Decorating a rental kitchen doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or difficult task. In fact, it’s a lot more simple to up your style game than you might think. Here are our favourite not-so-secret ingredients for transforming your sad rental kitchen into a bright and inspiring space you’ll never want to leave.
Published April 28, 2017, Updated November 4, 2019
Under $15: Greens
There is a huge trend this year towards microgreens growing indoors. So why not pick up some greenery (microgreens, herbs, plants or otherwise) at your local garden centre or flower shop to help bring some life and colour to your kitchen?
Under $15: Memory String
Who said you need to embark on an entire kitchen renovation in order to enjoy the room? All you’d require is some twine and a quick trip to the nearest photo printer to craft a simple and stunning addition to your rental kitchen that also makes for a great conversation piece. String up images of family and friends, holiday cards and sentimental notes.
Under $15: Door Pulls
How’s this for a rental property renovation tip? New door pulls feel upscale, are easy to install and can always be taken with you when you move. They’re also shockingly inexpensive and can be purchased for as little as $2 each at some big-box department stores. For more inspiration, check out the top kitchen trends for 2020.
Under $25: Shelf Accessories
Use countertops and open shelving to display personal effects, like favourite cookbooks and whimsical accessories. It creates a customized look with a curated, I’ve-always-lived-here kind of feel. Bonus: it could potentially be entirely free if you utilize books and items you already own.
Under $50: Chalkboard Wall
A chalkboard is undeniably fun (just try to resist doodling) and super practical for tracking tasks, such as grocery lists and monthly events. It also introduces a graphic element we love and is incredibly easy to incorporate in your rental space. You can simply paint over it again whenever you move out.
Under $50: Odds and Ends
Empty shelves suggest temporary abode. To add a little character without going overboard, dress them up with a mix of practical kitchen items and purely pretty ones like fresh flowers, artwork or inspirational quotes.
Under $50: Vinyl Decal
Depending on where you go to buy them, you can get sticky vinyl decals for a reasonable price. Add some new “backsplash tiles” behind the sink of your kitchen rental or add a countertop border with an affordable and easy-to-apply option.
Under $50: Go Rustic
Turn a small and otherwise shabby space into a cozy kitchen with rustic earthenware and a tray of potted herbs to liven things up. Use items you already own or pick up one or two new pieces for a reasonable price. You can also look into these genius low-cost kitchen updates that look expensive.
Under $50: Colourful Dishware
Ditch the white plates! Colourful dishes and small appliances inject some much-needed pizzazz to a tired rental space. Bonus: they look cool out in the open – no cupboard required, so you can fully embrace all that open shelving.
Under $100: Lighting
Illuminate your culinary character with tasteful, affordable lighting, such as this simple black lamp fixture above the kitchen sink. Less is more in this case – and it’s a lot friendlier on the wallet. For more lightbulb moments, check out these dining room lighting ideas that will shine in 2020.
Under $100: Wallpaper or Artwork
are fine and all, but sometimes it pays off to get a little more … graphic. We love cooking spaces specially outfitted with graphic design elements. Hang (or even lean) a cheerful art piece behind the sink to create a compelling, gallery-like setting or opt for a cost-effective self-adhesive wallpaper to liven up your dish washing station. Not sure where to get started? Try these bold print wallpaper ideas that will transform your space.
Under $250: Kitchen Faucet
Nothing says upgrade like a fancy new faucet. Budget-friendly ones abound at big-box stores and we’re loving this sleek brass option. Is your faucet in need of some damage control? Find out how to fix a leaky faucet (and 10 more quick home repairs).