9 ways to spruce up a rental kitchen

Just because you’re renting doesn’t mean you should have to put up with a drab kitchen.

While some landlords do put off kitchen maintenance because they’re expensive to renovate there’s still quite a few non-permanent ways you can give your rental kitchen a bit of a lift.

1. Decorate cupboard doors

If the house you rent still sports daggy orange or yellow Formica cupboards, you can give your kitchen a serious makeover by simply covering it up.

You can try using:

  • Patterned sticky contact (the kind you use to cover books) ;
  • Stickers (specifically the kind that are easily removable);
  • Washi tape

Or, you could even cut scraps of pretty wallpaper to fit the cupboards and simply stick them in place with removable double-sided tape. It’s a cheap and easy solution to an unfortunate orange cupboard situation.

2. Get some cheap and funky furniture

A few bar stools or colourful chairs will definitely brighten up a boring kitchen. They don’t even have to match.

You can go op-shopping and pick any chairs you like and then paint them bright colours when you get home. Don’t forget to use a paint sealer and be sure let them dry properly before use.

You can also paint old sets of drawers and shelves to give your kitchen a whole new look without making any permanent changes.

3. Display your wares

If your rental kitchen is small (as so many of them are), it’s unlikely that you will have enough storage for all your kitchen gear so it’s the perfect chance to get creative with your storage solutions. You can store large cooking utensils like spatulas and whisks in a large vase on your kitchen bench top.

The home of Carol Sae-Yang. Picture: Tamara Graham

Sometimes organised chaos is the best solution to a storage crises.

If you’re lacking cupboard space, mugs and piles of festively mis-matched plates will look great on an open shelf. Sometimes organised chaos is the best solution to a storage crises.

4. Use the fridge as a blank canvas

If the fridge came with the rental property then it needs to stay in the condition it was in when you took residency of the house. This means that you can’t make any permanent changes to it but you can certainly dress it up a little.

Cover it with chalkboard painted cardboard and write your shopping lists on it.

You can cover it with chalkboard painted cardboard and write your shopping lists on it. You could have your Instagram photos printed onto magnets and cover the whole thing with wonderful memories. You can also use contact paper to create an artistic design, just make sure that whatever materials you use are easily removable and the sky’s the limit!

5. Get vertical

Another great solution to a storage crises is to hang some racks from the ceiling.

You can even attach them with heavy load bearing adhesive hooks, as you long as you check the weight of whatever you’re hanging. Pots, pans, utensils and aprons will all look fantastic hanging from a rack and you gain lots of extra storage space as a bonus too.

6. Rent appliances

If you hate your dishwasher but the landlord refuses to replace it, simply hire one. You can hire them week to week or for a whole year. It’s much a better solution than putting up with a dodgy one.

7. Give it a spring a clean

It will make such a huge difference if you give your tired rental kitchen a thorough scrub. Get into all the corners with a toothbrush, give the oven a really good clean and do a good job on the mopping and dusting.

A thorough clean gives you an excellent base for decorating.

Giving an average rental kitchen a thorough cleaning gives you an excellent base for decorating and organising.

8. Accessorise

Get some gorgeous tea towels or a few beautiful tea canisters to sit on your bench top. Invest in a beautiful tea kettle and toaster set that you really love or put a few pictures on the walls.

Just because you can’t do anything about the old laminate bench top doesn’t mean you can’t put trendy accessories on it.

9. Go botanical

Plants are a must-have for a shabby kitchen. You can grow herbs and flowers or even just have a few little succulents in pots, if you don’t have much of a green thumb.

A happy healthy terrarium will give you years of joy. Picture: Erinna Giblin

Grow a few succulents in pots if you don’t have a green thumb.

The best thing about investing in plants when you’re a renter is that you can take them with you to spruce up your next rental kitchen.

Originally published as 9 ways to spruce up a rental kitchen by Carly Jacobs. Author at realestate.com.au

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