We used "walnut" colored wood contact paper to cover the lower kitchen cabinets in the rental. It looks more modern by running it horizontal rather than vertical and turned out really great. Plus it was easy to remove after 6+ months and just a little simple-green to get residual sticky off.
Contact paper for covering ugly counter tops!! ... I did this! Currently renting a townhouse with an outdated kitchen, I chose a brown granite from Home Depot--the roll was $6.97 and now my countertops look awesome!