Before & After: A Small Change, Big Impact Rental Kitchen Upgrade

published Jan 23, 2016
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(Image credit: Submitted by Kevin)

I will never get tired of seeing real life, totally attainable home updates, especially when they’re renter friendly. Kevin’s flawless execution of some classic kitchen updates is absolutely worth a gander and may inspire some updating of your own.

(Image credit: Submitted by Kevin)

From Kevin: When I started thinking about giving our little kitchen a refresh, I immediately thought of what a big impact some color could have in our kitchen. And when I started brainstorming it hit me – I could paint the countertops too! They are white laminate, which is basically the most stainable material you could use on a countertop, so they show traces of spills very easily. I’ve always wanted to cover them in concrete, but we opted for a much simpler update by just painting them with Rustoleum’s countertop finish in Grey Mist. I also thought it would be nice to bring some color to the bottom cabinets, so I chose a grey-blue Distant Star to soften the contrast between the counters and the lower cabinets. I was hesitant to call this a renter-renovation because although we are renters, these updates might not fly with any landlord/landlady. But don’t lose hope – these next two updates are definitely things you could get away with.

Our little white cabinet knobs were just begging to be updated, and it’s amazing what a huge difference new hardware makes. Enter steel bar pulls, and suddenly things feel so much sleeker. I picked the five-inch height so they would make the biggest impact. We’ve also been craving a real backsplash behind the sink, and I’m amazed at the difference going from a blank wall to (faux) subway tiles makes. Although they’re the same color as the wall, they provide just a hint of texture and shine that makes the space look so polished! We used Smart Tiles, which are thin, adhesive tiles that are crazy easy to install and remove and very cost effective.

Thank you, Kevin! To see more of Kevin’s kitchen project, check out his blog Thou Swell.

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