The backsplash has a huge impact on the look and feel of your kitchen, which makes it even more of a pity that so many rentals have such ugly ones. But the good news is that, even if you're renting, you don't have to content yourself with what you've got. Here are nine good-looking, affordable, and totally temporary ways to transform your ugly (or maybe just boring) backsplash.
For the kitchen of her apartment in Brooklyn's Boerum Hill, interior designer Alex Kalita came up with a clever solution. The tiles, show above, which she purchased on a trip to Spain, were affixed to a piece of plywood, which she then mounted to the wall. Get the full details at Cup of Jo. (You can also find a step-by-step DIY at Food52.)
A cut-out piece of pegboard can serve two functions: covering your ugly backsplash and adding extra storage in your kitchen. This setup is from Liv by Design, via Houzz. If you decide to go this route, you'll want to install a spacer between the pegboard and the wall to allow the hooks to fit properly. If there's tile and you're not able to drill into the wall, you may be able to attach the spacer to the underside of the upper cabinets.
From Heimatbaum, here's a way to spice up a backsplash that's just a plain wall: with chalkboard paint. (Just make sure to use the dust-free chalk, unless you like the idea of chalk dust in your food.)
In this rental kitchen makeover from Thou Swell, inexpensive adhesive tiles add some style to a plain backsplash. (These were installed on a blank wall, but they can also go over existing tiles, too.)
Kirsten over at Simply Grove used an adhesive film (I think we used to call this contact paper?) to cover the countertops and backsplash in her rental kitchen. She says it's quite easy to remove when you're moving, and doesn't leave a residue.
These individual tile decals for a backsplash are all over Etsy (do a quick search, you'll see), but I wanted to find an example of them put to use in a real kitchen. Enter Andrea from Gypsy Yaya, who used these decals to spice up a very boring rental kitchen. Her space just had a plain wall for a backsplash, but they can also be used to cover over existing tiles.
It might be a little time-consuming, but this painted herringbone backsplash is much cheaper than tile—and, provided you have approval to paint, much more renter-friendly. Get the full details at My Blessed Life.