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14 Landlord-Approved Hacks to Transform Your Rental Kitchen

Renters rejoice: you can't do a full refit, but there are plenty of affordable ways to give your kitchen a makeover. Consider a kitchen-friendly plant, or some new wall art, or an island bench if you're blessed with excess floor space. It could even be as simple as buying new tea towels – seriously.

These quick updates will transform your kitchen into your new favourite place to be. The benefits are many and varied: you'll become a better cook, you'll spend more time making sustainable and healthy eating choices, and you'll lead a less sedentary life, off the couch and up being productive.

From swapping out knobs to updating small appliances, take your pick from these 14 landlord-approved hacks to transform your rental kitchen into a home haven.

14 Landlord-Approved Hacks to Transform Your Rental Kitchen 

1. Plants

You might already have a solid collection of indoor plants in other rooms of your house, but the kitchen is often overlooked when it comes to greenery. The best plants to keep in your kitchen include aloe vera (super low maintenance, especially with plenty of light), Chinese evergreen (not overly thirsty, good in low light), English ivy (needs direct sunlight but it'll reduce mould and bacteria – and keep it out of reach of cats and dogs as it's toxic to them), or a potted basil plant (smells great, tastes even better).

2. Appliances

Updating your toaster or kettle kills two-birds-with-one-stone in the kitchen makeover process: you'll have better-functioning tools to make food and drink, and they'll freshen up the appearance of your bench space.

3. Art

Relocate one of your favourite prints, paintings or framed photos from another room into your kitchen, or invest in something new! You'll feel inspired to spend more time in the kitchen if it's as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of your home.

4. Magnets

A magnetic knife strip is a great way to make food prep more efficient and keeps your utensils clean and dry. If you're not the best home chef, having a good quality knife set on display also provides a subtle visual cue that might inspire you to get more involved. 

5. Repairs

Got a leak? Cupboard door off its hinges? Faulty power point? These are jobs for your landlord – it's what they're there for. If you're being ghosted, get firm and offer solutions. Say you're happy to book the repairs if they take care of the invoice. 

6. Towels

Never underestimate the value of a good dish towel. Invest in a small selection of new tea towels that are absorbent and nice to look at (since they're essentially on display and part of the kitchen decor). Keep one hanging on the oven railing for your hands and another near the sink for dishes and surfaces. 

7. Paint

If your landlord is fine with a small paint job, a new colour on just one of the walls in your kitchen will add depth and warmth to the space, and make it feel like your own.

8. Lighting

Ditch the downlights that came with the rental and install your own hanging overhead light using some strong temporary hooks stuck to the ceiling and a chic pendant light that will create mood and add personality. 

9. Mirrors

If you've got available wall space and you're happy with the way your kitchen looks, hang a mirror instead of artwork and you'll get the illusion of extra space.

10. Knobs

Add a personal touch with antique or handmade knobs that you can take with you – just stick the existing knobs somewhere safe and replace them when you move out.

11. Island bench

If you're lucky enough to have a spacious kitchen in your rental, buy yourself an island bench to make better use of the space. You can take this one with you or resell it if your next kitchen is cosier. 

12. Pinboard

Hang a pin board for recipes and meal plans to keep your kitchen on point and food-focussed. Combine with polaroids or arty postcards to make it a kind of IRL Pinterest board! Fun fact – this is actually where they got the idea for Pinterest!

13. Levels

An open kitchen riser will create extra bench space and provide a dedicated space for your small appliances (toaster and/or kettle). Fill your new bench space with books, teas, whatever you like.

14. Cleaning

Cleaning is like exercise – it's unlikely to ever be a bad idea and it can actually improve your overall happiness and wellbeing. It's not really a hack, but it's a necessary chore that provides exponential benefits for how your kitchen serves you. Put on an upbeat playlist and get stuck into it, you'll feel happier before you know it.

Want more landlord-approved home decorating hacks? Here are 17 of the best decorating hacks to make your rental feel more like yours.


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