Decorating Your Apartment Kitchen: Makeovers for Rentals

Published on Nov 15, 2011


Kitchen makeover ideas for rentals: can I really decorate my apartment kitchen? This is a follow-up to our recent post on Rental Renovations, this time focusing on kitchen makeovers.

Depending upon the layout of your NYC rental apartment--and, of course, your eating habits--there's no room that can have a bigger impact on your daily quality of life than your kitchen. But since most apartment leases understandably don't allow you to install new appliances, or put down new tiles, or countertops, or flooring, it's not always easy to improve (if necessary) or even decorate your apartment kitchen.

Always on the lookout for simple kitchen makeover ideas that even the grumpiest landlords won't have a problem with, I came across posts that either incorporate projects that I've done in the past (and so can attest that ANYONE can pull it off), or got me thinking about what I can do to my own kitchen in the future.



At Apartment Therapy there are always tons of good ideas about for NYC rental apartment "renovations", and I saw a couple of projects recently in their excellent "the kitchen" section which reminded me how simple it can be to change the look and feel of your home without too much effort or money.

Take, for example, the Removable Fabric Backsplash idea, perfect for decorating apartment kitchens that have a case of the blahs. All you need here is some lightweight fabric that you love (I would go with something bolder, and more graphic, than what's pictured, but really, the possibilities are almost limitless), some liquid starch, and a minimum amount of measuring and cutting ability.

When you move, or when the fabric gets battered, or you need a change, just soak it with water and remove! The before and afters are above, the full project is on Remodel-aholic.



Over at Apartment Therapy's "re-nest" section, a classic NYC idea for decorating your apartment kitchen, gets a fresh look with a terrific "before and after" post by Cambria Bold. The key to the success of Bold's kitchen makeover was to take off the drab-looking cabinet doors, and taping up pretty paper on the back wall. That's it! Instant brightness and visual interest, especially if your dishes or cups and glasses have any color to them.

When I did this in one of my NYC rental apartments years ago the super allowed us to store the cabinet doors in the basement. I also really like Bold's idea of using framed food photographs as a "semi-backsplash". The before and afters are above, and at top; the full project post is here.

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