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One of the primary conundrum of apartment renters are the lack of space and little to no power over the decor and design of the unit. It’s really frustrating to have the “heart of your home” limited in space and it not being your ideal kitchen.

You see, the kitchen is where guests frequently clump on during dinner, parties or just visitations. People like getting around in the kitchen that’s why it’s the “heart” of every home. It’s where good foods and conversations are made.

Photo source: The KitchenClara’s Sweet & Stylish Rental Kitchen

A quick and easy way to transform your rental kitchen into a prettier one won’t cost you thousands of dollars but would only require a creative mind, low budget and tools here and there. Here are life-changing ways you can improve your rental kitchen to have a better place to cook in.

1 | Remove or replace
One of the easiest ways to improve your kitchen is to remove or replace certain elements. If you’re not that fond of your kitchen cabinets as they look old and too worn out, knock the doors off and turn your cabinets into open shelving.
To add a more interesting touch, paint the insides of your cabinet in bright colors for a seamless pop of color. Ugly cabinet and drawer pulls? Replace them with cheap yet stylish new ones. Give your kitchen a simple and subtle facelift.
Do take note of the changes you made though so you’ll know what to revert back in case you move out.

2 | Let there be light
A poorly lighted and dreary kitchen doesn’t look inviting at all — even to the renter themselves. Maybe it’s the reason why you’re always eating out and ordering takeouts?
Light, more importantly natural light, is an essential element that needs to be present in every part of your home whether it be living room, bedroom, bathroom and the works. Light is equally important in the kitchen as it is in the living room.

3 | Put on some greenery
Plants, flowers, and the likes are the best accessories for your home especially for those living in rentals. Since you don’t have your own lawn and garden, there’s no possible way to plant your own especially if you live in higher floors.
This is a big step for a renter. It may not be allowed by your landlord but it never hurts to ask so do try. If you’re not able to paint or do an all around kitchen redecoration, placing a pot of flower or any other plant will stand out and add personality to your tiny, wonderful kitchen. Plus, plants are beneficial for your health as it cleans the air you breathe.

4 | Cover your ugly countertops
This is probably the major woe of rental kitchen owners — ugly countertops. If you’re unfortunate and got a cheap laminate countertop that makes you cringe to your bones, how would you deal with it?
Do keep in mind though that there are rentals that lack or doesn’t have countertops at all so consider yourself still lucky.
One solution to covering your unsightly countertops would be keeping a large cutting board and placing it over it. If you want, you can paint over it, utilize contact paper or utilizing other tools to cover the bad.

5 | Utilize all the available space
More often than not, your apartment will never have enough space for one place or another. But you shouldn’t whine about that lack of space and instead, work around with it. Maximize every inch of space available.
Take advantage of your vertical space. Install a pegboard for it’s a great tool you can use for hanging pans, measuring cups, strainers, and other baking and cooking tools. Use a bar cart or kitchen cart for extra storage.

6 | Work with what you have
The easiest and simplest tools you can utilize to better your kitchen are already available to you, in fact, you’ve been living and looking at it the whole time you’re contemplating on how you would reinvent your kitchen.
Work with what you already have in your plate. Do not add more useless and unnecessary clutter in your space because not only will you waste more time placing it altogether but it also would just add clutter to your space.

If only owning a home is cheap and building your own home kit that is according to your ideal is possible with your current status, this should be a problem. Worry not, wherever you are right now is only for temporary and who knows, maybe a couple of years from now, you have achieved and finally built your dream home.

Chie Suarez is a passionate writer for PAAL Kit Homes, a company that manufactures and supplies steel-framed kit homes that help Australian families build their dream home. Chie has a deep interest in home design and decoration.a