The One Simple Fix that Transformed My Kitchen

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Kate Gagnon)

You know that little kitchen project you’ve been meaning to cross off your list for ages? For me, it’s been re-covering a tiny, weird table in my kitchen, and I’ve been meaning to do it for oh, two years. This week, I finally tackled this one and the effect is dramatic. With its burst of springtime color, I’m over the moon for this very simple update.

As a renter, there are all sorts of strange things I’d change about the kitchen that just aren’t possible either as they’re simply forbidden in my lease, or not worth the investment to then potentially leave behind (ahem, dishwasher). Previously occupied by a set designer for the theater, my place is full of strange quirks and surprises that delighted us when moving in: hooks for brooms in the closet, shelves galore, and most notably the bizarre table in the kitchen.

With a kitchen smaller than most people’s walk-in closets, space is precious. Nestled between the stove, window and refrigerator is a perfectly sized table that fits just like the last puzzle piece. It’s made of scrap particle board and odd salvaged materials that aren’t so pretty, but it’s so perfectly engineered we couldn’t resist just leaving it there.

After a few months at looking at the ugly particle board tile top, I did a makeshift cover of it in a very blah contact paper. You know, just for the time being. Fast forward two years, and I was still glaring at it every morning when made coffee, thinking about how I should fire up the staple gun and fix it.

Using a bit of brightly colored oilcloth, we recovered the table in just a short hour. The old contact paper cover was used as a pattern for trimming the new oilcloth into a unique shape, and we staple-gunned like mad. Even though it took two years to muster the motivation for this one, the project itself was so simple and yet so rewarding in the end. Not only is the table extremely easy to wipe clean (goodbye renegade coffee grounds!), but it’s a welcome sunny spot in an otherwise dark kitchen.

Now, to clean up that over the microwave area and actually go grocery shopping so there’s fresh produce in those baskets…

What kitchen fixes have you been meaning to do?