8 ways to update a rented kitchen

Article by Homes to Love

There is often not much we can do about a neglected rental kitchen – not without landlord permission, which depending on your situation, can range from difficult to near-impossible to get. However, fear not, as we have rounded up some non-permanent solutions that will help make a positive impact on your kitchen


Finding a great home to rent can be a challenge. With the competition for well-priced rental properties on the rise, it’s often tempting to overlook some of the less pleasing aesthetic aspects (think scummy bathrooms, cramped bedrooms and lack of storage) in favour of location and price.

Considering that the kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s very disheartening when a property ticks all the boxes but the kitchen is severely lacking. The rest of the home may have been repainted and re-carpeted but somehow the reno magic skipped this room altogether with Formica benchtops, tiny cupboards and a questionable colour scheme – either way it’s not conducive to the beautiful home we always imagined ourselves living in. Here are eight ways to rectify that.


1. Add a temporary splashback

This can come in the form of vinyl decals, faux tiles, a fabric splashback covered in clear vinyl, adhesive vinyl, removable wallpaper tiles, washi tape, or blackboard paint (if you’re allowed to paint) such as these examples from Apartment Therapy.


2 Wallpaper the fridge

Removable wallpaper has burst onto the DIY scene in recent years and is being used in all sorts of fabulous ways. DIY blogger Aunt Peaches covered her refrigerator with a speckle pattern from Chasing Paper with spectacular results. As a renter, the refrigerator is commonly something you provide so changing it up is free game. Also, by using removable wallpaper you can quickly revert back to the original finish if you decide it’s not for you.


3. Use vinyl wallcoverings or contact paper to cover your cupboards

Contact is having something of a renaissance as people now realise that it’s not just for covering school books! Use it to completely cover large surfaces such as your kitchen cupboards. Although, if you’re not ready for that level of commitment, you can cut out smaller shapes and strips for a fun burst of colour and pattern. Emily Henderson used striped paper on the toe kick of Joy’s office kitchen cabinets, as seen on Design Sponge.

4. Remove the cupboard doors

Check with your landlord before doing this. A major trend in kitchens right now is open shelving. By artfully displaying all your crockery and utensils, you can give your kitchen instant personality, but be warned – you need to be somewhat of a neat-freak for this solution to continuously look good.

5. Add a mirror

This is like a magic trick in a smaller kitchen. It might seem like a small addition, but a great mirror can improve an entire room by adding visual positivity. It’s an unexpected element in the kitchen so it instantly makes a statement. It also works by making the room appear larger and lighter.


6. Put a rug down

Rugs are the simplest and most cost-effective way to cover up a tired kitchen floor. Woven fibres are not always ideal in an area prone to getting wet, but look towards hardier varieties such as sisal, jute, coir and seagrass. A vibrant flat-woven rug adds instant colour to this fuss-free beach cottage and can even be tossed in the washing machine if need be.


7. Add removable decals to the walls, cabinets or kitchen island

A simple solution for an instant update or a colour boost, decals go on easily and are removable too. Pictured above is a triangle decal from The Print Tank. Other options include The Vinyl Room or Your Decal Shop.


8. Accessorise like a boss

If all else fails, fill your kitchen with gorgeous knick-knacks, like potted herbs and screen-printed tea towels. Try working them in with the colour scheme used throughout the rest of the house for a coordinated and modern look. Even the most soulless of kitchens can be brought to life with some carefully chosen accessories, as can be seen in this plain white kitchen with a Scandi-style feel.

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