By Kay Harrison
Rental kitchens are not known for their idyllic makeup. From dim lighting to a lack of storage options, they can be a source of everyday dissatisfaction. However, with a little kitchen-whispering, you can coax more usability from your space. Here are 10 quick and easy tips, ranging from storage to aesthetic, to set you on your way.
1. Line your shelves
This is a sleek and simple solution to dingy cabinets. It keeps them neat and chic without tempting the wrath of your landlord. Select from a range of wallpapers and adhesive coverings. This injects pops of colour and personality into your space – understated or brazen according to your taste.
2. Change up your cabinet handles
Go shopping for new hardware for your cabinet doors. It’s amazing what a difference this can make to the overall look of your kitchen. And there are plenty of cheerful-on-the-wallet options available.
3. Remove your cabinet doors altogether
So you can’t stand the sight of those bland pine panels or (worse) that wood veneer? Get handy with your screwdriver and remove them for a fresh open-cubby look. Don’t throw them away! You’ll need to attach them again before you leave but in the meantime clean-lined kitchen shelving is uber-chic. Make-good the edging/cover the holes with wallpaper or adhesive covers.
Starved of storage?
4. Wire shelf inserts
Inserts are a great way for increasing the space available. Hook them under your shelves, over your doors or stand them over your plates to maximise the useable space.
Consider a magnetic knife board to free up your counter space.
Add hooks to the insides of or beneath your cabinets. Ideal for teacups and mugs.
7. Think vertically
Install a series of hooks on your ceiling or walls to utilise this hanging space. This is a visually impacting way to display your pots and pans for a rustic aesthetic.
8. Increase the wattage
A wattage of 80-to-100w is recommended for the kitchen.
9. Add swing-arm task lights
Add designated task lights above your counters. A couple of swing-arm lamps add vintage accents and increase your functionality ten-fold. You don’t need to hardwire these in necessarily – just ensure some care is taken to secure the cords out of the way.
10. Install LED ribbon lighting under your cabinetry
If you’re a little handy with a drill, LED downlights are to-die-for. I love mine. But I didn’t install them. I’m smart enough to realise that DIY with electricals is not for me. If you’re the same, outsource the install or opt instead for stick-on battery-operated lights – you can buy them in most supermarkets.
La-voila! There you have it. Not too taxing on the grey matter I hope. Happy renting!
— Kay Harrison is a feature, blog and copywriter. She has work published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Seizure, trade publications and online forums and her creative writing has won several awards. Kay wrote this piece for Zanui.
Belinda Smith says
Totally agree! Making a rental property more attractive and functional results in tenants staying longer and a stress less investment property. The kitchen is the first space that tenants will comment about if it’s not up to scratch
Swing Arm lamps, where have you been all my rental life.
I’m not sure that majority of these are realistic for a rental property if you would like you bond back? Drill holes are a big no no.
Interesting, but realistically, other than changing the light bulbs (adding wattage) and putting a wire shelf into the cabinet, none of those are actually doable in rentals (at least not in any of the ones I’ve occupied over the years). Hooks, drill holes, hardware changes = a no-no.
Irina Burgess says
Some great ideas for me as someone on a tight budget, and please can you include tips re “where to buy?” e.g cupboard handles and hooks, I have been looking for some funky door knobs for a while… without success. including online suggestions would allow for geo
graphy differences? thanks, irina
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