3 Things You Think Can't Be Fixed in Your Rental Kitchen (But They Can!)

3 Things You Think Can't Be Fixed in Your Rental Kitchen (But They Can!)

Katie Holdefehr
Apr 10, 2017

Every time I check out a rental apartment, I take a deep breath before stepping into the kitchen. You never know what you're going to find, but old cabinets, outdated appliances and dingy backsplashes are likely awaiting. Even if this isn't your "forever home," you don't have to live with these eyesores. Here are some smart (read: completely temporary) ways to deal with the top three rental kitchen problem spots.

Problem Spot: The Kitchen Cabinets

(Image credit: Design Sponge)

Solution 1: This Chicago rental from Design Sponge shows that the easiest way to deal with ugly cabinet fronts when you're not allowed to paint is simply to remove them. Store the cabinet doors in a closet until it's time to reattach them on move-out day. Until then, you'll be able to enjoy an open, modern kitchen.

(Image credit: Christopher Broe)

Solution 2: If you have open cabinets in your rental, but would prefer to hide the clutter you've stashed there, hang a custom curtain from a tension rod. Using a tension rod means you won't have to screw into the wall or the cabinets.

(Image credit: Lyn Hughes via PopSugar)

Solution 3: Try refacing the cabinet doors with contact paper. Cover over the entire front, or have fun with it and create a mod geometric design, like the one in this kitchen on PopSugar.

Problem Spot: Dingy, Outdated Appliances

(Image credit: BHG)

Solution 1: Pull out the patterned contact paper. One of our favorite adhesive products for renters, this versatile supply sticks right onto refrigerator fronts and oven doors, as shown in this kitchen from BHG.

(Image credit: Make It Boho)

Solution 2: By cutting cactus-shaped stickers out of a sheet of contact paper, Jenny from Make It Boho was able to add a playful (and temporary) pattern to her refrigerator.

(Image credit: The Desi Wonder Woman)

Solution 3: Dress up your fridge front with tape. Desi the Wonder Woman used Duct Tape to create stripes on this fridge, but you can also try jumbo rolls of washi tape if you want an easier removal process.

Problem Spot: An Ugly (Or Non-Existent) Backsplash

Solution 1: Removable wallpaper is your best friend when you have a rental kitchen without a backsplash. In Tara's Boston rental, above, floral wallpaper from Spoonflower completely transforms the entire room. Also, because it's only temporary, you can try out bold patterns or vibrant colors without committing to them for life.

(Image credit: A Joyful Riot)

Solution 2: Surprise, surprise: contact paper makes yet another appearance in a rental kitchen. This time around, marbled contact paper stands in for the real deal in this calm and cheerful space from A Joyful Riot.

(Image credit: Poligom)

Solution 3: The French blog Poligom adhered peel-and-stick mini tiles to create a removal backsplash in their charming kitchen. The tiny hexagonal ones above came from Smart Tiles (check out their imitation marble!), but you can also find inexpensive options at Home Depot.

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