Thursday, 31 March 2011

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Personalize an Apartment Kitchen

As a renter with very little control over the architecture of my home, I'm constantly thinking of ways to personalize the decor without paint or construction. Removable wallpaper is something I've been considering, but the price tag isn't exactly appealing. Here are a few quick and inexpensive tweaks I've made to our little kitchen, with no worries for the landlord.
  • Remove a cupboard door to display neatly organized dishes. (Believe me, my other cupboards do not look so pretty inside!)
  • Exchange old cabinet hardware for new knobs and handles — easily switched out during a move.
  • Hang textiles, such as aprons on the walls, or nice looking tea towels on cabinet doors. (Just make sure your wet towels don't drape on unprotected wood doors!)
  • Hang art on the walls. Small kitchens might not have a lot of wall space, but take advantage of the space you have.

If you're interested in seeing more of my little kitchen, check out the before and after below. Images: Amanda Johnson

Before & After: Small Apartment Kitchen Brightened

Before signing the lease of my dream apartment, I asked the landlord if I could pretty please paint the kitchen cabinets. Armed with a two-year lease, he agreed to not only give me permission to work on the kitchen, but he also supplied the paint.
There were 4 layers of paint underneath the blue, which made for long hours of stripping with scrapers and heat guns. Fortunately, my father has a spray gun and air compressor, which made the actual painting process a breeze.

After the doors were ready, I decided to leave off the mis-matched hardware of the wood cabinets and also one of the rear cabinet doors. I was able to convince the landlord to remove the old double-action door that kept the tiny room blocked off from the rest of the apartment. Now the bright light from the skylight can illuminate the adjacent rooms, and even entices me to do the dishes! (Sometimes.)
Images: Bill Malloy, Amanda Johnson

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