Monday, September 17, 2012

Opening Up The Kitchen

Rental apartments can be kind of rough sometimes, especially the bathrooms and kitchens. I have developed quite the hatred for those off-white and wood veneer particle board cabinets. I think you all know the ones I mean. Ick.

Since I work from home, I get more time than is recommended to be around them and stare them down.   Then there was also the issue of the doors slamming shut and hitting dishes because of old hardware, or hitting the pots and pans hanging because it's so tiny of a space, or not being able to reach anything because doors don't open logically, or the perpetual griminess of them...

This past week, I think I snapped. Kitchen, we are at war!  It's time for you to work how I want you to without this stupid dance we do everyday.

Armed with a screwdriver a a ton of mason jars, I removed all the cabinet doors, rearranged, and unboxed everything I could. It really only took about 2 hours or so, and I got lucky because the cabinet hinge screws attached to the inside rather than the front, so no ugly holes to patch.  Whew! So worth it!

I tried to stick to displaying like colors and keeping it simple: white plates with splashes of teal, red and yellow. If I could I would narrow it down to 1 or two colors, but I didn't feel like fussing too much.

 I used an old shoe box covered in pretty paper to house all the sauces and oils above the stove. It was a double win, because it hides the bottles and makes it easier for me to find what I need since I can just take the whole box down. This is a better alternative to having to grab a chair and root around up there over hot burners. Smart.

Friends have asked what I plan on doing about dust and such, but I can assure you that we use pretty much everything in the kitchen on a regular basis so it doesn't sit around enough to get dusty.  For the pieces we don't use as often, those are stowed away below.  Everything has it's place and it's orderly without having to fuss with it again or try to stage it.  I can see everything, it's within reach, and uncluttered.

Also a win was being able to stack my plates vertically again.  Before, the doors hit them and they were getting chipped.  Stacking them vertically has made much better use of the space, caused less chipping of the plates, allows easier access, and eliminates dust issues.

Even better, I can reclaim a whole bookshelf and a closet shelf that had been storing extra kitchen things because the rearranging and open cabinets allowed for me to bring it all back to the kitchen. Success! It's still a little darker and more blah than I would like, but it's a vast improvement from where it was. I haven't decided if I want to paint or paper the insides yet, as it's just a rental and we won't be living here next year... but I know it would look oh so pretty and brighten it up even more.

Anyone else have any fun rental property fixes? How do you deal with the quirks and make it your own without any serious modifications?  I'd love to hear!


  1. Still so impressed with you for investing in this space and making such an improvement. Looks awesome!


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