Need help updating the kitchen in my new rental apartment!!!
cornchip68
February 18, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I need ideas for decorating the kitchen in my rental apartment. This is just a picture from their website but it is exactly the same as the one I'm moving into later this month. I'm allowed to paint the walls...as long as I prime them back to white when I vacate. However, painting the cabinets are off limits and replacing the doors will cost more than I want to spend.

I've already thought about purchasing a new light fixture and am leaning towards a pale buttery yellow or light gray and I'm toying with the idea of adding tiles for a backsplash.

Does anyone have any ideas for updating this look? I've spent days researching so many different ideas but haven't seen an example I like yet. Any suggestions or experience with this type of ugly kitchen?
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PRO
www.newjerseyaccents.com
Tile is an expensive option for a rental and they may want you to take it down when you move out. How about wall paper (washable). Something like this: http://www.target.com/p/kitchen-pears-wallpaper-green-yellow-coral/-/A-14035571?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=|14035571&CPNG=Unassigned&kpid=14035571&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=14035571
Try to find a stainless stick on tile for behind the stove.
February 19, 2013 at 3:02AM     
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carolins
What kind of style are you thinking? Accessories and paint can do a lot to the look and feel of the kitchen. And replacing the ceiling light is a great idea, will make a huge difference.
February 19, 2013 at 3:12AM     
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portpiro
Will your landlord let you paint over the wood grain? If so painting this the same colour as the doors or repainting the whole thing white will make a huge difference. If the wood grain is laminate you can still paint over it with the right base coat. New light fitting of course and that ought to do it.
February 19, 2013 at 4:39AM   
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cornchip68
I'd say my taste is pretty neutral with just a pop of color. I started thinking about temporarily using a grass cloth type of placemat or table runner cut to fit the drawer fronts and doors to tone down the start white. Something like the attached photo. I didn't know that there is a peel and stick tile that's removable. It's definitely worth researching to find one I like. My though is that while this is a temporary move for me, approx 2 yrs, I want to make my own personal space...something that I feel good about when I come home after working a long day. I guess I'm aiming for my own personal retreat!

Thanks for the comments. My move in date is this Friday...so excited! I will upload a few pics before all is said and done!
February 19, 2013 at 8:11PM   
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Design Find
This is coming from an investor, so of course my advice is try and decorate with things you can take with you when you leave - artwork, rugs, etc. Changing out fixtures and doors is not worth the expense when it comes to rentals. Also, as a landlord, please read your lease or speak with your landlord before doing anything like tiling, wallpapering, etc., and get it *in writing* that they are allowing you to change these things if they agree to it. Most of these kinds of things are generally prohibited in most residential leases (including mine) and you could lose your deposit. White is ho-hum but allows you to accessorize with any color you'd like! Congrats on your new place!
February 19, 2013 at 8:27PM     
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carolins
I wouldn't do too much to the actual kitchen at first. If you've moved in and furnished the place it will look totally different already and feel more like your own space. I don't think this kitchen is that bad. Try to stay away from cluttering the place up with small plants and all kinds of different pieces (like in the photo).
Looking forward to the photos of when you've moved in :-)
February 19, 2013 at 11:42PM   
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LB Interiors
Paint the walls a color you love, I'm leaning toward blues or blue/green, teals etc. I would use 18" x 18" tin tile panels for the backsplash. Comes in a lot of colors, bronze, silvers and a faux. Found at Home Depot or Lowe's. Some even resemble tile. They can be stapled on the wall, and are quite thin but sturdy.
San Roque Residence
Phinney Residence kitchen
February 20, 2013 at 12:19AM     
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rinqreation
It looks ok, so I'd only change the light and get my stuff in there.
Less dowdy deco will make the kitchen look just fine. Especially for a rental.
February 20, 2013 at 1:07AM   
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ASVInteriors
Believe it or not, these mixed wood kitchens are coming back into fashion (ok perhaps with different more sophisticated material but who's to touch it!!!)
Like rinqreation said - just get rid of all the green plants and the picture and even add a touch of zing like lemon or green glassware and a bowl of lemons on your countertop and you're done
Oh, and if you can change the ceiling light out - that is a dead giveaway it is old
February 20, 2013 at 1:55AM   
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cornchip68
Thanks all! Great suggestions and advice. I do have permission to paint as long as I prime it back to white before I leave so I'm trying to save myself in the long run and use a lighter neutral color that isn't difficult to cover back up. The Property Manager did say I was allowed to change light fixtures as long as I either changed them back when I leave or f it's an upgrade to the apartment and decide to leave them that's ok too. I think anything I get will be an upgrade from the current fluorescent light fixture!! :-)

I have seen those tiles at Lowes and Home Depot before and honestly didn't realize they were so easy to put up. Seems easier than wallpaper.

Thanks.
February 20, 2013 at 3:14AM     
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Design Find
In most areas you'll need to hire an electrician to change out light fixtures. Again, if you are going to spend your own money on a rental property, you'd be best to get permission to do all of these things in writing, if you haven't already. There are some sketchy landlords out there who might give you the verbal ok and then not only deduct for your deposit for making these changes, but also keep the fixtures. In residential leases, any fixtures that a tenant installs typically stay with the property. If you get it in writing, signed and dated, then you have proof that this was all okay with landlord and you can take lighting, etc when you go. Just an FYI to protect you!
February 20, 2013 at 10:27AM     
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evelyn
Agree with Carolins and live with it for a while. I believe those metal panels that LB Interiors mentioned can be painted. Alternatively, a nice washable, vinyl wallpaper with a white background and a simple graphic pattern could make a nice backsplash.
February 20, 2013 at 11:27AM   
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hollyskog
I don't know what all you are bringing with you but in this room I'd just play up the brown and white. Make the cabinets look like they were on purpose. Don't fight them if you can't change them. Light fixture could be a black iron with burlap shades. Spend your money on things you can take with you when you leave
February 20, 2013 at 11:40AM   
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