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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  • Happy Valentines Day! I'll always love you for your BRAINS!!!
I did this iZombie Liv Moore in Full-On Zombie back before my surgery and just haven't gotten around to posting until now! I had wanted to come up with some kind of Valentines day themed look to kick me back into things now that my arm is mostly functional, but I was just struggling to think of what I wanted to do. Valentines Day is just not my thing. Unless there is chocolate. I Digress.
Halfway into my glass of wine, I realized this was the perfect time to post this look. I technically have a video, but the jury is still out on whether or not to post it just yet. I'm mostly just glad to be at a point where I can start experimenting with makeup again!
  • Anybody else struggle this time of year? I’m looking at these lovely sunbeams from my Alice In Wonderland shoot this summer to bring some sunshine to my day. I’ll be doing just fine, then be lying on the couch trying to feel like I can breathe again. I know it is ok, and these increased symptoms will pass, but it’s certainly not fun, especially when I have projects and ideas id like to tackle, but can’t get past this paralyzing anxiety. What do you guys use to help with SADD? #SADD #anxiety #ptsd #seasonaldepression  #winteristheworst #whydoilivehere
  • Halfway done! Still a ton to do, and I’ve learned ALOT already, like how not to sew in an invisible zipper, that I need a seam ripper, and need to invest in real fabric shears. But it’s actually coming together! Having never used a pattern before, I admit I looked at the pile of paper with some skepticism. Also, it kind of matches my couch. 😂 #cosplay #sewing #mccallspatterns #mccalls #mccallscosplay #spacesuit #plussizecosplay
  • Hanging out with mystic while I tackle my next sewing project. I like to think her interest is in hanging out with me, but there is a high chance she just wants the Fritos I’ve been munching... #cosplay #cosplaydog #sewing #mccallspatterns #cosplaymccalls #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram
  • Bull in boots! It was enough of a battle to get her into them, and she refuses to move anywhere wearing them! 😂😂😂 I was so looking forward to a little dance, but so far she is just laying there looking helpless. Maybe if I get out the peanut butter? #pitbull #pitbullsofinstagram #doginboots #notcoolmom
  • I decided to spring for new ornaments this year and went from hyper colorful to classic beauty with a Gryffindor Christmas tree, complete with Hedwig ornaments! No DIY here (except the jingle bell snitch) just a very content Gryffindor snuggling on the couch enjoying the lights and a glass of wine. #twomoresleeps #harrypotterchristmas #gryffindor #housepride
  • New Christmas gift to myself... the long curly in emerald green from @rockstarwigs ! I’m hoping my ideas for some holiday makeup looks can inspire me to get back at it now that I can finally use my right arm! Any guesses or requests? #merrychristmastome #cosplaychristmas #rockstarwigs
  • The top 9 for madlikealyce! It has been a fantastic year, trying out all kinds of new things and really expanding on my love for makeup and cosplay. Thank you to all of my AMAZING FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS who have been with me on this journey. I can wait until my shoulder has healed enough to get back to it, I have a whole LIST of things I am dying to try! In the meantime, I’m at least back to writing on the blog, so make sure to check me out there, Link in bio. ❤️ you all!
  • Sick day snuggles. But at least it’s my first day out of the sling! #countdownisover #pitbullsofinstagram #pitbull #drinkallthetea

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