Before and After: A “Boring Beige” Studio Kitchen Gets a $600 Peel-and-Stick Makeover

published Jan 29, 2024
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As we usher in a new year of kitchen design trends, colorful kitchens continue to become increasingly popular. (Case in point: Green was the 2023 kitchen cabinet color).

And that’s precisely what Ashley Buchanan (@historyinhighheels), who runs the History in High Heels blog, wanted for her space. When she saw the “incredibly boring and beige” kitchen in her 480-square-foot studio apartment in Washington, D.C., she knew she had her work cut out for her to make it the colorful oasis she dreamt of. 

When she set out to reimagine the kitchen in her apartment, she had an exciting and somewhat unique challenge ahead of her. “My goal was to inject color into the space without having to cover the brown marble countertops or beige cabinets,” she explains. In fact, she made both look extra-chic in her project.

As a renter, Ashley needed to find a solution that was durable, easily removable, and, of course, colorful. In the end, she didn’t land on just one fix — she found several brilliant ways to infuse vibrancy and personality into the room.

Peel-and-stick patterns zhuzh up the whole space.

A blank wall in Ashley’s kitchen was the jumping-off point for the project. She partnered with Rifle Paper Co. to create the transition, and they supplied her with materials, like peel-and-stick wallpaper in “Citrus Grove.”

The peel-and-stick coverings didn’t stop there; she also added a peel-and-stick backsplash from Etsy that matched the color scheme. 

And while the peach tile look on the floors seems like a peel-and-stick solution, it’s actually a vinyl floor mat from Rugs Direct that fits snugly in the space.

Painting something removable is a great way to add a new color to a rental.

In order to keep the project renter-friendly, Ashley hung a beadboard and painted it in Behr’s Tournament Field. Ashley says the green “really pops and can be seen ever-so-slightly from the living room.”

Floating shelves add stylish storage.

After the more time-consuming additions were finished — adding the wallpaper and painting and hanging the beadboard — it was time to accessorize.  Ashley installed rustic floating shelves to display her gorgeous jars and vibrant glassware. All in all, it cost Ashley around $600 to transform the basic, stock-like kitchen into a colorful space. 

“I love how colorful my kitchen is now while not sacrificing function,” Ashley says.

The kitchen isn’t the only room with Ashley’s ingenious DIY touches. To see more of her colorful, clever space, visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: Before & After: This “Boring Beige” Kitchen Got a Colorful Makeover — Without Painting the Cabinets or Walls