I've been there. I have lived in some stinkers in my time -- from a student house with stained walls, old lino and a cardboard cutout of Minnie Me in the living room, to a Jr. 1 bedroom carved out of a former bachelor, complete with a rusting, minty-teal stove (which in retrospect was actually kind of cute) and a mildew-stained bathroom with all-taupe finishes, circa 1960.
Such is life in rentals.
Nonetheless, I've learned a bit along the way. And because I'm a sweetheart, I'd like to pass my knowledge on to you. So here's the first installment in my wee series about how to fix up your rental in a single weekend on a VERY limited budget.
Replace the pulls and knobs in kitchens AND bathrooms for the best effect. Cup pulls and handles (as opposed to knobs) are usually better for drawers, by the way. It takes a little patience and elbow grease. Especially if you are doing all the screwing on your own. (Ha ha?)
Other shop options for hardware include Rona and Home Depot, or, if you have a bit more cash on hand, Anthropologie. OR, consider making your own pulls.
You can manage it. I believe in you.
Hit up the dollar store or a junk shop for similar small items in a shape you like that are made of wood (or at least not hollow). If you need to, spray paint them all one colour. Drill holes in them and use screws with no heads, epoxy, and bolts to make pulls of your own. Too hard? Not clear enough?
I found a ridiculous cute plan for how to make your own very simple fabric pulls at the blog of Anna Maria Horner (her photo is shown below). Check it out or do some Googling of your own. I'm sure there are plenty of DIY ideas out there with better, more detailed instructions than I can provide. My point is only that you NEED to change those knobs. Now.