Kitchen Update Ideas for a rental (limited budget)

capiontayhasDecember 16, 2012
I'd appreciate any ideas from the community on how this kitchen can be updated. I imagine painting the cabinets, changing the hardware and counter top would be the most economical way to go. However, I am not very good at design and would appreciate your comments.
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I would pick up the black and white theme here. Your microwave, stove, coffee pot and fridge are black, so paint the cupboards white with gorgeous black handles. Or spray the existing ones black and put them back on. I would take the door off what I am guessing is the pantry, and hang a French chic curtain instead so the room feel less boxy and you don't have two doors opening onto each other. I would also change the door handles to something lighter. If your budget stretches, paint the floor tiles in a tone that would pull the look together.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:10AM
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North Carolina Kitchens
Not good at Design? You got everything right! Paint the cabinets (use the paint designed for this), change the hardware to black or stainless not too modern, and get a new top. Since you have a galley kitchen many laminates will look great, at a fraction of the granite cost. If you pick a granite color your tops may even be mistaken for granite. I would get a Futura edge on the top not the old fashioned No Drip edge on your existing top.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:22AM
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Thank you NC Kitchens for the compliment and the laminate idea - Futura edge vs No drip edge. I am contemplating a laminate from Wilsonart - I've painstakingly looked and think I've chosen the paint color as Riviera Sands (Behr). If I were to consider tile back splash what would you suggest? Should I remove the ledge over the sink and just paint?
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Mauhanlie, the present handles have seen better days and need to be replaced. Thanks for the black handle tip. Neither had I considered taking the door off of the pantry. I'm not sure I'd like a curtain but your idea has given me something to think about.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Formica can be made to look like granite. I've seen awesome results using "Instant Granite." It has depth, sheen and reflectivity. Check on HGTV's Rate My Space to see what results people are getting.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Thanks decoenthusiaste for the tip. I'll check out HGTV's program.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 8:56AM
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What is an approximate budget? Since it is a rental you probably don't want to put a lot into it, unless you plan on living there long term.

Rust-Oleum makes products to paint both the cabinets and the counter tops:

I can see the walls painted a matt gloss pure white. The woodwork would be painted in a high gloss pure white as would the cabinets. The counters would be charcoal. Add brushed nickle hardware and use lemon yellow as an accent.

The floors will blend better when the walls, trim and cabinets are painted and you add a throw rug in front of the sink
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 9:02AM
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As a rental, I would stick with laminate counters and basic hardware. If you don't plan to retile the floor, check out your countertop selections against the floor to make sure they don't look horrible together. Since both surfaces will always be separated by cabinets, they don't need to match but keep the color tones in the same family for a coordinated look.

I think if you go to a black and white scheme, you would need to redo the floor as it will always look dirty against the clean looking black and white palette. I see a lot of yellow/orange/brown tones there so your cheapest option might be to replace the stove with a black one (cheap now on Craigslist since so many people are changing them out for stainless steel) and go with ivory/cream paint for the cabinets and a beige based granite look for the countertop.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:47AM
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I suggest new cabinet doors and drawer fronts instead of paint. Painting cabinets creates a need to keep repainting them every couple of years or to expect the tenant to be unrealistically careful. You can add new door pulls for $2 each. Buy a couple of spares just in case. Take the drawers out and oil the metal runners. If they don't have metal runners, use candle wax on the wood instead.

Replacing the laminate with a new slightly patterned laminate will ensure that minor dings and spots are not going to ruin the look of a perfectly pristine countertop. Using the same laminate as a backspash, just as it is now, makes for easy maintenance. The milano quartz pattern you chose is very nice looking.

You can also get the tile steam cleaned to make it look nearly new. Have it sealed afterward to keep it easy to maintain.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 11:02AM
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North Carolina Kitchens
I would keep it simple for a rental and get the wilsonart top with a 3" attached backsplash. Less possible water damage issues and paint the backsplash. Definitely don't try to finish over the existing top. The Milano Quartz top goes with your tile, I don't know the River Sands color but it sounds like you are at Home Depot so just ask a designer in the kitchen design department if they think it all goes. If you do and they do- I'm sure you are fine. Keep it tasteful, simple, and cost effective. As a rental it will then appeal to the most people.
    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 11:08AM
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