Real Life Design: 3 Renters Who Made Lemonade Out of "Lemon" Rental Kitchens & Baths

Real Life Design: 3 Renters Who Made Lemonade Out of "Lemon" Rental Kitchens & Baths

Taryn Williford
Jun 21, 2016

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." The phrase has a contented history, but the expression boils down to this: lemons are harsh and sour – kind of like the dated rental kitchen you can't stand to cook in – and lemonade is sweet – like these 3 real rooms that made the best of a bad situation.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

A Stick-On Fix for a Boring Rental Kitchen

Because they aren't allowed to paint the kitchen cabinets, Thoey and Sutty decided to give them a makeover with two colors of contact paper, measured perfectly to size. For added interest, the contact paper covers only a few cabinets, and cuts diagonally across each one.

See more: Thoey & Sutty's Southeast Asian-Inspired Loft in Oakland

(Image credit: Katie Gard)

Embracing Avocado Appliances and Checkered Floors

This kitchen could have been a recipe for disaster, but Matt and Andy made it work. They embraced the bold black and white of the checkered floors, carrying the high-contrast colors into the curtains and towels. And keeping everything else in the room neutral helps to make the avocado-colored range – a renter's worst nightmare – look kind of intentional in the space.

Matt & Andy
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

See more: Matt & Andy's More Perfect (Eclectic-Modern) Union

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Making a Blue Bathroom Your Own

The bright blue tea tiles in Taylor and Wes' apartment weren't exactly their cup of tea. So they (figuratively) bulldozed right over the bathroom, bringing in tons of busy black and white pattern through the shower curtain and floor mat, then adding a bold design to the tile wall itself. "I think the cut vinyl circles had the most impact in the bathroom," they said. "Made that ugly teal tile a lot more tolerable. People think it's actual tile."

Taylor & Wes
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

See more: Taylor and Wes' East Village Eclectic

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