8 Creative Ways to Renovate Your Rental Property Kitchen on a Budget

A rental property kitchen that lacks personality.

You spend most of your time in the kitchen, either preparing food or eating, so even if you rent, you will probably want to add some décor and personality to make it look and feel like home. However, renovating a rental property kitchen is not always feasible because there might be explicit instructions in the rental agreement not to make any major changes to the property without the owner’s consent, or the landlord may prohibit any modifications to the interior. This, however, does not mean that you cannot make minor décor changes to the house.

You can easily make cosmetic changes to the kitchen that are not permanent and will not infringe on your rental agreement. Whether it’s better to own or rent property now is an ongoing debate. But the reality is that for many people, renting is the answer because they might not be able to get financing yet, or they may need a temporary home while advancing their careers or just starting out after college. Fortunately, there are ways to give a rental property a little personality with a few tweaks here and there. This article discusses eight simple ways to give a rental kitchen a renovation or revamp with a limited budget and zero hassle.

Install a Peel-and-Stick Backsplash for a No-Fuss Kitchen Renovation

Peel and stick tile, an easy rental property kitchen renovation.

A great way to give a rental kitchen a quick and affordable refresh is to update the backsplash. These are fantastic because they come in sheets of various designs and colors that can be cut up for smaller spaces or tiled together for larger areas. They have a tacky back that makes them easy to apply and removing them is just as simple because they do not leave any residue or marks behind. You can tile the entire wall or just the area behind the stove and sink where most splashes occur. This will also make clean-up easier because the stickers have a glossy finish that can be wiped clean with a little dish soap and a microfiber cloth.

If the landlord permits you to install a permanent backsplash, then they will definitely require the renovating company to be registered with the required professional bodies in the area so that all work completed complies with the region’s standards. For instance, a reputable kitchen renovation company in Toronto will be uniquely qualified to deal with safety regulations and directly contact building material manufacturers to ensure the entire project is of the highest quality. You can visit this page to learn more about the kitchen renovation process and what to expect when renovating a kitchen in a rental home.

Add Café Curtains for a Quaint Look

If no curtain rails or blinds are installed on the kitchen windows, then an easy fix is to hang café-style curtains instead. These curtains slip onto a retractable curtain rod that fits inside the window frame and is held in place with suction stoppers that adhere to the walls. This means that you can make them as long or as short as you need. And their easy installation mechanism does not require any drilled holes.

Add Rugs to a Boring Floor

More often than not, rental properties are designed with neutral finishings, making them easy to maintain and repair when necessary. Some landlords do attempt to make the properties look unique by including wow factors in the rentals, like modern light fittings or attractive flooring, but your rental property might not have these.

Adding a colorful rug to worn floors is an easy way to update a rental property kitchen.

If the kitchen floor looks a bit worn or boring, a pretty rug or mat with bright patterns or designs can give it an instant upbeat feel. Areas in the kitchen prone to lots of foot traffic, like the stove area, sink area, or the spot in front of the fridge or door, can benefit from a mat or rug.

Use Wall Decals to Add Personality to a Rental Kitchen

The plethora of available wall decals makes it possible to give a rental property kitchen a unique look that can be easily removed when you move and reapplied in your new home. You can arrange them in a pattern to mimic wallpaper or group them together in little vignettes all over the kitchen—even on the cupboard doors.

Try some stickers with oversized fruit or vegetables for a fun twist on traditional wall décor. There are motivational sayings or stickers of your favorite desserts with which to adorn your walls so that you always feel inspired to cook. They are also great conversational starters.

Hang a Large Mirror or Artwork to Make the Space Feel Bigger

If you have a small kitchen in the property you are renting, there are some tricks you can use to create the illusion of more space. The first is hanging a large piece of art on a wall as a focal point to draw the eye. The second is to use mirrors to reflect light in the space, making it feel bigger.

The natural tendency is to hang small frames in a small space, but this only reinforces the cramped feel of the space. By using large mirrors or framed art, you’ll be playing with proportions to trick the eye and make the kitchen feel spacious. The larger the mirror or frame, the better.

Switch Out Cabinet Hardware to Add Elegance

A wood cupboard with new hardware installed.

The cabinet doors and drawers will probably have standard brushed metal or plastic handles or knobs that are easy and cheap to replace if damaged. But you can easily swap these with matte black or copper hardware to give the kitchen a modern feel.

Be sure to first measure the distance of the holes in the cabinets where the handles screws in to ensure the ones you replace them with will fit because you do not want to have to drill holes in the landlord’s cupboards. Then keep the old handles and screws in a plastic Ziploc bag to put them back when you move out.

Add Ambient Lighting Under Cupboards

It is unlikely that you will be able to replace light fixtures without permission or without a qualified electrician. But if you want to dramatically change the look of a rental property kitchen, then lighting is the ideal way. Lights play a significant role in your mood and emotions, so having a well-lit kitchen is essential.

You can adhere LED light strips beneath the wall cabinets or along the cupboard kickplates to add ambiance to the space. These strips have various color and dimness settings to enhance the look of a rental kitchen and give it an upscale feel.

Include Extra Attractive Storage

Modular storage used to give a rental property kitchen more personality and storage potential.

Installing extra storage space in a rental home’s kitchen is easy with a free-standing shelving unit. The modular units that are available at most retail stores make it possible to create a custom unit that fits the available space and that you can reconfigure when you move out. Not to mention that a free-standing shelf can be placed on large castors and moved around the space to create a room divider if the area is open plan.


Renting a property does not have to mean you are limited in your décor and kitchen improvement choices. Things like peel-and-stick tiles and wall decals can add unique personality and intrigue to your rental property kitchen. Adhesive LED strips are also easy to install along the cabinet tops or bottoms to give the kitchen a modern look. Throw down a funky rug to cover dull tiles or worn floorboards or hang a set of café curtains to disguise a dull view. If you feel like the hardware is boring, swapping the handles and knobs is simple too. Kitchen storage can sometimes be limited in rental properties, so using DIY modular units to increase storage space is a great way to enhance the look of a kitchen and make it more functional.

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