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7 Cheap and Easy Kitchen Updates for Rental Apartments

Whether you’re a home chef or more of an order-in or microwave meal type of person, everyone spends enough time in the kitchen to care about how it looks and feels. But, while you might sometimes get the itch to shake things up and update your apartment, it’s easy to give up before you started; besides, a busy life with little spare time and a tight budget can really turn you off from home renovations. Luckily, with a few quick and cheap DIY updates, you can revamp your kitchen hassle-free!

Remove cabinet doors

Give your plain cabinets an easy makeover by converting them to open shelving. Bonus: all you need for this one is a screwdriver. Removing the doors will have a significant and instant effect, and you’ll be able to show off your most stylish items. Plus, you can stash away the cabinet doors and screw them back in at any time.

Hang floating shelves

Speaking of open shelving, if you don’t want to remove your cabinet doors—but still want to display a beautiful set of glasses or some of your most valuable cookbooks—floating shelves are the way to go. Even better, find options that don’t require drilling here so you can set these up even if your landlord is strict (or if you’re not handy at all).

Paint window frames

Painting your window frames allows you to add a splash of color in a kitchen that’s otherwise neutral or make brightly painted walls pop. A good rule of thumb is to create contrast by going at least three shades lighter or darker than the rest of the room. Or, if your landlord won’t allow you to repaint, try experimenting with chalk spray paint or stickers.

Revamp walls & tiles with stickers

Even if your landlord won’t let you repaint your apartment, you can still add a lot of personality to your kitchen with a few well-placed stickers. Whether you want to add a few statement designs, cover an entire wall, or make it seem like you changed your kitchen tiles, stickers are easy to use, easy to personalize, and—best of all—easy to remove.

Turn your fridge into a chalkboard

Turning your fridge into a chalkboard will give your kitchen a trendy edge while also making household planning more practical. What’s more, if you have children—or if you’re an amateur artist yourself—it provides the perfect space for creativity. Simply apply a few layers of magnetic primer and chalkboard paint, and you’re all set.

Play with textures

You surely have a few tea towels and totes around the house. So, instead of stashing them in drawers, consider hanging them on cabinets and walls. Add a few baskets to the mix and play with how you layer the textures. Combining a diverse set of textures to your kitchen will make the space look warm and lived-in, and—if you’re using items you already have—it will also be free.

Recolor appliances with vinyl

When we think of personalization, kitchen appliances rarely come to mind. But, you can easily give them a completely new look with colored vinyl. Choose your favorite color online or from a local custom vinyl shop, effortlessly apply the sheets to appliances, and remove them in a snap. Plus, because vinyl is heat-resistant, you can even use it on your stove.

If you’re looking for a new rental with a fantastic kitchen, check out thousands of verified listings for apartments near you.

Irina Lupa
Irina Lupa is a creative writer for several Yardi publications, where she covers real estate market trends and industry news. Her work has been cited in Forbes, Globe St. and CNBC, among others. Irina has an academic background in journalism and media theory. You can connect with Irina via email.

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