How Real Life Renters Made The Most of Their Totally Vanilla Kitchen

published Apr 10, 2017
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(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Renting often means you have to live with an apartment’s finishes, for better or for worse, though it doesn’t mean that the “worse” part has to be all bad. Though the kitchen is often the room in a rental home that needs the most TLC, it’s amazing what a little creativity can do to help the space, like in Bianca and Craig’s rental California home.

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Takeaways from Bianca & Craig’s Rental Kitchen

Bianca and Craig’s rental kitchen is a lesson in how making a few decisive moves can turn a bland and boxy rental situation into a stylish and personalized room.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Paint your heart out (if you’re allowed to).

If it’s approved in your lease, consider the impact painting might have on improving the look of your rental kitchen. I think this kitchen is such a great example of the transformative quality of paint. Specifically, Bianca’s use of Benjamin Moore’s Wool Peacoat warmed up and elevated their rental kitchen—now it looks cozy, elegant, and like their space as opposed to a bland rental kitchen. On the decision to paint her rental, Bianca noted:

For the first 1 ½ years we lived here, we didn’t even paint the walls because I didn’t want to make changes to something that wasn’t ours. But I realized it is ours, for now and I want to be around things that make me smile when I walk in the room.

**If painting is not an option you want to attempt, consider removable options.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Bland fixtures can serve as a blank slate for goodness.

It’s easy to feel like you’re stuck with the typically lackluster or outdated fixtures of a rental kitchen, but with some creative thinking, you can enhance what works—in this case using the glass cabinet doors to display colorful dishes—and play down what doesn’t work by bringing in elements that you love. Bianca’s use of colorful dishes and bright fruits and flowers makes what could be a very dull set of cabinets appear cheerful and pretty.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Get creative with dead zones.

Bianca also used chalkboard paint and a stylish rolling cart to create a separate bar area—a decision that mitigates the dead space next to the cabinets and adds miles of style to the overall look of their kitchen.

(Image credit: Kim Lucian)

Visualize the kitchen you’d like to have and build towards that vision.

How do you use your kitchen? What mood or feeling do you want it to have? Maybe you want to accentuate the vintage charm of your rental kitchen, or highlight the functionality of it, or in the case of Bianca and Craig, perhaps you want to create a sophisticated, pulled-together room. They didn’t have the latest and greatest starting point, but they used a sophisticated color scheme and simple, well-designed decor to create a kitchen that fits their style and one they enjoy spending time in—a great lesson in working with, rather than fighting against, what we have to create what we want.