Before & After: An Incredible and Colorful Transformation of a Dated, Drab Rental Kitchen

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Credit: Abagail Halstead

Designer: Elizabeth Van Lierde of The College Housewife, making over her assistant Abbie’s kitchen
Location: Pasadena, (Los Angeles) California
How long did the makeover take to do? 2 weeks
Years Lived In: 2 years, renting

This kitchen makeover was a special one for me. I was lucky enough to make over my assistant Abbie’s kitchen! Abbie and I have known each other since we were 12 (yes, I’m serious!) and now we work full-time together. I honestly can’t think of a time where we didn’t work together. My best friend Alex is Abbie’s older sister and we met when Alex and I first became friends. We actually hated each other those first few teenage years, but now I can’t live without her.

Credit: Abagail Halstead

Throughout high school we were editors on the yearbook staff; she designed my very first blog and now tackles daily adventures with me running The College Housewife and beyond. I feel grateful for Abbie in a thousand ways, but it’s so nice to go to ‘work’ knowing I’ve got an insanely hard worker on my side and someone that I can also cry to at lunch if need be. 

Credit: Abagail Halstead

I was honestly SO thrilled when Abbie told me I could do whatever I wanted with the kitchen. We agreed that while I had full range, I would keep her style embodied in the space. 

The first thing I did when tackling Abbie’s kitchen was sit down and really get a feel for her style, the space and what she used it most for. When she isn’t tackling projects with me ‘in the studio’ she mostly works from home. The dining room area would be a nice second office area to sprawl out on work-from-home days. I wanted it to feel cozy for her, but functional.

Credit: Abagail Halstead

Once we got her style down I hired my contractor (aka my dad) to help us do some of the heavy lifting. He was nice enough to help us change out the lighting (I would have had NO idea how to do this) and helped with the paint job. He is the best handyman I know and I was so grateful to have him there. He’s known Abbie as long as I have, so it felt like a family project. 

Abbie does like to entertain on occasion. She isn’t shy of a good cheeseboard and wine night with her girlfriends and usually is the one to make dinner for her roommates. She said now that the kitchen is gorgeous (and that she has a dining room table!) she can’t wait to have dinner parties. 

More photos:

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Style: Abbie’s style is very minimal. When you walk into her house there is always an Anthropologie candle lit, Bombay Bicycle Club playing, and an iced vanilla latte brewing. She loves her home to feel clean, comfy, white, and minimalistic.






*Sherwin-Williams was a sponsor on this project for the blog The College Housewife, and is not in partnership with Apartment Therapy. Apartment Therapy wasn’t paid to feature this project, nor did we pay The College Wife to feature this project. It’s just a small rental kitchen full of great ideas we felt was good for sharing!