Rental House Kitchen Update: A Before & After Tour

Hi friends! Hope you all had a great weekend. I spent the last few days cuddled up with a sick little bean. HDawg woke up Friday morning with a slight fever and some congestion and has only gotten worse through the weekend : ( Although we went in Friday, we are heading back to the doctor tomorrow morning to get him checked out again and make sure it’s not anything more than just a bad cold!

Today, I wanted to pop in quickly to share the updated pictures of our rental house kitchen! The room was pretty much a blank slate when we first moved in. Luckily, the landlords had just done some work to the room, including adding new counter tops, tile and painted cabinets. Here was my to-do list for the room:

1. Dress up the walls. (maybe paint?)
2. Hang art.
3. Buy new decorative tea towels.
4. Add some storage racks to the walls.
5. Make a faux roman shade for the windows.

David and I decided not to paint the walls in this room, or any room in the rental house for that matter. Even though we have our landlord’s permission to paint, we decided that it wasn’t worth the effort and time in this temporary housing. Most of the rooms are painted the same neutral tan color that we love, so it’s really not a problem. And I have a few more temporary options in mind for some of the walls in the house… stay tuned : )

As you saw last week, I added DIY roman shades to the windows and door in the room. Check out the full no-sew tutorial on the curtains here. I’ve also added art and some additional storage to the space. But enough of the chit chatting, let’s see some after pictures, shall we?
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Skeeeeeeeert. That means stop. Let’s throw out some crazy before pictures. These were taken on move-in weekend.
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Aaaand back to now. Bam!
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I added a gallery wall of fun prints and photos on the wall next to the refrigerator. I chose to use flat pieces taped to the wall with washi tape instead of frames just in case the fridge door hit the wall. Slash I hung frames up and the fridge door kept hitting the wall and knocking down the frames. Woops.
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Our handy little Ikea island is still a highlight of the kitchen. It was such a good buy, not only for the extra counter space and the extra storage space, but just because it’s so dang cute.
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As you can see, we don’t have a ton of counter space in the kitchen. Mostly, there’s space just around the sink. I’ve had to be very particular about what items I decide to store on the counter top, since it’s valuable real estate.
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I keep this basket on the island to corral the junk… pens/pencils, scissors, trinkets, napkins, pacifiers… we don’t have enough room for a junk drawer, so this is it!
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The key to counter-top storage is easy: keep it simple!
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This corner is otherwise known as the “counter-space cluster mess.” We use these kitchen items every. single. day. Yes, we use two different coffee makers every day. We heart coffee in our house. We also use the toaster, knives and utensils every day, so we decided to keep them all on the counter. It looks kind of junky, but this is the only way we could figure out how to make it work! Originally, we had a thought to add storage to the wall above this counter, but couldn’t make it work with the configuration of the cabinet doors. Doh. Instead, I added some pretty plates David and I collected from trips to the Netherlands and Mexico.
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I love the roman shade over the sink, it makes such a difference!
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I think the small tweaks that I've made to the room really make a difference in the space, don't you?!


  1. It looks awesome! The roman shade is my fave.


  2. Wow...I love all you have done..that little gallery wall is so cute..and I am kind of obsessed with that catchall basket and white pitcher...Cute cute cute.

  3. It really looks so bright and happy in there! Love the simple touches and details you've added to make it your own space! The gallery wall with washi tape is so clever!

  4. It is always amazing to see what a few little touches can do to really brighten up a room! I too suffer from a lack of counter space so I always love to see what people do!

  5. I LOVE this, MIchelle -- it's bright and colorful and feels so fresh! Inspiration for renters everywhere. :)
    xo Heidi
    PS -- hope the little guy is on the mend soon!

  6. It really looks great! Such simple updates that make a big difference. The roman shade and island are my fave parts!

  7. Love it! And the IKEA island was definitely a great buy! We almost got one for our old townhouse, but then we moved and didn't need it in our new kitchen!

  8. Arranging the whole house? That must have been so tiring, yet fun! I really enjoy doing renovations and makeover just to change the ambiance or view of the house. The outcome usually depends on our mood, right? Honestly, I love the way you arranged all those stuff. It looks cozy and really feels like home.

  9. i think the space looks amazing! You did such a great job transforming it, it seems so bright, clean and crisp. i love the little magnetic frames you added to the refrigerator.


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear what you think. I ♥ comments.

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