Who knew that something as simple as cabinet hardware could transform a bland, cookie-cutter apartment kitchen or bath into rooms that will wow? If you’re renting a home or apartment, options for personalizing it to suit your taste may seem out of reach. While you can’t knock down the wall between the bedroom and bathroom or pull up the installed carpet, there are some high-impact hacks you can employ to make an aesthetic statement one that reflects your unique aesthetic and personality.

By swapping out the existing kitchen and bathroom cabinet and drawer pulls and knobs with bold, contemporary, or vintage replacements you can convert even the blandest apartment into a charming space you’ll love to call home. It’s a design fix that will keep your landlord or property manager happy and protect your security deposit. When the time comes to move out, restoring the apartment to its original condition will be a snap, and you can take the hardware with you to your next place.

Follow the tips below for selecting new hardware that will work with the existing hardware screw holes. Then go ahead and have fun creating a warm and welcoming ambiance in your kitchen and bath.

Replacing cabinet and drawer hardware in the kitchen and bath

Switching out ugly cabinet and drawer hardware can get costly, but it can be done inexpensively if you’re a savvy shopper. Below are some cost-friendly tips for finding affordable hardware options. But before you start shopping:

  •  Thoroughly look over the cabinet and drawer hardware you want to change out. Think about some colors or materials you’d like to see (don’t be afraid to go bold with color and style).•  Carefully measure the existing hardware—the width across the top of each knob and the projection from the cabinet to make sure your replacements will work with existing holes and cabinet clearance.  Measure the distance between the attachment points on pulls. The hardware will list this as the “Center to Center” dimension or “CC” or “drill centers.” You’ll save yourself time and trouble by buying new pulls with the same CC, otherwise, you’ll be filling the new holes and drilling the original holes when it comes time to move out,
  • Count the number of drawer pulls/knobs you plan to replace.
  •  Snap a closeup of the existing knobs on the piece of furniture or door on which you plan to replace the hardware.
  • Take an overall photo of the room(s) for inspiration and color matching if you’re shopping in a brick and mortar.

    With your measurements and color choices in hand, you can start shopping immediately online for beautiful hardware at terrific bargains. For bathroom and/or kitchen knobs and pulls:

    Etsy, an online marketplace for crafters, artists, and collectors to sell their handmade creations, vintage goods. and both handmade and non-handmade crafting supplies, has an enormous selection of cabinet and drawer hardware styles, colors, materials (glass, ceramic, metal) in all shapes and sizes, starting as low as 60 cents. Etsy’s selection is so vast, it’s easy to spend hours browsing. Be sure to make choices based on your apartment’s existing hardware sizes and check each seller’s return policy before you buy.

    Ebay also offers an enormous selection of new and used cabinet and drawer knobs and pulls starting as low as 99 cents. Items on ebay are also posted by multiple sellers, each with their own return policies, shipping rates, etc., so be sure to read the fine print on each product description.

    For unique crafted hardware for both kitchen and bathroom, in addition to Etsy and Ebay, check out websites like RestorationHardware.com, Anthropologie.com, Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com, Lowes.com, and Build.com or search Pinterest for more ideas.

    If you’re crafty, try making your own knobs and pulls. There are plenty of online resources that help provide inspiration for decorative knob-making as well as for instructions and help you find the necessary materials to get crafty.

Once you remove the existing hardware, place it in a plastic bag and tape the bag to the inside of a lower cabinet drawer. This way you will have all the bits and pieces in one place when you’re preparing to move out and need to put the old hardware back.

Changing out the cabinet hardware in a rental space is not only a good way to address dated or worn fittings, but it’s also a great way to inject your personal style in the home without creating a problem with the property manager or landlord.