Kitchens are the heart of a home. This makes kitchen design an important part of designing home interiors. This also gives you the luxury of designing a kitchen in a way suitable to your cooking style. However in rental homes, this isn’t a possibility. Since you cannot break walls or make bigger windows in a rental kitchen, you need to focus on decorating it in a way to make the kitchen reflective of your personality.
The first step to revamping a rental kitchen is to scrub it down from the ceiling to the floor. Given the amount of heat generated in a kitchen, everything in a kitchen collects grime that settles itself into the material. This can make countertops and tiles look grimy and dull. A good scrub can instantly make a kitchen feel brighter and look more spacious than it was before. Here are a few other tip to upgrade your rental kitchen.
Bright colours distract from the less appealing elements of your kitchen. Hence, choose a bright colour scheme to upgrade your rental kitchen. Since changing wall tiles and cupboard faces is not a possibility in rental kitchens look at what you can add to the space. A bright rug can uplift the kitchen décor and simultaneously hide the existing flooring.
Curtains are another versatile décor element that can add colour to your kitchen. Highlight bare walls with wall art in eye catching colours. Kitchen wall décor can take a number of forms ranging from illustrated recipes to wordplay. Photographs of mouth watering dishes and ingredients also are ideally suited as kitchen wall art.
Accessories are an easy way of dressing up a rental kitchen. This can take the form of compact portable furniture or accent pieces to dot shelves and peek out of cupboards. No matter how small your kitchen is, a stool or a trolley is indispensable. Instead of a regular wood or metal polished one, pick a stool in a vibrant red or yellow to perk up your rental kitchen. Take a hint from this smart kitchen designed by Donakaza, architects from Brazil.
Choose eye catching happy colours to paint these pieces in. You could also have folding chairs in bright colours standing against a wall in your kitchen until you need to use them. This both saves space and adds to the aesthetics of your kitchen.
Along with colour, patterns are another way of upgrading rental kitchens. Patterns in a kitchen are most often seen on curtains. Big or small checks give kitchen curtains a vintage look while polka dots can make them look young and flirty. Chevron prints are another all time classic pattern choice for kitchen curtains. You can also introduce pattern in your kitchen by installing faux wallpaper behind open shelved cabinets.
Patterned fabrics can also be used to create refrigerator pockets or dust covers for ovens and microwaves. When choosing patterns, scale is an important factor to be kept in mind. Patterns with motifs that have a large repeat may not suit kitchen curtains if the entire pattern is not visible. On the other hand, very intricate patterns may get lost in the overall kitchen décor.
While you can’t do much with the flooring of a rental kitchen, baseboards are easy to upgrade. A coat of paint can do wonders to the look of your kitchen. You could even consider changing the colour of your kitchen baseboard by using a different colour of paint. All you need to do is remember to change it back to the original colour if and when you leave the house.
To paint baseboards, you must first clean them to remove all visible dirt and grime. A fresh coat can be directly applied on this. However, it is advisable to first scrape off the old paint that is flaking off, prime the baseboards and then paint it. If you are changing the baseboard colour from dark to light, you may need to apply more than one coat of paint.
If you feel the lighting in your kitchen is inadequate, you may need to add a few additional lights. Installing pendant lights or ceiling lights may not be viable in rental kitchens unless you have a light point in the centre of the room. Instead, consider installing rope lights under cabinets to brighten your counter space. A task lamp with a swing arm is also an ideal kitchen lamp. To save counter space, you could hang it from a wall. Replacing the bulb in overhead lamps for one with a higher wattage can also upgrade your kitchen, without blowing your budget.
Accent walls are a great way to add character to a rental kitchen. Painting a wall a different colour is an ideal way to define accent walls in a kitchen. It would be ideal if your landlord gives you a free hand to decorate the house. In case he does not, all you need to do is repaint the wall in its original colour when you leave the house. Fabric when starched can be fixed to the wall to mimic wallpaper. The starch or glue will come off with steam so if you want to use this technique to define an accent wall, choose a wall away from your stovetop. You could also cover one of the kitchen walls with stone, brick, tiles, or wooden cladding for a unique appeal.
Replacing the faucet and hardware like drawer pulls, can also effectively upgrade rental kitchens. You could even take a look at your switchboards to see if they can be replaced. If not, washi tape can be an effective camouflage tool. If you don’t like the kitchen backsplash consider decals and tile tattoos to cover it. These are budget friendly but can have a big impact on your kitchen décor. Beautiful looking storage bins to hold cutlery etc in place can also brighten your kitchen. Complement these by using uniform glass jars to hold your condiments. Lastly, organize your kitchen so that everything has a dedicated space. A kitchen that is orderly is always better looking than a messy kitchen.
For more inspiring ideas, feel free to go through this ideabook – 5 spectacular modern kitchen designs.