Mad Like Alyce

Apartment Updates: Kitchen Decor on a Shoestring Budget

Builder grade apartment kitchens are pretty homely. In all honesty, I loved the kitchens of my last two apartments 10 times more than this one, even though all of the cabinets, fixtures, etc were in no better shape. They at least had character, and had light. From the day I looked at these dark laminate monstrosities, to the complete lack of natural light being a windowless, interior kitchen in a north facing apartment, all I saw was a death pallor.

I had dreamed about finding a temporary way to update this kitchen without compromising the integrity so I could keep my deposit, but again, it came down to cost vs. want. If I DID update, I had thought about using white contact paper on the top cabinets, black contact paper on the bottom cabinets, and painting fake brick panels white (find them at Lowes), and fixing them gently to the most interior wall with a few finishing nails to give the room some dimension. I was really inspired by kitchen’s like these, and was hopeful to make a (severely) knock off version on the cheap.

blackkitchen6Original Image Found Here

I also thought about maximizing the bright colors and doing white on all of the cabinets, and covering the damaged, beige countertops with a fake marble solution, like this inspiration from A Thoughtful Place:

fauxmarble9

Its so freaking cute!!! Sometimes, I wish I could go back to the old days where I thought being an adult meant you could do whatever you wanted instead of the reality of having to pay for health insurance instead of buying clothes. I know I’m lucky to even have a good job and apartment, but I really do miss that innocence.

Updating your Builder Grade Kitchen

Barring anything dramatic, costly, or time consuming… you can make a pretty nice difference in how your kitchen looks by being strategic with what you use to decorate, as well as the appliances you use on a daily basis. Here are my three guidelines:

1. Use a united color theme

Pick a color you want to use for accents before shopping for any new appliances or kitchen utensils, or go with what you have the most of already. This way, you can select only that color, and it makes the space far more cohesive. I luckily already had a red coffee pot, fruit bowl, and cookbook stand, so I made sure that the rest of my kitchen gear (if I bought new) fit this theme.

kitchen2

If you already have appliances, see if you can use Washi tape to give it a quick pop of color consistent with your theme. I did this with the light above the sink with reasonable success. While its not super fancy, it does give it a nice pop of color that works nicely in the space. You can even attempt to paint appliances if that suits your fancy! Emma with A Beautiful Mess did this with her stand mixer, and although this post was about a fail, I do believe she eventually painted it a different color.

2. Cover up/distract from eyesores

One thing that bothered me about this kitchen was that the first thing you saw when you walked in was the fuse panel. While I’m sure it likely violates some electrical code, I hung large artwork over the panel that continued the red color theme. It is easy to remove in a pinch if I need to access the panel, but its a heck of a lot nicer to look at.

(Note: If you do this, PLEASE use command strips, or a very shallow picture hanger that doesn’t fully penetrate the drywall. There are a TON of electrical wires branching out from the fusebox, and you don’t want to go punching a nail into one.)IMG_2378 copy

The kitchen before

 

3. Decorate with things that make you happy

I loved some of the homes I had seen decorated with these oversized letters, and found the perfect sized wooden letters at Hobby Lobby. A quick coat of bright red spray paint and they give the kitchen a little something extra without being overwhelming.

kitchen1

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

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  • Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more. 
Super excited that my family is NOT doing gifts this year! We are all just bringing a side dish, dessert, and a board game for some quality family time. What are you doing for Christmas? #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies #grinchmas
  • Even if I wanted to go, my schedule wouldn't allow it! 4 o'clock: wallow in self pity. 4:30: stare into the abyss. 5 o'clock: solve world hunger (tell no one). 5:30: jazzercise. 6:30: dinner with me, I can't cancel that again! 7 o'clock: wrestle with my self loathing. I'm booked! Course if I bump the loathing to 9 I can still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness. But what would I wear! #thegrinchwhostolechristmas #whoville #grinch #grinchchristmas #christmasmovies
  • "I'm gunna throw up... and then I'm going to DIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!"
Probably my favorite line in the entire movie, so much so that it has stuck with me for years. This is often how my anxiety feels like, and I think of this line from the Grinch often when I'm struggling, even at the height of summer! So, the Grinch is a bit near and dear to my heart, and no one will ever take Jim Carrey's place in my heart, even if if it does grow three sizes. #grinch #thegrinchthatstolechristmas #christmas #grinchmakeup
  • I’ve never actually smoked a day in my life. #frosty #frostythesnowman #glamfrosty #winter #wintermakeup
  • One of the reasons I liked this makeup so much was the incredibly simple nose. I’ve tried some looks in the past and I don’t know if it was the white face, orange nose, or just my lack of makeup experience, but I hated them. Instead of trying to literally draw a carrot, this is just a nod in that direction. Also, I’m not one for glitter but I really dig these eyes! Good thing I like them, because I still have glitter on my face. #glitter #frosty #wintermakeup
  • Sticking with my winter theme, it’s Frosty! Ok, this one is a great example of why I love the internet. I saw an AMAZING frosty photo on an Instagram feature account and took a screenshot because I was dying to recreate it. Normally I make sure I have the artists handle in the screenshot so I can tag them if I ever do try it, but somehow missed it this time. To find her, I took to YouTube to find @victorialyn ’s tutorial, and I’m completely blown away with not only the makeup, but the production quality of her videos. I know how much time and effort something like that takes and they are so much fun to watch, even if you don’t plan on doing the makeup in the tutorial. I love finding new artists to follow and be inspired by! #frosty #frostythesnowman #winter
  • The last look at my Frostbite! What other injury makeups could be considered "Holiday"? or at least timely for winter? Or should I do something more glam next? I have half a mind to save more gory winter looks for January when i'm no longer feeling the warm and fuzzies when it snows! #winter #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #sfx #sfxmua
  • "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"
Im really pleased with how this turned out! I know it's no super glamorous but creating actual injuries and skin conditions is a great challenge. I'll spare you the reference material, but it was fun trying to re-create the blistering, as gross as that sounds. Stay warm my friends! #frostbite #frostbitemakeup #winterwonderland #sfxmakeup #sfxmua
  • "Baby it's cold outside."
This look inspired by a 3 hour drive in a blizzard last weekend. It actually wasn't too bad, mostly just excruciatingly slow, but living in SD, I know how dangerous it can be going off the road in bad conditions. #frostbite #SFX #sfxmakeup #brrrrrr #sfxwound

@madlikealyce

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