10 instant kitchen updates for your rental home

The kitchen is an integral part of most houses and is commonly referred to as the heart of the home, I know it certainly is in ours. It’s where many good times are shared over family dinners, we catch up on our day sharing the highs & lows, where important conversations often take place and where the details of the school day are shared over an afternoon snack. Therefore most homeowners dream of having the perfect kitchen.

Maybe you own your house and are saving towards your dream kitchen or maybe you rent your home like we do and therefore are not allowed to make any changes or don’t want to spend the money making changes when it’s not your home. Therefore you spend your days looking longingly at kitchen re-models or pinning your perfect kitchen ideas on Pinterest wishing you could change anything or do anything at all to improve the kitchen that you’re stuck with.

Well I have good news! There are lots of things you can do to improve the look of your kitchen without spending a fortune. Here are 10 instant kitchen updates you can do.

 1. Use a removable splashback

 A more attractive splashback will perk up any kitchen, there are some amazing ones around at the moment but this wallpaper splashback from Limelace is definitely my favourite. It is water resistant and heat resistant (B1 and M2 certified) so you can even use it behind your oven. Also it can be cleaned using warm water and a cloth so any stains such as grease or sauce will disappear without effort. Then once you’re ready to remove it just unpeel it and it can even be reused again if you want. They have such a great selection, here are some of my favourites. Click here to see them all.

kitchen splashbackImages – Limelace

2. Change hardware.

Swap tired handles and knobs to give a fresh new look. This relatively small yet important adjustment can do wonders for enhancing the look and feel of the entire space and it’s easy to change back when you move out. Try B&Q for inexpensive door handle and knobs, from around £4. Etsy also have a great rage of leather pulls.

changing kitchen handles and knobsImages – Pinterest.

3. Disguise bad flooring. 

Rugs are a simple and cost effective way to cover any ugly flooring or just a great way to incorporate some texture, colour and interest into your kitchen.

Kitchen rugImages – Pinterest

4. Open shelving.

For me open-plan storage is essential. If everything is behind closed doors it feels boring and too uniformed. Whereas if you have open shelves or a dresser you’re immediately adding interest. They are also great for adding tonnes more storage. In my kitchen I have wire racking which adds an industrial vibe and I use it mainly for crockery which frees up loads of cupboard space. Read my tips on how to style them here. If you have a tiny kitchen and simply don’t have the space for additional open shelving you could always remove one or more of your cupboard doors and create a display for your more attractive crockery. Just remember to put the door and hardware somewhere safe so you can replace them.

open shelvingLeft image – Kerry Lockwood. Centre & right image – Pinterest.

5. Add statement furniture.

 A statement piece will really anchor and set the tone of the room. This was a real game changer in my kitchen, I bought a battered vintage workbench from Ebay, added some large castors and use it as a breakfast bar, it really adds character so even if you don’t like the units it will distract the eye and give the room a focal point. You can read my previous post on Statement furniture here. 

Statement furniture, changes to a rental kitchen                         Left image – Kerry Lockwood. Right image – Gravity Home. 

6. Add plants.

Herbs, plants or succulents real and faux are a great way to brighten any room and also add colour and texture. You can then add herbs to your cooking so it’s a double win! If you don’t have green fingers you can find 5 easy to care for house plants here.

Adding plants to transform a rental kitchen Image 1 – Pinterest. Image 2-4 Kerry Lockwood

7.  Add art.

Adding art to your kitchen is an easy way to give it a completely new look. If your landlords don’t want you hammering nails into the walls then pick up some command strips, they are easily removed when you’re ready to take the prints down. Also just because you are hanging prints in the kitchen doesn’t mean they have to be food related!

updates to a rented kitchen, artLeft Image – Kerry Lockwood.Right Image – House Curious. This is a perfect example of how plants and art can work so well in a kitchen. All prints in this image can be purchased via House Curious 

8. Cover the counter tops.

Counter tops are not something that you’re likely to replace if you’re in a rental house so if yours are ugly, a quick way to hide them is by using large chopping boards. You can buy a huge range of marble, wood or slate ones. Also up the clutter by placing old wooden boxes on your counter tops to house things like kilner jars and pots filled with herbs.

10 instant kitchen updates to a rented home, worktopsLeft image – Pinterest. Right image – decorpad.com

9. Don’t forget the accessories.

Accessories will add finishing touches to any kitchen. So even if it’s not your favourite room in the house and you’re dying to rip it out, make sure you accessorise like you would any other room. Wooden apple crates are a great way of doing this and also stacks of recipe books, fairy lights, chalk boards, stylish tea and coffee jars…. There’s so much you can do to make your kitchen super stylish and distract the eye from the bad parts!

Updates to a rented kitchen, accessoriesImages – Kerry Lockwood.

10. Colourful textiles.

Adding some colorful textiles like a rug as mentioned above, or even hanging up some cool tea towels and an apron can go a long way towards perking up a tired kitchen.

10 instant kitchen updates for a rented homeImage – Broste Copenhagen.

Here are photo’s of our kitchen before we moved in and how it looks today. We didn’t spend a fortune but i’m sure you’ll agree that the changes we made have had a huge impact.

Home renovation before and after photos





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