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  • Writer's pictureKaty

Fixing Up the Kitchen in our Rental House: Before & After!

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

At the beginning of July, we were able to find a new home to rent! We've been in apartments for these first 3 years of our marriage and we were very ready to find a small home to live in. While we weren't quite ready to buy, we were extremely blessed to get in contact with a christian couple who just so happened to recently acquire a new rental property.

When we toured the house, the previous tenant was still in the process of moving out. Once all of their stuff was moved out, we made a deal with our landlord that we would fix up the house a bit in exchange for a month of free rent! This was such a gift that we praise the Lord for.

We were given more freedom than what is typical in a rental property, but I still wanted to share for any of you who may be living in a rental home and wondering how you can spruce up the place in renter friendly ways! The only thing we did that is not typically allowed in rentals is rip up the floor in the kitchen. The rest of our "fixing up" was simply a fresh coat of paint and a whole lot of love in the cleaning department.


This photo shows some items left in the house from the previous tenant


It's hard for me to pick my favorite part of the kitchen, but I think it would probably be this cozy corner pictured above. I love having the accordion rack for hanging my apron and other items that I'm frequently reaching for while cooking and baking. I really love that it adds both beauty and functionality to the kitchen!

A close second favorite is the hutch with my new-to-me china set that I thrifted from Goodwill! A little back story on this china...I found a 50-100 piece set (I can't remember exactly how much it had) of this china at a thrift store many months ago for FIFTY DOLLARS. I completely fell in love with it then but I didn't buy it because we didn't have anywhere to store it at the time. I've regretted not buying it ever since then.

So when I came across multiple pieces from the set at Goodwill, I (very quickly) walked my happy self up to the front of the store to grab a cart to load it up with everything they had. I was able to get 8 dinner plates, 8 dessert plates, 8 tea cups, a large serving plate and large serving bowl for only $25. Since then my mom has helped me find a couple of the other pieces and I'm excited to add to the collection whenever I come across something I don't yet have!

Paint colors

We chose Swiss Coffee by Behr for the walls and Simply White by Behr for the trim. We actually painted the entire house in these colors because everything was painted that same color grey that you see in the before pictures...even the trim.

The floors

After we ripped up the old flooring, we cleaned up the hardwood underneath with Scott's Liquid Gold Floor Restore. This made a HUGE difference and the floors look so much better than they did when we first uncovered it. There is a spot where there must have been some kind of damage to the floors that was patched with plywood. Again, because we're renting, we are planning to stain the plywood with a color that matches the floor just so it's not as noticeable!

The Cabinets

The upper cabinets were different than the lowers and it was throwing off the feel of the room. We decided to paint those the same color as the wall, Swiss Coffee. I think that this really made the space look so much better! We also replaced all the hardware with these black knobs.

The shelf above the stove

The wide open wall space above the stove made the kitchen feel very imbalanced. It made the other side of the kitchen with the cabinetry and the refrigerator feel heavy in comparison. Adding a shelf there added not only more storage space but also made the kitchen more pleasing to the eye! We grabbed a piece of wood from Home Depot (another rental hack: they can cut the wood for you if you don't have a saw) and 3 brackets. We painted the shelf in Swiss Coffee to match the other set of cabinets and I absolutely loved how it turned out!

Window curtains

I think one of the first things I knew I wanted to do in the kitchen was put up cafe curtains in the window above the sink. I've always loved that look in kitchens. It is so cozy to me! We kept the blinds in our utility closet just in case we need to hang them back up at a later time. I actually made these curtains myself and will be sharing a tutorial with you this winter! Keep a lookout for that.

We worked hard in this house and I'm so excited to finally share what we did! I hope this gave you some inspiration for your kitchen, whether you are renting or you own the house you live in.

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