One of my most frequent requests around here is for more tips that suit renters in more temporary style living spaces. I get it! There’s something uniquely tough about coming up with clever design ideas that can be packed to move when the time comes. The last thing you want to do is invest a ton of time and money into custom changes in your apartment, only to end up passing that investment along to your landlord—and that’s only if you get permission to renovate in the first place!
So, how do you put your stamp on a space (not to mention gain much-needed function) when renting? For me, it’s all about mobility. When I lived in a rental and couldn’t paint, I added color to rooms with bright upholstered furniture and wall art, both of which I could take with me when I left. If I didn’t like the carpet or flooring my landlord had chosen, I would lay down rugs that I could take with me to my next apartment or house. And when I had less-than-stellar built-in kitchen storage, I bought extra cabinets and carts that I knew I could load up with the rest of my belongings when I moved on.
Enter: my new made-over IKEA kitchen island. This mobile, moveable island came to be in response to all those readers who craved renter-friendly ideas that made sense for their temporary situations. You can see the full makeover in step-by-step format over on Hunker this way, but (spoiler alert) the best part about this whole project is that the island started out as a boring $149 work table. I managed to give it new life with peel-and-stick tiles, plus a whole new rich dark finish on the wood tabletop.
Another “best part” has to be that you obviously don’t have to be a renter to enjoy this project in your space. Our mid-century kitchen lacks a little bit in the storage and countertop categories, so this compact island has been a happy addition to our single family home. Hop through here for more before/after photos, and let me know if there’s a design dilemma you’ve been facing in your own space. Who knows…It might just inspire a whole DIY project here on DGD!