The Simple Kitchen Redesign

We rent our condo from an amazing landlord who has always responded to our emails quickly and never once judged our dog on her breed. For that reason we've been here for three years now. If I had known when we first moved in that we'd end up staying so long I probably would've painted the place way back then. But alas, we always assumed we'd leave but over the years have started to find that we're living in the best case scenario. Because It's a rental I'm limited to what I can do but not by that much. I'm stuck with the cabinets and I'm stuck with the granite counter tops but really that's about the only thing I can't change. We are lucky enough to have nice wide dark wood laminate floors and stainless steel appliances. 

I grew up in a house with cherry cabinets and although they are better than oak by a long shot if I owned the house they certainly wouldn't be my first option. Neither would the Butterfly Green Granite Countertops. Since we've been here for 3 years now, almost 4 I've decided it would be a good time to show you how you can update a rental kitchen and if you need to or want to return it back to the way you found it when you leave. 

Most of the spaces in our house are cohesive. The color scheme is black, emerald green, brass, grey, walnut wood, and some touches of blue here and there. Our kitchen is similar but a bit mix matched. Thankfully all of our appliances match but our faucet and our cabinet hardware don't match each other and I'm not particularly fond of either. The backsplash paint is literally called "off white" and if there was ever a color to show every single thing ever it would be that one. 

My goal is to make small changes that make the countertops and cabinets more tolerable and make the space more cohesive with the rest of the house.

Cabinets & Countertops

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I'd like to paint the backsplash something neutral but with more of a gray tint to it. We use a lot of Benjamin Moores Revere Pewter at work so it's my first option, followed by Classic Gray, Balboa Mist and Silver Satin. 


Revere Pewter


Classic Gray


Balboa Mist


Silver Satin



I have a couple of ideas when it comes to hardware even though they're all Matte Black. Hardware is interesting, depending on how much of it you need it can be very expensive so its important that you keep an eye on that. This is a rental not your forever home although you can always take hardware with you when you go as long as you've saved the hardware that was on the cabinets before. (I recommend doing this anyway.) I've shared the prices of these pieces of hardware with you just to give you an idea of how quickly these little things can add up, we need 25 knobs. 







I can't stand our faucet. This is actually our second one and no matter how often I clean it it always looks filthy and gets filthy extremely fast. I can't figure out what it is about it. Maybe it's how cheap it was but it has to go. Unfortunately the bulk of my money will be spent here. Good faucets aren't cheap. 


Delta Trinsic


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VIGO GRamarcy



Pendant Lights

Believe it or not you can swap these out. Storing them is a pain but it's doable. I cant stand ours. We've lived in a different unit before this one in the same building but it had the same lights. I'm sick of looking at them. 

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factory modern Pendant


Crosby small pendant




In order to keep the space tidy looking all the time I keep very little on the countertops so I don't have a very extensive list of accessories. Some canisters for what we use on a regular basis, a magnetic knife strip, a small pitcher to keep our reusable wooden pot and brush scrubbers, our tea kettle and that's about it. 

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Matte Green Pitcher


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Hearth & Hand Canisters



Walnut Magnetic Knife Strip


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Glass Spray and soap dispensers 


Price Points

If you were to go on the high end of this, which would make Jonathan scream and question my sanity since we're renting then you could spend well over $500-$1,000. So below I'll show you the different combinations and the different ways this kitchen could go price wise. I easily kept it under 500 dollars here not including accessories but in going with the second option I could throw in my magnetic knife strip and small pitcher and still have some change to spare. If I went with the first option I'd probably hit it pretty close to 1,000 dollars in the end. 

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I went on the very low end of cabinet knob price for the second set, 25 knobs for 25 dollars. You could easily pick a knob in the 5 dollar range and still keep it under 500 dollars. A gallon of Benjamin Moores mid grade paint is going to run you about 54 dollars. The two pendants I need are on sale at Target for about 31 dollars and some change a piece and that faucet is actually hard to find but they have it in stock at Lowes. Although I've never used this particular brand before it has a lot of good reviews so I'm willing to give it a try!

Stay tuned in a few weeks for before & after photos of my quick rental friendly kitchen makeover!