4 Ways to Spruce Up An Ugly Rental Kitchen

This is not going to be the prettiest of posts, but in an effort to keep it real around here- I wanted to share my least favorite room in the apartment… the kitchen. While it’s certainly looking better than move in day (see below), it’s no gorgeous white and bright kitchen like in my last apartment. 

But I’ve made a few tweaks to distract from the ugliest elements. So if you have an unsightly rental kitchen… check out the tips below!


Note: If you notice a small difference, the dishwasher has changed. It ended up being completely defective so it was replaced with the black one shortly after I moved in. 

1) Hide the ugly tile: this tile is some terrible shade of salmon. So one of the first things I did was put this West Elm runner down to hide most of it.

2) Keep it clutter-free: A bad kitchen can look even worse if it’s full of clutter and stuff piled up on the counters, so keeping it tidy really helps.

3) Distract from the ugly counters: I have a nice knife block, modern coffee maker, stainless steel toaster oven, marble paper towel holder and my DIY ‘marble’ utensil holder. Everyday items, but it helps when they are pleasing to the eye and they can distract from the ugly counters.

4) Keep it neutral: Almost everything in this kitchen is black and white. This keeps the space looking a little more uniform and put together. 

Hope those tips were helpful! If I owned this apartment, I would gut this space in a second (and knock out that wall on the left!) but sometimes you just have to make the best of it and work with what you already have. 

HGTV Feature! Small Space Tips

Exciting news! I have a small feature on HGTV today! The writer reached out to me a couple months ago about one of my posts and I was thrilled. It’s a quick little round up of small space tips from design bloggers and I’m honored to be included. Check it out here:

15 Clever Small Space Tips from Design Bloggers

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My counter top over the stove solution from my last apartment is highlighted in this article along with great tips and solutions from other bloggers. Head over and check it out! There’s also a little interview blurb about the solution if you click on ‘read more’ underneath the photo (mine is #8 in the gallery).  IMG_4862 IMG_4865I hope this is just one of many features to come! So nice to be recognized by such a big voice in the design industry. Thanks to HGTV and thanks to my amazing readers (new and old) for continuing to follow along!

 

 

How to Instantly Double Your Kitchen Counter Space

While I love my kitchen, it’s certainly lacking in counter space. I really only have a small section between the range and the sink and the only other counter space is the island. I often find myself setting things on top of the burners when I run out of room. So, I’ve been in search of a solution to utilize the range as an extra work space without an ugly cover or an expensive slab of granite or marble. 2015-03-15 12.24.38-1IMG_4867

Enter: the Ikea “as is” section! There’s a small little area near the checkouts where they have discounted damaged items for final sale, weird sized pieces of wood, etc. I forgot to measure my stove before going, but I found a white piece (that actually looks exactly like my dining table) with zero damage/markings for only $2.99. It seemed close enough to the size of my stove, and if it happened to be too big or small, it wasn’t a huge risk at that price. I brought it home and to my delight, it’s almost the exact size. There is a bit of overhang at the front, but nothing too significant. This piece is perfect for extra work space. It’s heavy and sturdy enough not to move around and the plain white color works well with the rest of the kitchen.

IMG_4862 IMG_4863 IMG_4865I‘m so glad I found this piece and for a few dollars, I now have a great deal of extra “counter” space. If you have a similar problem, I would definitely suggest checking out the “as is” section at Ikea or your local tile/stone place to see if they have remnants or samples that will allow you to cover your range for an extra work space.

Update: this project was recently featured! Check out the post here.featured_button

Favorite Link of the Day: Renter Solutions

Apartment Therapy (one of my all-time favorite sites) featured a great article this week so I thought I would share.

The 10 Worst Things About Renting and How to Deal With Them

It’s a helpful read and very relevant to my blog and the overarching theme of finding different solutions and tricks to personalize my own apartment. Whether it’s a quick update, fix, tweak or polish, it’s all in the name of smoothing out those rental flaws.

For more tips, tricks and progress of my own apartment, check out this series that highlights all projects and updates I’ve completed in the last year of living in my studio:

Studio Style Blog: Year One Progress

Happy Friday and check back next week for new posts!

Year One: Kitchen Progress

Before:

2013-04-07 16.57.04

Updates:

2013-09-14 19.14.56 DSC06749 2014-01-15 19.49.10  2014-01-22 18.42.32 2014-01-24 19.14.55 2014-02-19 19.49.33 2014-02-19 19.49.26 2014-02-19 19.50.18 kitchen transformation photo 2 2014-04-02 19.23.17 2014-04-02 19.45.10 

After:

2014-04-02 20.29.11  2014-04-02 20.34.13

Still on the List:

  • New coffee maker
  • New toaster oven
  • New lamp

Check out the rest of the Year One Progress series here!