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How to Customize Your Rental Kitchen Without Pulling Out a Paintbrush

When you move into a rented home or kitchen, you’re often faced with limitations when it comes to altering certain spaces – such as the backsplash and cabinetry. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t customize the space as your own. With these personal yet simple tweaks, you won’t have to worry about busting out a paintbrush or toolbox when you’re ready to move out. Consider these temporary kitchen design touches to transform your cucinafrom drab to absolutely fab!


Add Some Sizzle with a Temporary Backsplash

Your kitchen’s backsplash inarguably adds the most personality to your space overall. Bursts of color, texture, and varying materials can turn an otherwise bland wall into a creative landscape. What you may not realize, though, is that you don’t need to bust out permanent adhesives and sticky mixtures to the wall to achieve the look and purpose of a backsplash.

Believe it or not, you can invest in stick-on vinyl decals that look like exactly like tile. Yep! In fact, you can find tons and tons of vintage, modern, unique, and beautiful backsplash tile decals all over Internet marketplaces (such as Etsy). Once you find a design that fits your kitchen’s color scheme and character, simply adhere the sticker to the existing wall, and you’ll achieve an instant kitchen facelift.


Photo by StudioDin on Shutterstock

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Swap Out the Hardware

Are your rental kitchen’s cabinet knobs overused, outdated, or (in your humble opinion) an altogether eyesore? You don’t have to even consider swapping out the cabinetry when you have the simple solution of swapping out the hardware.


Photo by Evgeny Pyatkov on Shutterstock


A screwdriver and a few other tools may be needed for this rental kitchen update, but no strenuous or damaging labor is necessary. Just be sure to store the original knobs in a safe place so that they can be swapped out once again when you find it time to move on out. The fun, gold knobs, above, for example, add creativity and color to cabinetry that would otherwise be full-on white.


It’s All in the Accents

Add personality to your rental kitchen with color or pattern-coordinated fixtures, appliances, and tools.

A funky colored teapot displayed on top of your stove burner doesn’t have to just be for brewing loose leaf. It can be a chic, unique statement piece. What are some other items that add new hue-rizons to your rental kitchen? Match these:

  • Decorative kitchen towels
  • Unique refrigerator magnets (or personalized photo magnets)
  • A trendy salt and pepper shaker
  • A wondrous fruit bowl


Photo by SN Photograph on Shutterstock


Treat the Windows …With Style

A window treatment has the power of making a rental kitchen feel a little less rental-y and a ton homier. So ditch the plastic window covering that is most likely bombarding your rental kitchen’s window right now and install a drape, shade, or shutter that speaks to your style.


Photo by Svetlana Lukienko on Shutterstock


Bonus: When the window treatment is bright and colorful, like the one above, it also helps light up even the tiniest of cooking spaces.


Give the Floor a Little Pizzazz

Looking for some extra personalization? Laying a rug or floor mat over the kitchen’s surface adds a unique touch that many might not associate with the cooking area. However, rugs work wonders in a pinch, especially when you’re trying to conceal outdated tiling. They also get points for being washable.

Working with a galley kitchen? A runner should fit perfectly in a narrow cooking space.


Photo by Artazum on Shutterstock


Don’t Forget About the Walls!

Most landlords will allow tenants to hang small items like pictures and clocks on the wall, as long as this doesn’t cause damage. We suggest hanging artwork in the kitchen!

  • Chalkboard art: Hanging a small chalkboard in the kitchen is both practical and cozy. Use the surface to write a daily message, the evening’s dinner recipe, your grocery list, and so on. An artistic surface with flexibility is perfect – and convenient when you pop your head in the fridge and realize you’re all out of milk!
  • Landscape photography: Adding a photograph or two to your rental kitchen’s walls contributes both warmth and a sense of class to your space. We suggest landscape scenes, as the vibrant colors and textures of nature coincide with the diverse colors, scents, and textures right inside your kitchen.


Not allowed to use nails or hanging devices? Lucky for you, wall decals are very popular right now. Just like the backsplash stickers we mentioned before, decorative and/or script wall decals are able to adhere right to the wall’s surface… and can then be peeled off once it’s time to move out.

So, while it’s true that rental spaces have their decorating limits, you are not stuck with someone else’s design. You may not be able to switch out your countertops, put a paintbrush to the cabinets, or gut the outdated floor tile. But that doesn’t have to stop you from customizing even the most temporary of rental kitchens.

Add some you to the space following the above tips, and if not for the rent payments, you might forget this kitchen isn’t your very own.


Photo by on Shutterstock

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