DIY Kitchen Hacks for Renters


By Bryn Huntpalmer

If you live in a rental property, you may feel that your hands are tied when it comes to customizing and optimizing your space. Many renters feel the most constrained when it comes to making changes in the kitchen but there are plenty of smart solutions for cramped, outdated, and plain kitchens. We’ve put together some easy and fun DIY ideas to make your kitchen stand out and become more functional.
Problem: Limited Counter Space and Storage

This is probably the most problematic issue that apartment dwellers face in the kitchen. It’s not simply a matter of aesthetic, but of aesthetic and function. Thankfully, you have dozens of options for making your kitchen feel and look less crowded. Hanging storage solves the problem of not having enough horizontal space by spreading out vertically.

Try hanging kitchen utensils, mounting mason jars, or even placing a shoe hanger over the back of the pantry door to store snacks and save space. You may also be able to get a few more precious square feet of counter space with a stove top cover or cutting board that goes over your burners or sink.

Problem: No Dining Space


Via Amazon

Again, if you can’t go horizontal, go vertical! If you would like somewhere to hold a meal for two in the kitchen but don’t want to cramp the space, a wall-mounted table is the best of both worlds. You can easily fold it out to enjoy dinner and or work on a project, and then fold it back up as soon as you need the space back.

Problem: Unappealing Backsplash


Via Spooonflower

You may be wondering what could you possibly do to improve a backsplash–or lack thereof–that wouldn’t make your security deposit go down the drain. In that case, you’ll be surprised by the range of options you have for improving a backsplash. Temporary vinyl wallpaper looks great, stays on, and peels off easily when you move out or are simply ready for a change. Simple square decals are an even easier option, or you can cut a mirror to size to cover unsightly tiles or wall space and brighten up the room with reflected light.

Problem: Bad Lighting



Via Cabinet Hardware Ideas

Dim lighting in this particular room can be a real problem. It’s not a great location for lamps, especially if the space is already tight, and many rental kitchens don’t have windows. Making meals in unpleasant or dim lighting can be truly tiresome. Thankfully, you have a few options for improving this situation, from buying a brighter bulb, to replacing the fixture altogether, as long as you change it out again before you leave. You can also hang a swinging arm lamp over the area where you need it most, or install stick-on lights under the cabinets.

Problem: Outdated Hardware


Via Seattle Times

Replacing plain, outdated, or loose hardware is one of the cheapest and easiest reversible updates you can make in your rental kitchen. And even though it’s a small and simple change, replacing your faucet, drawer pulls, and cabinet handles can make a huge difference.

Now that you have some simple hacks for your rental kitchen, get to work on making your space feel more like home!

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