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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  • One last shot of Sallywise! This was a great test to see what I need to focus on more when timing my looks, and also to realize that a lot of the detail I like to include might not really matter in the harsh dim light of a haunted house. On to the next look! #sallystitches #nightmarebeforechristmas #clowns #pennywise
  • Breaking the Instagram square because this shirt is goals, and one of my all time favorite Halloween finds. It’s from SheIn, and is literally exactly how I would imagine Sally’s dress would be as a shirt. It’s super comfortable, and it even comes in plus sizes! I’m always looking for ways to bring Halloween esthetic to my work wear, and I’m beyond thrilled. Oh, and did I mention it is only $16?!?!!!
#nightmarebeforechristmas #halloween #sallycosplay #cosplay
  • When you are feeling Nightmare Before Christmas but need to practice clowns.... you get Sallywise! 
I challenged myself to get this done as quickly as possible, and originally had my timer set for 20 minutes... this one took about 45 including time to put on the wig, so all in all, not terrible considering I sometimes take a lot longer. The one thing I wish I would have spent more time on is the foundation, which wasn't as opaque as I would have liked, but overall, I really like this one!
#Nightmarebeforechristmas #sally #IT #pennywise #clowns
  • Pretty sure I will never quite learn how to stay serious... I seriously love this look so much! #colors #colorful #illgrowupsomday
  • The most beautiful thing about poetry is that the collection of words carries more emotion and meanings than the author may have ever intended. They shape these words into skeletons made of language that we flesh out with our emotions. It’s a living thing, always changing. Make sure to check out the poem that inspired this look on my last post! #poetry #artinspiration #myfavoritepoet #livingart
  • Teal hues
And suddenly
Your breath
Becomes violet
Clashing against
Rainbow soundwaves 
And that way crayons 
Leave broken trails
Of color
Behind ~ By @andrewcoonswriting 
#poetry #artinspiration #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth #myfavoritepoet #allthefeels
  • Fun fact: these paints really sting when they get in your eyes. I tried to get it as close to my waterline without actually getting it in my eyes... and I was not successful. Also, not sure I can take myself too seriously in any kind of clown makeup. #clowns #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #pumpkinmakeup #pumpkins #jackolantern #jackolanternmakeup #mehron
  • I'm going to be doing makeup for a haunted house this year, and when i asked what common requests were, I was informed that clowns are super popular. Until today, I have never yet done a clown... im actually not a huge fan, and I can completely see why clowns are great for terrifying haunt visitors. I've been in more of a pumpkin mood lately, and thought it would be a good way to ease myself into the concept. #clowns #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #pumpkinmakeup #pumpkins #jackolantern #jackolanternmakeup
  • They said there will be a lot of clowns, but I was feeling pumpkin vibes... and this was the result! I should go to bed, but I’m having too much fun to take this off just yet. 🎃Now for some spooky Netflix and popcorn, and pit bull snuggles on the couch. She’s giving me some side eye right now. #clownmakeup #hauntedhouse #pumpkinmakeup #pumpkins #jackolantern #jackolanternmakeup

@madlikealyce

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