8 How-To Ideas For Rental Kitchens


At some point in our lives, we're likely to be renting a home instead of owning. There are pluses and minuses to both. But one drawback to renting is not being able to change things your landlord forbids you to change. 

So let's see what we can do.  




Unless you're strictly prohibited, you can add shelves. As long as you put things back the way they were when you first leased your home. 

The good thing is, you can take your wall shelves with you!


Lighting is usually another problem. I know in my bathroom I have that old strip lighting that I'm dying to change. Add a chandelier to spice things up. 

Just make sure you hire someone who knows what they're doing! Unless you are one of those DIYers that can do it themselves. 


Embellish what you already have. These white cabinets are pretty boring. But adding the lace trim adds to the shelves above, personalizing them a bit. 

Also bright colors on the counter distract from the plain white cabinets below.


Change out the cabinet hardware. Add a magnetic strip for knives. There are all kinds of ways to add bling and storage to rental kitchens.


The blue shelves above the lower cabinets brings a wow factor to a boring kitchen.


Wallpaper the insides of cabinets. This will give a fresh look and can be changed out when you tire of the pattern. Especially nice if the doors are off or if you have glass doors.


Need a message center but don't have the wall space? Use the front of your refrigerator and add cork board.


Add shelves with hooks so you can use the space underneath. 


We all know that the addition of mirrors helps make a small space appear larger.


31 comments

  1. Great ideas for adding a serious dose of charm to a smaller-sized, rental kitchen! Thanks for sharing these creative ideas. Hope your day is off to a good start... ~julie

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    1. And I sure have a small kitchen to try ideas out on!

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  2. I love the idea of the patterned or colored paper on the back of open shelving. Easy to put up and remove. When we rented back in the early part of our marriage, our land lord was happy to let us paint and wall paper because he didn't have to. He was very flexible.

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    1. Now they have temporary removable wallpaper. Haven't tried that yet.

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  3. Just lost my comment! What amazing ideas to add extra storage and beauty to a smaller kitchen! I will definately use a few of these clever ideas in my own small kitchen. Many thanks for sharing...

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  4. Great ideas. I love the one with the mirror. xo Laura

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    1. It's a little wonky. I'd surely have to straight it!

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  5. I am seriously thinking of replacing the lighting. I just changed out some blinds and still have some more to do. But my mad money has been depleated for now....$500.00 crown I just paid for. I

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    1. You got a crown for $500? My last two was a lot more than that!

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  6. You can use starch and favorite fabrics from your stash in lieu of wallpaper! Easy to remove, so you can switch it out in a heartbeat, and a great way use things instead of having them hid away in a cabinet unseen.

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  7. Love the cabinets and shelves in two different colors..also like wallpaper inside cabinets!

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    1. I thought those two different colors really gave the kitchen a special look too.

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  8. Great ideas! I'm always a fan of wallpaper inside of cabinets! It gives such a lovely, unexpected pop!

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    1. Now to find some temporary wallpaper I can afford! The temporary stuff is high-priced.

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  9. Brenda, All of these are good ideas. I know you have done plenty of decorating . Blessings, xoxo,Susie

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    1. I guess I'll always be decorating something. It's in my blood.

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  10. All great ideas, Brenda!
    Thank you for sharing!

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  11. Many good ideas here. After being home owners for over 30 years, we are now temporarily renting - yes, quite a change. Luckily, our landlords are really good, honest, caring people - they feel as lucky to have us as renters as we are to have them. Honestly, in our case there are many perks to renting for awhile, and its not bad at all!. Thanks!

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    1. I know. Just call the maintenance man and he takes care of it. No mowing in front. It's great!

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  12. I love all the photos you've featured here, Brenda!

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  13. I think of all these... the use of mirror is one I'd tend to do. I have lots of mirror around my home.
    I also like the use of contact papers...though it wasn't mentioned. it can be removed and cleaned up with WD-40 pretty easlily too.

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  14. Your kitchen is the best example of what can be done in a rental. It is pretty, practical and your personality shines through!

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  15. What a wonderful post Brenda! Beautiful ideas and so inspirational! I so enjoyed this!

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  16. I have never lived in a rental in over 35 years where you can paint, change the lighting
    or add shelves. I cannot make any changes at all but I decorate with my coastal country
    décor that cheers me up. You are so lucky to have choices .

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  17. These are all great ideas. As you know I might be moving, and I looked at a condo and realized the kitchen open space is only as wide as a kitchen sink between the counters on both sides! Yuck!

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  18. Before I found Cottage !i lived in a rented apartment for a few months. I was told not to change a thing in the rooms. Of course I couldn't help myself and added shelves and door knobs to the kitchen. When the agency visited after I told them I was leaving, I told them I would remove everything and patch the wall before leaving. They didn't want me to: they said it was much better now!

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  19. On tour with Orbison and the Rolling Stones in 1965, Marianne Faithfull recalled him as “large and strange and Timberland Sale mournful looking, like a prodigal mole in Tony Lama cowboy boots.” One night, Faithfull convinced Orbison to let her try on his glasses. A photographer captured the moment: Timberland Outlet online Faithfull peeks over the frames like a coy librarian; next to her, absent his signature Ray-Bans, Orbison’s face looks naked, his smile frozen halfway between pleasure and terror.

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