Renovation for Renters: 10 Ideas for the Kitchen

Just because you don't own doesn't mean you can't renovate your rental. When it comes to the kitchen, it's likely you're working with a cramped, dark and outdated space, but it doesn't have to be permanently that way. Click below the jump for 10 temporary ways to organize, brighten and personalize your kitchen!1 Take the doors off the hinges for an open shelving look. Our editor Cambria did this to her own rental, and it was a great success with the use of some great organization and fun, bright dishware. When it's time to move out the doors can easily be reinstalled without anyone ever knowing.
2 Replace the hardware. The is a small change that can have a huge impact without actually changing the cabinets. Drawer pulls and cabinet knobs are easy to find in a variety of styles and price ranges, and installing new can be an easy way to add a little personal touch.
3 Change or add a new backsplash. If you're allowed, considering painting the wall with chalkboard paint, or coverup ugly tiles with a removable vinyl decal.
4 Add an island. Use a freestanding butcher block island for extra counter and storage space. Look for one wheels that can easily be moved around the kitchen or to another room.
5 Install shelving and smart storage. Floating shelves, pegboards, pot racks, hooks, knife strip — just about anything that takes your kitchen goods off the floor, onto the wall, hanging from the ceiling, or increase the amount of cabinet storage space will improve the efficiency of your kitchen, and they're all completely removable. Ikea has some really great, inexpensive systems that work perfectly for this need.
6 Change up the flooring. Flor carpet tiles, cork squares, stick on tiles and even regular mats are easy ways to cover up ugly vinyl flooring and add a punch of color and pattern.
7 Brighten the walls with removable paper. Paint is an obvious option, but there is now a wide range of temporary wall art, such as wall paper, decals, tile tattoos and window films — all of which can cover up rental imperfections, without being permanent.
8 Replace the faucet. Most rentals still have ugly, leaky faucets. Get one the looks and works the way your want (like low flow) — plus you don't need a plumber for the upgrade, you can do it yourself.
9 Upgrade the lighting. Consider adding undercabinet lighting to brighten up a dark and shadowy kitchen — LEDs are particularly good for this application, and most undercabinet lights can either be hardwired, or battery or plug-in operated for a less permanent solution.
10 Switch out the switch plates. Beige plastic switch plates and outlet covers just scream rental. It's a small detail, but an easy upgrade by simply painting them, changing them out for a new color or material like white or stainless steel, or go real fancy with a custom designed one from an art store or Etsy.

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