5 Easy Upgrades for your Rental Kitchen
As I get ready to embark on a pretty extensive kitchen renovation, I recognize that many of the projects I’m going to take on hinge on the fact that I own my home and have the freedom to make whatever changes I want. That has not always been the case, and I’ve lived with many a kitchen that desperately needed some love. I never wanted to invest too much money or time into transforming those spaces because it wasn’t, after all, an investment that I would see return. So with that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my favorite rental kitchen upgrades. These are all temporary, can easily be returned back to their original state when you move out, and won’t cost you much at all.
Update Cabinet Hardware
I cannot emphasize how easy this is! And you can take the hardware with you and reuse it in your next rental kitchen. All you need is a screwdriver and an hour or so. I would always take the existing hardware, put it all (screws included) in a big ziploc bag and tape the ziploc bag to the back of a lower cabinet, that way you are sure not to lose the rental’s original hardware. When you’re ready to move out, it’s a simple switch back and no harm done! Some of my favorite places to find hardware are Wayfair and Etsy!
Remove Cabinet Doors
Taking off a couple of cabinet doors can totally transform a space, especially if you have cute, uniform glassware! And this will literally take you 10 minutes. Opt for a cabinet that houses glasses, plates, or spices even. Let’s keep canned goods and jars of peanut butter behind closed doors!
Replace the Light Fixture
This one can seem a bit more intimidating, but I promise if you can twist a twist-tie, you can replace a light fixture. Light fixtures are often so overlooked in rentals, but they are so simple to swap out and swap back when you’re ready to move out. One of my favorite places for pendant lighting is World Market - very cute and affordable options. I’ve made a quick how-to guide to walk you through the steps if you’ve never tackled it before.
Install Open Shelving
This is an easy way to display things like wine glasses, spices, and dry goods. It also gives you a great excuse to buy some cute jars (Goodwill has great glassware). You can build your own simple L-shaped floating shelves or explore so many cute options out there! I love these gold brackets from World Market that you can mix and match with different shelves.
Add a Rug
Seems like a no-brainer, but a nice runner can really transform a space. I’d recommend finding something that’s machine washable - this is your kitchen after all. It’s also a great way to add some color without bothering with paint.
Whatever you do, just don't feel like you're stuck with an ugly space just because you rent. There are so many small changes that make a world of difference. And when in doubt, just ask your landlord. You may find they're way more comfortable with small changes than you realize.