Rental Kitchen Renovation: How Far Would You Go?

Are you in a long-term rental? Does your kitchen need some help? Do you ever dream about painting the walls or the cabinets, replacing the countertop, or changing out the linoleum? How far would you (or have you!) gone to fix up a rental kitchen?

Maxwell and Sara Kate famously renovated their own previous rental kitchen, a tiny galley (pictured above, post-renovation) that was transformed into a far more beautiful and functional space. But that was in New York City, where long-term rentals are common, and it often makes sense to strike a bargain with your landlord and take over more responsibility for your own living space.

This is also common in Europe, where often rental apartment kitchens come with nothing in the kitchen; in Amsterdam some friends had to bring in a new sink, fixtures, cabinets, and lighting to get their kitchen set up.

We are also in a long-term rental and thinking about some major upgrades. Some are portable and will come with us if we move: a new fridge, for instance. Others are inexpensive (new paint).

Our real yearning, though, is for a new countertop and perhaps some changes to the cupboards. Have you ever made changes on that level to a rental kitchen? What did you do, and was it worth it?

Related: Rental Kitchen Makeover: Leea's Lovely Little Budget

(Image: Jill Slater: Inside Out: Max and Sara Kate's Small Really is Cool!)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.