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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  • William Faulkner said to “it’s hard to kill your darlings” meaning it can be difficult to critique your own work, especially if you put a lot into it. Stephen King went on to say you should put your work away for six months to a year before editing so you can clearly evaluate. I’m really glad I looked back at this one. Even without the wig, I think it’s striking. #hauntmua #sfxmua #stevenkingismyhero #skullmakeup
  • I’m going through old pictures and ran across this one. I remember not really being happy with this look, and sure, the lines could have been cleaner, but I still really like this! I think we should always go back and look at work a year later... even if it really want good, it shows us just how far we have come in so little time. #skullmakeup #hauntmua #sfxmua #personalgrowth
  • I often do a look that I’m just not all that happy with afterwards, as is with this “halfway to Halloween” clown I created back in.... May? Looking at it now, I don’t know what it is exactly it was that I didn’t like... maybe I just needed a orange wig? I almost like a progress pic more than the finished product. What do you think?#clowns #clownmakeup
  • Throwback to my first actual clown makeup! The eye shapes were inspired by a few looks by @totalnightmaretravis, and i was incredibly excited about this wig! The Rhapsody Short by @rockstarwigs is probably the most fun wig to wear that I currently own. I only have red, but am heavily considering another color for my collection.
Happy National Clown Week! #justclowningaround #clowns #scaryclowns
  • Happy National Clown Week! A year ago, I wasn’t a big fan of clowns, but I practiced so many clown makeups that I eventually came to find them to be one of my favorites, and even created my own clown character. This is the first actual clown makeup I recreated based on @grave_digger_the_clown for last year’s haunt. Turned out a lot prettier than he is, no? 😉
#clownsofinstagram #hauntmua #clownmakeup #clowns
  • One last look at this (insightful? Revealing?) makeup! I actually really loved the eyes by themselves, and they took a good 2 hours themselves. A good challenge in trying to make a flat art of round objects translated on a curved surface! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #eyes #makeupartist #inspiredbyart
Inspire by art by @xsullo
  • Eye see you! I also understand I’m not funny, it’s ok. 😂
This was actually a fun challenge, eyes are really complex and took nearly 2 hours to get them where I was happy. Of all of this, I’m really proud of the detail I was able to get in the irises of each eye, and my blocked eyebrow almost completely disappeared! This actually looks amazing compared to the first time I blocked them out. Yay for progress! #eyeseeyou #eyeball #horrormakeup #horrorart 
Inspired by art from @xsullo
  • I love finding inspiration in new places, and when @bearded_horror shared artwork by @xsullo a week or so ago, I knew I had to give it a try as a makeup! Seriously, such amazing art. I hope I did it justice! Check out their profile to see even more incredible works and compare to the original.
  • After this photoshoot im not sure how to go back to my plain black background... I mean if there isn’t ominous fog in the background, does it really even count?!?! #fogmachine #clownmakeup #scareactress #hauntlife #evietheclown

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