While living in an apartment, sometimes it’s hard to do a full kitchen overhaul.
After all, your kitchen is already laid out a certain way. The set layout makes it hard to make any significant changes.
That means redoing the backsplash, center island, and other fixed elements is off the table. And unless you own the unit, you may not even have the option to replace the stove or refrigerator.
You can check with your landlord to find out what changes you’re allowed to make. Changes that don’t change the set layout and add value are more likely to be allowed, start by asking about the kitchen wall tiles. Adding tiles doesn’t change the layout but can drastically change the design and add value to the kitchen. But for the most part, you’re probably limited to small alterations.
No matter the circumstances, though, there are always things you can do to redesign your kitchen without doing a full overhaul.
Keep reading, because I’m going to share a few of them.
1. Create a Message Center
Having a message center in your kitchen makes it easy to jot down reminders and keep track of appointments.
It’s also handy if you have roommates. You both can keep track of a cleaning schedule using this sort of system.
There are a few different ways to create a DIY message center. For example, you might make one from a bulletin board, whiteboard, or chalkboard.
Or, if you’d rather not have something on the wall, a notebook or calendar may work better.
If you do use a notebook, make sure it stays in one central location on the counter.
Otherwise, it might get pushed to the side and it won’t serve its purpose!
2. Update Your Trash Barrels
As you continue to create a kitchen that works with your lifestyle, don’t forget to update your garbage and recycling system.
For example, consider whether your trash barrels are in the best spot. If they’re always in the way, you might want to move them.
Instead of having your barrel out in the open, think about putting it under the sink. You might have to move your cleaning supplies to the bathroom or hallway closet, but it’ll be nice having a hidden trash bin.
And consider buying a new bin, too. A stainless steel trash barrel can give your kitchen a fresh, modern look. You can get a metal recycling bin, too, but make sure you can tell the two apart.
3. Utilize Your Storage Space
It doesn’t matter how much storage space is in your kitchen. It’s up to you to make the most of it.
Don’t stuff your cabinets with too many things, but take advantage of the space inside.
To stay organized, you can use some of these tools:
Kitchen dividers are perfect for organizing items such as plates, containers, and lids.
Without them, kitchen accessories can create a big mess in your cabinet. You’ll be glad you took the time to use dividers to your advantage.
Pull-Out Drawer in a Cabinet
A pull-out drawer will make it easy to find your favorite dishes and utensils without having to search high and low.
Just make sure that your pull-out drawers don’t become junk drawers. That would defeat the whole purpose of having them in the first place.
Have you heard of magnetic kitchen organizers? They can be really useful. All you have to do is stick them to your fridge door to open up a world of new storage opportunities.
Depending on the type of organizer you buy, you can use it for storing paper towels, spices, and more.
Having your essentials on the refrigerator will make it easy to find what you need right away.
4. Create a Focal Point
Every room needs a focal point. That’s the spot that you design the rest of the room around.
When redesigning your kitchen, think of ways to create a focal point.
Here are a few simple ideas you could try:
- Put a colorful rug on the floor
- Paint your kitchen cabinets with a bright color
- Hang a fun piece of artwork
- Add a peel-and-stick backsplash in a fun pattern
Each of these ideas is easy and affordable. And you don’t have to tear down walls or spend a lot of money to implement them.
After deciding on the focal point, use other elements with similar eye-catching details. Your kitchen will feel like a whole new room!
5. Focus on Light Colors
If you live in a smaller apartment, your kitchen may feel cramped for space.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make it look and feel larger.
One thing you might try is decorating with soft shades of color. It just so happens that adding lighter colors can make a small room appear bigger than it really is.
And avoid dark colors. If you want your kitchen to feel spacious, steer clear of black appliances or surfaces.
Light-colored appliances and accessories will make your kitchen come to life.
And let’s not forget about natural lighting. Sunshine will also create the illusion of more space.
Allow natural light in the room by using window treatments that allow the sun to shine. You should also keep the curtains sheer or in a light color. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller and more shut-in.
Now that you have some ideas on how to redesign your kitchen, you must be eager to get started.
Just because your lease prevents you from altering your kitchen layout doesn’t mean you can’t customize it. In fact, it just takes a few simple changes to make your kitchen feel like home.
So get out there and gather your supplies … you’re about to have a kitchen you love!
Aaron Hunt is the Property Manager for The Urban, a student housing community near Ohio State Universit