Apartment Therapy Blogger Style: Regina's Own Kitchen

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When you're sharing your home with an audience, there's this overwhelming urge to explain its imperfections. This is no exception! My kitchen has plenty of problems that drive me crazy. We haven't taken on a renovation because in the coming year we will learn whether we will be here short term or extremely long term. A renovation will likely happen either way, but our reason for it (staying for many, many years vs. selling) will greatly influence our decision making in the design:

That said, the kitchen as-is is a study on working with something you don't love and making it yours. So if you're bound by the limitations of a landlord, a budget, or an inability to commit quite yet (like me), maybe this can provide a bit of inspiration.

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Our kitchen is really more like three separate, small areas. Not so great when it comes to flow. We have an eating area, the kitchen proper, and a little kitchen entry that leads to the patio and garage. Our eating area fits a small (36") table and three chairs. There are a ton of circulation needs in this small area: Five doors lead elsewhere from here.

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In the kitchen proper, we've done some minor rearranging of cabinetry to make things function a bit more smoothly. Everything under the walnut countertop was changed (by us and a cabinetmaker pal) to provide more usable counter space. We also painted the dated melamine cabinets light on top, dark on bottom from the existing beige-all-over.

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Leaving the doors off of the over-sink cabinet gives us a little bit of open shelf display space. It's nice to have something pretty at the sink, even if it isn't the ideal (a window).

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At the rear of the kitchen is this "entry" area that leads to the back yard. It's somewhat out-of-the way and one day I'd love to find a way to blend it more seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen or transform it into more of a mudroom-type space.

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A small open shelf was created when we rearranged the cabinetry under the walnut countertop (more on the alteration here). That's where I keep cookbooks and my son keeps napkins he can reach for himself and for helping to set the table. Yellow stools are placed at the counter's overhang and are a favorite spot for working on our computers.

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The hand painted tile in this part of the kitchen is completely different from the white tile everywhere else, but I like it and am not sure I'd have the heart to ditch it in a full-on reno.

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This door leads to our newly-intalled patio and kitchen garden. I had always wanted a garden just steps from the kitchen and I have very much enjoyed it this summer!

So, there's my hodgepodge of a kitchen in its current state. Let's hope one day in a couple of years I'll be updating you with renovation plans!


(Image credits: Regina Yunghans)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.