The hardest thing about last year’s move was adjusting to the kitchen. It was grungy and offered only one stretch of countertop to the right of the sink.
Here’s what we did:
1) Paint inside the upper cabinets and remove the doors.
It made the space feel cleaner and brighter. Most landlords don’t mind if you paint inside the cabinets. They may not even notice.
2) Add a temporary island.
We bought this one, painted the legs, and stained the top. It was a big investment, but we can take it with us or sell it. We ran an extension cord along the wall so that it could house our toaster, microwave, and coffee maker:
3) Use the walls.
We use these ledges as spice racks. (White for baking, and black for cooking.)
In the dining area, Zach built an alcohol shelf with hooks for his prized cast iron pans which he stole from his Dad.
In this space there are two built-in bookshelves…
…which brings us to number four.
4) Keep food visible.
When we moved in, we threw our dry goods into the bottom cupboards. For months, I didn’t know what food we had, and I avoided checking at all costs. You want to eat potatoes? I don’t want to know how much rotting food is down there. Let’s just go buy fresh ones. It was wasteful and expensive. Finally one day I emptied and cleaned every cupboard and moved all the food to the bookshelves. Now I’m wondering how I can incorporate a shallow pantry like this into our new main floor.
5) Embrace imperfections.
We love straight modern handles but the quirky dated ones here complement our crooked doors and drawers much better. So we added the words “charm” and “character” to our vocabulary and called it a day.