When we first moved to Oklahoma, I started a rent-friendly decorating blog. It took off so much faster than this silly little personal blog that has hovered around ‘for hobby-only’ readership levels since it’s inception in January 2006 (8 years!!!). While I thoroughly enjoyed curating a home & garden blog, I eventually found it too time-consuming to maintain two blogs, with only one of them bringing in (minimal) money. And for whatever reason, this non-money making blog won out. Life is funny that way. I still have a passion for all things decorating and because we’re renting during our time here (the thought of owning three homes at this point in our lives is scarier than Bound 2), I am having to channel my Tim Gunn spirit animal and ‘make it work‘.
Did I ever introduce you guys to our orange kitchen? These pictures do not do it justice – it was orange with a capital O. And we have nothing against orange. As Clemson graduates, we bleed orange. We just prefer not to feel like we’re inside a Tropicana carton whenever we’re frying up bacon and choppin’ broccoli like Dana Carvey.
Before the holidays, we found out that the Army is keeping us here for at least another year and a half. That same day, I emailed our landlords and requested permission to paint some rooms, including the kitchen. Once I received the go-ahead, I booked it to our local Sherwin Williams and scoped out the mistake gallon pile. My preference for painting when renting is to spend as little money as possible on paint – our local store sells mistake paint (mistinted, wrong order, etc…) for $5/gallon. I found a nice beige/green and went on my merry way.
Don’t get me wrong – I still think this kitchen is far from perfect. But it is no longer orange, so we’ll take it. And all the appliances work, there is enough cabinet space, and the counters are new. So to complain about dated cabinets, old tile, and mismatched appliances would put us in the same category as 93% of House Hunters participants – i.e. annoying as hell.
Our table we purchased in Oklahoma proved to be too small for this kitchen so we picked up this inexpensive set at Kmart for $150 and I recovered the chairs with a fun outdoor canvas (easy clean-up with kids!). We plan to sell or donate the table when we move, assuming we have a larger eat-in kitchen the next place we live. I am considering painting the bottom portion of the free-standing island – jury is still out on that one.
And do you see the blue light fixture above the table? Totally not our style but meh – I just think of it as a conversation starter, especially now that the orange walls are no more. Renting can be frustrating, especially if you’re like me and love doing little projects around the house. But it can also be a humbling experience because you also understand that having all the real estate buzzwords are not necessary for to live a rich and fulfilling life. And while elements of our kitchen are terribly outdated, I am still able to cook meals and do all the things you’re meant to do in a kitchen (although to be fair – I do pine for a gas range). It’s funny – I was 25 when we we bought our first house. What was important to me then seems quite silly now. But I suppose that is life.
Please tell me that I am not the only one out there with a less-than-lovely kitchen. If you move around a lot like us, how do you make it work on a budget?