Affordable Ways to Update a Rental Kitchen

Remodelista editor Meredith wanted to perform a a miracle rental remodel on her San Francisco apartment kitchen with paint. At first, she contemplated painting the cabinets (faux- mahogony) —but backed down for fear of a incurring a damage fee. Instead, she painted her kitchen walls a dark gray, elevating her kitchen cabinets into a more stately mahogany.

Here’s how Meredith upgraded her rental kitchen in an efficient and affordable way.

Above: She painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Galveston Gray, which blends in with the cabinets reducing their  prominence.

Copper Tea Kettle and Heath Ceramics Bowls and Bud Vases, Remodelista

Above: Anchored by her grandmother’s copper kettle, Meredith’s collection of Heath ceramics are displayed against a moody gray backdrop.

Mini Apples in Heath Ceramics Bowl with Pear, Remodelista

Above: A few of her favorite things go a long way to upgrading her kitchen: a Heath Covered Serving Dish in Moonstone, a tea towel from Enormous Champion, and a $9 Ikea Magasin dish drainer.

Glass Mini Bowls and Painted Ceramic Bowl with Matches, Remodelista

Above: Miniature glass bowls for mixing spices.

Ikea Drawers Painted as Spice Chest with Heath Ceramics Bowl, Remodelista

Above: Meredith painted this small storage Ikea wood cabinet in Benjamin Moore’s Iron Mountain, which pairs well with the walls and gray bowl.

Fog Linen Napkins and Serving Spoon and Cutting Board Hanging on Wall, Remodelista

Above: Meredith keeps kitchen essentials within reach; on the wall above the sink are napkins, a cutting board, and serving spoon—all hung from oversized nails.

BEFORE

Above: A before shot showing the kitchen’s original blue-green walls and orange cabinets.

Above: Painting helped Meredith to prioritize what’s kept on view and what’s behind closed doors. Here, a before shot showing the open shelves.

Explore more palettes in 10 Moody Paint Picks and 10 Happiness-Inducing Paint Colors.

76 comments

janet t.
janet t.2 years ago

very nice!

Donna Ferguson
Donna F.2 years ago

ty

Jody B.
Jody B.2 years ago

Nice!

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

VS S.
Vrishni S.2 years ago

Thank you.

Ana Marija R.
ANA MARIJA R.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.2 years ago

thanks for sharing

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby2 years ago

ty

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se2 years ago

ty

Robert O.
Robert O.2 years ago

Those are nice suggestions since a little change can go a long way and so many of us are apartment dwellers on tight budgets. Thanks!