a great way to cover up this problem! Did you know that you can also cover cabinets with contact paper?! This will work best if you have a flat cabinet door and drawers. There is even a company called Panyl who’ll cut over-sized contact paper in custom sizes so all you have to do is install.
If you are wanting a more open kitchen but can’t install floating shelves, I have a free and easy option for you! Take off the doors of the cabinets that you want that open feel. I’d personally suggest the dishes cabinet so you can show those off. Store the doors out of sight and you’ll get a breezy feeling immediately!
The last surface in a kitchen that I think could use some updating are the counter tops. If you have laminate counters that you don’t love, there’s a contact paper for that! I’m a light and bright kitchen lover, so this marble look with grey veining is calling my name. There’s also some warmer options with yellow veining and a wood contact paper option.
Never estimate the power of adding the right details! There are so many ways to add the perfect layers to a kitchen and, bonus points, you can bring most of these with you when you move!
You can switch out the cabinet hardware, install new lights, add a perfectly vintage runner, display your favorite (pretty) cookbooks, and add some life with greenary. I promise you that a cute tea towel and fun magnets seem like not a big deal, but they’ll make you smile when you see them, so they’re worth it!
If your rental kitchen is at all lacking visually, I am hoping these tips are helpful! I think it’d be so fun to completely redo a kitchen with $300 in a weekend. Isn’t it exciting that almost every surface can be updated on a budget AND in a way that you can get your budget back?! Let me know if you tackle your space with any of these ideas- I’d love to see it!
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