I had originally planned on subtitling this article "Continuing the Theme" but once I started taking pictures of our kitchen, I began to realize that it's not that good looking, and doesn't really look as polished as the living room. "Dealing With What You've Got" seemed more fitting.
One of the definite cons to renting, is that you are often stuck with outdated cabinetry, counters, and appliances. That is definitely our case. Until we can afford to rent something more upscale or become homeowners, we are left with only one option: make the best of it.
Luckily, the cabinets and appliances are at least white, so color-wise they blend... although the light birch-colored wood trim is pretty beat up and tends to give the kitchen an undesired yellowy look. That, and the fact that there is no natural light in the kitchen... only fluorescent. As someone once said, fluorescent lighting is good for surgery and surgery only!
So, I dealt with it as best I could. For starters, I put up simple artwork on the walls. I had some unused canvas board lying around, so I just used some acrylic paints to paint them red. Then, using black paint, I painted some simple kitchen utensils. Very fitting for a kitchen, I thought. To make things even simpler, I just nailed them straight into the wall. No fancy frames or anything.
I did however use some frames - well, shadow boxes - to feature some fake fruit. I saw the white boxes at our local Sutherlands and just had to have them. Then I thought, what will I put in them? Seeing as it's a kitchen, and we needed more red, I bought a plastic apple and red pepper (FYI, plastic fruit runs for like 50 cents).
When decorating a kitchen, it's important to remember its functionality. In other rooms, we can fill every surface available with knicknacks, but in the kitchen, it is important that we leave counter space free for working. So on our counters, the things I've put on display are the very things we use each day. Keeping all of your spatulas and mixing spoons out in a utensil holder will ensure they are always on hand while cooking, and can also be attractive too. Try buying utensils in colors that coordinate with your kitchen's decor.
I also love bottles for all of their various shapes, contours, and lines. We have an entire row of bottles on display, which creates an eclectic look while once again being extremely handy. Brian's constantly needing to use olive oil or vinegar or wine when he's cooking up something delicious. Our pepper grinder is out on display. A bowl of salt is on display. Even our butter is on display in a butter dish. All of these things turn functional into fabulous.
Someday I'll have black granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, but for now I'm just dealing with what I've got!