This $22 DIY Trick Will Bring the Warmest Light into Your Kitchen

updated Jan 8, 2021
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Rental kitchens — perhaps more than any other room in the house — are notoriously dingy. The chances that you find yourself with one that is dated and dark are quite high. We’ve written before about ways to improve the space. You can paint, put up shelving, or change out hardware. If those ideas require a bit too much commitment from you or your landlord, there are less intrusive hacks, like putting down a rug or adding plants throughout the room.

But perhaps the most important change that you can make to a dingy kitchen is to improve the lighting. You might already know about under-the-cabinet lights. Or perhaps you’ve thought about adding a table lamp to your counter for a homey look if you’re lucky enough to have the space to spare. 

There’s one trick, though, that is more accessible, super-simple to install, and cheaper than both of the above: a DIY window treatment that will warm up your space in minutes.

Put transparent window film over some of the glass in a kitchen window or two. We got this idea from an Apartment Therapy House Tour and we are obsessed. It’s such a great, renter-friendly way to temporarily warm up a room. The self-adhesive covering comes in a bunch of colors. You can go mono with just one — say yellow, to emulate sunlight. You can make a block pattern with multiple sheets. Or you could get fancy (ahem, crafty) and cut out shapes to replicate the look of patterned stained glass. The material is so inexpensive it wouldn’t even be outrageous to change them out every so often, depending on your mood. 

See the whole space: This Renter Came Up with a Clever Solution for Custom Window Covering at Apartment Therapy

Bonus: While the (warm) light filters through, the film makes it harder to see inside from the outside. A great solution if you have close-by neighbors or a less-than-ideal view, and don’t want to splurge on a custom window covering or you’re afraid to nail hardware into the walls. It’s technically meant to help block UV light that fades and overheats a house, but it also gives off a slightly cozy glow that your window wouldn’t otherwise have.

All in all, it’s a very easy, low-maintenance material to have fun with — a blessing when your kitchen just needs a bit of fun.