Renters: energize your kitchen in 3 easy steps

By Lucy Cohen Blatter  | November 20, 2014 - 12:59PM

We could probably describe your rental kitchen without even seeing it: vinyl tile on the floors, laminate countertops in an inoffensive (if drab) pattern, those honey-colored wood cabinets that must be on special at the landlord supply store (if such a thing exists). But your cookie-cutter kitchen can be saved with a few affordable and easy upgrades, which Apartment Therapy recently rounded up:

1. Get a (new) handle on the cabinets

While it's unlikely your landlord will let you paint or replace the cabinet doors, you can switch out the hardware for, say, smart-looking nickel knobs (these ones from Lowes are less than $3 each). Be sure to save the old handles so you can swap them back before you move.

2. Take a big picture view

Add color and personality with artwork on the walls or, for an even easier fix, lean pictures against the backsplash. Ideally, you want framed examples so you can wipe off any splatters—no, this isn't the place to hang your Picassos. 

3. Do more with the floor

Consider buying a low-pile rug  or runner  that's easy to machine wash—another fast and simple way to add color. IKEA has lots for under $40. Or snazz up the toekick, that space between the floor and the bottom cupboards that you've probably always ignored (though it's an ingenious spot to build drawers). Patterned contact paper that sticks on and peels off later is a no brainer for adding pizzazz. (We like this one, which you can get at Walmart for less than $5 a roll). 


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