Being a renter has a few drawbacks, especially when it comes to personalizing your space. If you don’t like the way your kitchen or bathroom looks, you can’t remodel it like you would a home you own. That doesn’t leave you without options though. There are plenty of renter friendly kitchen remodeling ideas that you can tap into.
First, Ask Your Landlord What You Can and Cannot Do to Your Kitchen
Before you can plan your kitchen remodel, you need to know your options. Are you allowed to paint? Put holes in the wall for nails and screws? Can you update the light fixture as long as you leave the new one when you move out?
Each landlord, property owner or property management company has its own stipulations. Verify what your limitations are so you can plan accordingly.
Use Removable Contact Paper for Damage-Free Upgrades (But Beware the Removal Time!)
Contact paper is a go-to solution for renter friendly kitchen remodeling. This includes the name brand Con-Tact Paper, as well as other brands of peel-and-stick paper.
The idea here is that the paper goes on like a sticker and can be removed when you move out. It comes in a variety of patterns, including wood grain, marble, tile, terrazzo, and more. You can make an old butcher block laminate countertop look like white marble with a little bit of contact paper.
This process isn’t all it is cracked up to be. For starters, many renters complain about how tricky it is to get the paper smooth, particularly on corners or rounded areas. Another drawback is the amount of time it takes to remove the paper when you move out. Some products come up with little effort, but others leave a sticky residue that takes a ton of elbow grease to get out. Other paper is prone to ripping, which takes away from the quick peel-off effect.
Using contact paper in a rental kitchen is definitely an option, but do extensive research before committing to this project.
Add Art and Accent Pieces to Bring Your Personality into the Kitchen
You can use art in your kitchen just like you could anywhere else in your home. If you’re not allowed to put nails in the wall, you can use Command hooks for damage-free hanging. If you can use small nails, the possibilities are almost endless! Hang art above your cabinets, on a spare wall, along your blank backsplash, or anywhere else you like the look of.
Tie it all together with accent pieces, like countertop décor or decorative hand towels. Soon you won’t even notice the features you once hated!
Switch out the Cabinet Hardware
Changing the cabinet hardware won’t require any drilling as long as you do it correctly. You can swap all of the knobs and handles in your kitchen and put them all back before you move.
The key here is to select pulls that have the same hole spacing. This isn’t a concern for knobs since there is only one hole for the screw to go into. It is a concern for handles though. If you choose the wrong hole spacing on your new handles, you’d have to drill a hole to accommodate that. This will likely go against your landlord’s wishes.
Measure the space between the holes on your existing drawer pulls, or take one into the hardware store with you. Then you can match the new holes exactly and buy the right handles to upgrade your kitchen.
Use Kitchen-Safe Rugs to Cover the Floor and Add Cushion below Your Feet
Hate your floor? Just add a rug! You can get a kitchen mat that covers the flooring and provides extra support for your feet. Choose a material that is easy to vacuum, clean in the washing machine, or rinse off with a hose. If it has a fun pattern that fits your décor, that’s even better!
Assess the Cost/Time of the Upgrades – Is the Work Worth the Outcome?
As you plan your renter friendly kitchen remodel, think about the cost vs. reward. This isn’t just about the financial investment either. Your time is valuable too. If you’re only going to be somewhere for a few months, spending days trying to remove contact paper may not be a wise investment. If you’re planning to live there for years though, the joy you get may be worth the hassle.