Living in a rented house is an ordeal by itself. Not to mention the limitations imposed by the landlord – a typical list of do’s and don’ts. In such a scenario, tenants literally walk on a tight rope when it comes to remodeling the house especially the kitchen which is the bastion of ladies and single entities. However, there are ways and means to spruce up this dull, drab, cramped and unassuming section with some imaginative and enterprising actions. Below mentioned guide offers solutions for two distinct scenarios: short term rentals and long term rentals.
This guide offers inexpensive and easy ways to pep up your kitchen in terms of looks, working ambience and performance. However, make sure you respect the lease agreement in every sense. If you think you need to clarify about a particular action vis-à-vis remodelling, do that or you may face an eviction notice.
The only time you don’t need permission is when you are reshuffling various elements inside a kitchen. Incidentally, it also forms one of the easiest ways to give a new look to this area. Intelligent rearranging can also create a clutter free environment which in itself is a great feat. After all, remodelling is not just about addition, it is also about putting things into a new and proper order. It requires absolutely no funds or outside help, and offers instant makeover.
For the rest of the remodelling tasks you will need money and professional support. Mentioned below are 8 easy ways to remodel a kitchen of a rented flat based on the type of rental agreement.
Short Term Rental
1. Wall hangings, wall pegs and wall shelves
By adding wall pegboard or wall shelves you typically move essential kitchen equipment out of your way. For example, pegboards are good for hanging cups, pots, pans, spatulas, egg beater and assorted items which are used on daily basis. It offers an efficient way to exploit vertical space as well as increase storage space in case you have rented a place which has a small kitchen. Pegboards are smart, intelligent and accommodate a variety of kitchen essentials. These can be fixed with the help of wooden planks, Velcro or 3M Command strips. However, the first option typically needs drilling of holes in the wall which your landlord might not agree to. In case you are asked not to damage the wall you can either use heavy duty Velcro tapes or 3M command strips. Velcro and 3M do have a limit in terms of weight it can hold.
Yet another option is to simply set a pegboard on the cooking platform; against the wall, and away from backsplash.
Floating racks are other space savers. These racks can be hung anywhere in the kitchen, preferably close to the cooking area. These can be suitably complemented with a towel hangar, roof mounted fruit and vegetable holder, knife holder etc. Standalone pegs are good for hanging individual items and offer instant access. Use them creatively to enhance the glamour of your kitchen.
2. Lighting & walls
Another way to quickly remodel a kitchen of a rented flat is by adding/changing lighting fixtures and offering a fresh coat of paint to the walls. These are inexpensive tasks and guarantees to enhance the beauty quotient. You can also opt for wallpaper if you feel a little hesitant about painting. Wallpapers are available in an array of colours, designs, effects and thicknesses. Use your creative instincts.
Fresh paint and wallpaper can be used in tandem to give the kitchen area a unique look.
Use pattern on the walls or simply exploit wall decals which offers a cheap way to add character, glamour and trendy appearance. While sticking them on the wall make sure you choose the right theme and colour; to complement the cooking space.
The same applies to lighting fixtures also. Ceilings lamps offer a uniform radiance, covering every nook and corner while wall mounted lamps typically highlights a particular section. Use either of the one or both. It really depends on your budget. If your kitchen has a small dining area make sure you install a lamp above the table. This single addition will change the ambience entirely; reflecting class, warmth and a sense of belonging.
In case you are replacing the entire flooring make sure you have a written permission from the owner. However, there is an easy solution to spruce up the aisle or the walking area by covering it with an array of adhesive based vinyl tiles. They are quick to install, easy on pocket and offer an instant makeover. You can also create patterns or use two or more contrasting colours for that distinct look.
4. Backsplash and kitchen essentials
Backsplash forms an integral part of any kitchen. It is an area where most of the washing, filling and pre-cooking chores are accomplished. Now, pamper this area with small glass tiles in a psychedelic pattern. Add a complementing wash basin and a matching faucet. What you achieve is a stunning makeover with minimum of expenditure and time. Most of these changes will not require permission from your landlord because these are not major or complex in nature, and the owner should have no problem.
Adding furniture pieces is an expensive affair. However, you can play around with the existing ones. Mentioned below are some of the inexpensive way to glamorise furniture and fittings.
1. Take the doors off the cabinets. This will typically give a feeling of largeness, and allow you to display your crockery. It makes retrieving task hassle free.
2. Gift old furniture a new lease of life by applying fresh coat of lacquer.
3. Cabinet hardware such as handles, hinges, borders are cheap. Replace the old ones and watch the transformation in awe.
Decorative adhesive liner is another way to pep up wooden furniture. Simply cut the right size, gently peel off the liner at the back and stick it on the worn out area. These are easily removable and do not spoil the underlying material or finish. You can also stick them on the insides of open drawers. The makeover will simply stun you.
Long Term Rental
Long term rental typically offers more flexibility in terms of remodelling. This includes replacing countertop, fixing wall mounted furniture or replacing the entire flooring. Because these are major changes and may affect the structure of the apartment landlords do not permit short term tenants to undertake such tasks. However, flat owners are not averse to these modifications in case of long term rentals.
Now, a countertop is an integral part of any kitchen; larger the family bigger the top. The reason being, it needs to accommodate an array of appliances such cooking top, oven, griller etc. However, if you are sceptical about spending large amount of money only to discard them when the lease expires there is a cheaper alternative; rolling Kitchen Island. These are movable large trolleys of various sizes which can accommodate an assortment of appliances. At the end of the term you can simply dismantle and carry it along with you.
Make sure you install appliances that are not overly priced as you never know you might have to leave behind such equipment at the end of the lease period. Secondly, if cost is your concern several companies offer appliances such as fridge, dishwasher and microwave on rental basis. For rental properties it is advisable to keep away from government/private services such as piped gas because this will require additional deposits and documents. However, remember one thing, stand alone appliances tend to take up space and require regular attention in terms of cleaning.
8. Accessorising with elements
Two chair dining table, bright and dazzling accents, venetian blinds, frames etc are easy to install and they can be carried back after the lease expires. All these elements add a touch of warmth, especially mementos and picture frames. These titbits make you feel at home and that too without burning a big hole in your pocket.
As mentioned above, many of these remodelling tips are dependant on the type of lease and the terms therein. Make sure you do not unknowingly break them because any damage to the property will be adjusted against your deposit. Before embarking on any task consult your landlord and get a written approval.