Budget rental kitchen remodel that is easily reversible

Think you’re stuck with your rental kitchen the way it is and that you can’t do anything to change it? This rental kitchen remodel will change your mind! I had a $500 budget to inject some fun and personality in a generic rental kitchen and to make it more functional to prepare meals.

The star of this kitchen makeover? The peel and stick tile backsplash. I used VINTAGE smart tiles in AZUR – they are full of life and color, and perfectly match the eclectic quirky sense of style of the renters: Shaina, Tessa and Waffles the dog. I was able to install the peel and stick smart tiles right over the existing subway tiles so this project was quick, easy and mess free, with stunning results.

I used the smart tiles as inspiration for the rest of the makeover, including the rustic window cornice/valance I made with some scrap wood, and the IKEA kitchen cart revamping that I did: I gave it new wheels, a new top and made it even more functional by incorporating a space rack. It’s now the hub of the kitchen and with the beautiful blue stain I chose for the top, it looks right at home with the peel and stick tiles.

The entire kitchen remodel, including the plants came in under budget at $446 and by doing it as soon as they moved into the house, Shaina, Tessa and Waffles the dog will get to enjoy their new kitchen for the next 3 years while they live in the house and work on their tiny house business, the LATCH collective, making the investment well worth it.

Want to find out more about the LATCH collective and what’s happening around tiny houses in LA? Here’s the link to what Shaina, Tessa and Waffles are up:

Here’s a cost breakdown for the makeover:

Total cost: $446

Backsplash: $368
VINTAGE Azur Smart Tiles – 46 tiles @ $8 each – product info:

Window Cornice: $10
$6 wood and corner brackets
$4 paint (custom color)

IKEA BEKVAM kitchen cart hack/revamp: $48
2 ½” casters w/ brakes: $14
Wood: $15
Stain: $8

Plants: $20

For more rental kitchen decorating ideas, you can watch how I gave a makeover to my LA apartment kitchen in this video:

Tutorial on how I revamped the IKEA kitchen cart:

Want to see what I’m working on next? Follow me on Instagram:

Watch how I’ve transformed all the rooms in my LA apartment here:

Want to see what I did to my NYC studio apartment? Watch season 1 of the show:

Subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any of my videos:

Want more DIY tips and inspiration, find out about product giveaways and other news? Visit my website and sign up for my newsletter:

Thanks to Smart Tiles for sponsoring this makeover!

Previous 4 Ways to Style a Coffee Table | Architectural Digest
Next $25,000,000 French Chateau Inspired Mega Mansion in New Jersey | Chateau De La Roche


  1. shrikrishan sharma
    July 3, 2017

    really like ur videos..

  2. The Varied Mommy
    July 3, 2017

    Has anyone used this "tile" product over a long period of time? Does it leave residue and discolor the grout? I'd worry over two years it would damage/discolor the grout.

  3. Lori Jay
    July 4, 2017

    This was a great transformation!! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏽 loved it!

  4. lumiesgotcha
    July 6, 2017

    those blue tiles were super cute! way better than the subway tiles.

  5. SJWassily
    July 6, 2017

    why ever cover subway tiles???

  6. Tarah Frost
    July 7, 2017

    Wow! I love the new look! I like some personality in my spaces, especially in a large kitchen. I'm going to be checking out those tiles because rentals are no joke. Thanks!

  7. Elizabeth Rose
    July 10, 2017

    The tile covers are "vintage" but just came out?

  8. Ana Smirnov
    July 11, 2017

    i love it

  9. Courtney Hairston
    July 12, 2017

    wow! howww awesome. We've been updating our rental but can only do so much… a backsplash that comes off is reallllly great though!

  10. Marcy Torres
    July 12, 2017

    This was a fun video, I really liked the after shots! Will defo check out more vids

  11. Janie Volyn
    July 12, 2017

    this really is not a "remodel" at all. it's a cosmetic touch up at best. the purpose of a remodel is to fix defects and improve functionality. this doesn't do any of that.

  12. Alejandro Jimenez
    July 13, 2017

    I have hideous baby blue tile kitchen countertops, any idea what I could do make it nice?

  13. Tony D
    July 14, 2017

    I liked the kitchen before much better

  14. Namrata Singh
    July 16, 2017

    I love the smart titles this is really budget makeover, I love your simple ideas

  15. Ess Dubya
    July 18, 2017

    You always have such great videos with such stylish results. And it's encouraging to see that it doesn't take a good deal of renovation "know-how" to accomplish changes in one's home.

  16. FoolyLiving
    July 18, 2017

    Just, no.

  17. Narcie Hernandez
    July 20, 2017

    Very nice

  18. dmr31
    July 21, 2017

    Yes!!!! Thank you. I wanted to know if someone could make over for $500 or less.. And you did. Thank you! This is all so wonderful looking..

  19. Linda Arabian
    July 21, 2017

    That drawer by the stove can't possibly be functional.

  20. The Girl At The Front Desk
    July 23, 2017

    Looks great!

  21. Corinne Sauer
    July 24, 2017

    Um.. you just make a perfectly good kitchen into the tackiest kitchen i've ever seen…

  22. Brooke Roderick
    August 3, 2017

    Any ideas from anyone on how to cover raised decorative tiles in a rental?

  23. Karan Rathod
    August 4, 2017

    The tiles were fine i think they were subyway tiles but good job please do more!!!!!!!

  24. Lily R.
    August 6, 2017

    Wow! Over 400 dollars for some plastic stickers some wood from the hardware store and some paint? Please don't tell me how good of a deal that it.

  25. Skip Press
    August 7, 2017

    Fabulous as usual!

  26. enslavedheart
    August 8, 2017

    The tiles sure did give the whole kitchen a WOW factor… great job. Love them!

  27. Marianna Kovalev
    August 8, 2017

    Love it all!

  28. hyacinthdibley2
    August 12, 2017

    I can't even come up with ANYTHING. NOTHING!!!!!

  29. Vincent S
    August 17, 2017

    Before is prettiest than after !

  30. A May
    September 2, 2017

    I like the before better than after

  31. Melody Brown
    September 4, 2017

    Thank u so much I'm a sub now

  32. Brenda Me
    September 5, 2017

    Love this design!!! The Cornice is beautiful!!!

  33. Sara Tom
    September 11, 2017

    I have to comment I am speechless I love blue color and navey this is great really bless your heart

  34. Bernie Cat
    October 14, 2017

    Great ideas! Thank you! Love the tiles and stain color!

  35. Ee Vang
    October 18, 2017

    Lmao! Dang. I would be mad if all the money I gave to budget to make my kitchen nice was wasted on tiles lol. 500 could do alot of nice things to your kitchen…

  36. amber addison
    October 20, 2017

    Oooooooooh yo friend gone be mad…. She give you $500 and then she come home to find some dang stickers and yo old furniture, painted, in the middle of her kitchen… And since yall friends and all, like she gon know its yo old furniture, painted, in the middle of her kitchen 😬😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 so yea good luck with that one… She gon be like , " what!?! Did you charge $100 an hr"😂

  37. Tesslynn Amburgey
    October 22, 2017

    I can't see the value of $500 here at all. They had the cart, paint is not hard to come by cheap. The boards are not anything special. The subway tile is far superior to that stick up fake stuff.

  38. momof2
    October 27, 2017

    With all of this, you might as well just buy a home

  39. Paula Hardiman
    November 5, 2017

    the kitchen is beautiful the way you did it love it

  40. Shea Shea
    November 10, 2017

    Very beautiful job!!

  41. Happybidr
    November 19, 2017

    I hope you are writing a book or something. You do some amazing work.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *