The Tiny Upgrade for a More Stylish Rental Kitchen

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

The one thing my rental apartment kitchen has going for it is that it’s new. When the old tenants moved out, a team of contractors came and removed the ugly floors, cabinets, and countertops and replaced them with new versions — but new in no way equates to modern or cool. My kitchen looks, I imagine, about the same as many rental kitchens out there: beige and bland.

If you’re faced with a similar dilemma (i.e., a perfectly fine rental kitchen with zero personality), there is an easy way to make it just a bit more stylish.

(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

Swapping out the hardware — knobs, pulls, and switch plates — is a simple and relatively affordable way to bring your kitchen into the 21st century.

In rental apartment kitchens, explains Homepolish designer Megan Hopp, “hardware tends to be base grade; it’s not stylish or exciting.” Not only does new hardware deliver high-impact results, but it’s also “an opportunity to try out things that are of a trendy variety.” If you like the way those brass pulls look, for example, you can take them with you to the next place.

As to where to shop for new hardware, we have a few ideas. Our list includes one of Hopp’s top picks — Anthropologie, for beautiful and colorful accents — and she also suggests Home Depot for a less spendy option.

Here are a few knobs and plates I’m eyeing right now.

Geraldine’s Hardware Short List