5 easy ways to upgrade your kitchen, even if you rent

Who doesn't want life to be easier? These 4 hacks, provided by Spoon University, will at least help you out in the kitchen.

When you rent an apartment or house, you have to get creative to spruce things up and make it your own.

Unless you have a very understanding landlord, there aren’t any structural changes you can make to upgrade the space. In the kitchen, you’ll be stuck with the appliances and — usually — galley layout. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a few improvements.

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Here are five temporary kitchen upgrades to consider.

Cover ugly floors

Most apartments have vinyl or linoleum in the kitchen, and it’s usually scuffed or dull. You can spice things up by putting down a colorful rug. Many runner styles are perfect for galley kitchens, and a patterned rug can help to hide spills. Hunker advises adding a nonskid pad underneath to keep it from slipping.

Go green

Flowering plants will add pops of color, but you don’t have to stop there. Consider growing an herb garden, even if you don’t have a window. A grow light will encourage your parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme — and mint and oregano and basil — to flourish and even save you money in the long run because you won’t have to buy them at the store.

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Vertical storage

Apartment kitchens are notorious for having very little drawer space and even less space for pots and pans. No problem. Mount a wall rack from Ikea with some adhesive hooks, and you can show off your colorful utensils. Or use individual hooks to hang your pots or serving bowls that have handles.

Camouflage cheap countertops

Contact paper isn’t just for lining shelves and drawers. If your countertops are old or a color that isn’t quite to your taste, just cover them. Contact paper for countertops can be bought online or at many home improvement stores and comes in a variety of styles, including marble.

According to My Wee Abode website, countertop contact paper is “very durable, very thick, and VERY sticky, but pretty easy to work with.”

Wondering if you can do it? Check out this YouTube video:

Cabinet changes

Dreaming of white cabinets instead of the standard brown in most rentals, but your landlord won’t let you paint? It’s contact paper to the rescue again. Instantly brighten a small kitchen by applying this white wood grain paper that can easily be removed when you move out or changed with your tastes. Consider removing one or two cabinet doors and use the open shelving to show off colorful glasses or dishes. You can line the cabinet with color paper for another pop of color.

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