Renters Woes

Come August Dave and I are planning to move to Provo/Orem. As many of you know, we had planned buying a a place in the Saratoga/Eagle Mountain area. We went and saw lots of places and even tried making offers on a few. But every time we were about to commit, something went wrong. Every time. So despite my deepest wishes we decided that now was not the proper time for us to buy, and to continue renting for now.... We had gone from looking at 3 bed 3 bath places, all of which were well under 10 years old, most of which had nice knotty wood cabinets and granite counter tops, and our mortgage wouldn't have been over $750. Now we are looking at it being pretty much impossible to find a nice place for under $750, and have at least 2 bedrooms, most of which are over 15 years old, often well older, and none of which have knotty wood cabinets or granite counter tops. Yuck. Frustration.

So I have been doing a fair share of research in tips and tricks on how to improve rental living. We don't know for sure where we will be living, so I may have more freedoms in what I can change (painting being the main thing...) but in most cases, landlords don't allow many changes, so here are some temporary changes that can help make places a little more fitting to ones taste and personal design which I am all about;

I love being in the kitchen so this is a number one place that I care about being nice. But nice kitchens in rentals? Good luck. So what can you do to improve them? For most of the apartments I have been looking at via Craigslist the kitchen cabinets are very dated;

If you can’t paint the cabinets use paper or fabric for a temporary cover. Most of these options are extremely affordable, and easy to change and remove depending on how you apply it.
Using wrapping paper;

For more photos and directions on using wrapping paper;

Using Contact Paper
For more photos and directions on using contact paper;
chalkboard contact paper

Add a back splash using wallpaper, metal, or fabric;

Fabric + Starch Back splash;
For more photos and directions;

Patterned Printable Wallpaper

Or just remove the cabinets doors or a open and airy look. Line the insides with pretty paper or paint them, and stack dishes neatly. Store the doors in safe place so you can replace them when you move.

Add shelving if space allows and add hooks for mugs and teacups underneath; 

Have you tried any of these options? How were the results?

Can’t paint the walls? Use lots of prints and large art to take up wall space and make a statement. Don't be scared to nail things up. Patch kits are fairly easy to use and affordable, and most landlords will have leftover paint to use to cover up. 3M hooks also work and usually hold up well.

The map below is held up with thumbtacks. Easy to install, and they don't leave huge marks. Honestly, not big enough holes that you will need to worry about when you move. Huge maps are extremely affordable and easy to find.

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