This kitchen makeover comes from our very own Sewing 101 expert, the super talented and clever Brett Bara. Like many renters, Brett wasn’t allowed to alter anything permanent in her apartment. However, using her eye for fabrics and her DIY savvy, Brett was able to lighten, brighten and totally modernize this little kitchen for very little money and even less time. Great work, Brett! — Kate
Time: One day
Basic Steps: Since this apartment is a sublet, I couldn’t make any structural changes. I really had to get creative about cover-ups I could do that would make the space feel more like me. Since there was already a pot rack hanging above the mural, I was miraculously able to just hook the peg board onto the pot rack, which saved me the stress of figuring out how to safely mount the peg board onto the old plaster walls. For the smaller piece of peg board above the sink, I mounted it to the bottom of the cabinets with screws. I knew I wouldn’t hang anything heavy on that piece, so it was just a light attachment. (I had the peg board cut to size at the lumber yard where I bought it.)
To hide the clutter in the cabinets, I lined the doors with wallpaper. I removed the cabinet doors (the hinges pop right off) so I could lay them flat, measured the glass and cut the paper to fit. Then I just Scotch-taped it to the inside of the doors. For the new kitchen-sink curtains, I decided to use oilcloth, since it would be resistant to splashes or spills. Oilcloth is great because you don’t have to hem it (it won’t fray), so I just cut it to size and sewed a pocket at the top for the curtain rod.
My advice to others would be to think creatively about how to cover seemingly unfixable problems. I tend to want to tear everything out and redo things my way, but a real renovation wasn’t possible in this case since I sublet. This kitchen really helped me to push past that tendency and see how much I could accomplish with just band-aid-type fixes. So in the future, I’ll try not to get so discouraged that I don’t have the perfect home of my dreams (yet!) — I’ll just look for little ways like these to add more beauty where I can. It makes a big difference! — Brett
Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)
CLICK HERE to see Sullivan’s elegant and airy floral studio makeover after the jump!
Oh, to have a workspace that looked like this! Needless to say, I’m incredibly envious of this studio renovation from floral designer Sullivan Owen. It was clearly no small feat, however, and Sullivan put a lot of hard work into the space. The palette of grays, creams and wood tones are the prefect backdrop for showcasing flowers, and the sparing use of great vintage furniture works so beautifully to set the tone. Wonderful transformation, Sullivan!
Time: 4 weeks
Basic Steps: The removal of the partition walls was the first and key step. We were fortunate they were not load-bearing walls. The new half walls allow the natural light to flood the whole space and make the studio feel twice as big. I chose the cool gray wall color to allow the colors of the flowers to pop so that they are the focal points. Removing the old carpet revealed the original floorboards, which had to be painted as they were about four different colors.