Kitchen Tour

Before & After: This “Boring Beige” Kitchen Got a Colorful Makeover — Without Painting the Cabinets or Walls

published Jan 9, 2024
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Kitchen before renovation.

As we usher in a new year of kitchen design trends, colorful kitchens continue to become increasingly popular (case in point: Green was the 2023 kitchen cabinet color). And that’s precisely what Ashley, who runs the History in High Heels blog, wanted for her space. When she saw the “incredibly boring and beige” kitchen in her 480-square-foot studio apartment in Washington, D.C., she knew she had her work cut out for her to make it the colorful oasis she dreamt of. 

As a renter, Ashley needed to find a solution that was durable, easily removable, and, of course, colorful. In the end, she didn’t land on just one fix — she found several brilliant ways to infuse vibrancy and personality into the room.

When she set out to reimagine the kitchen in her apartment, she had an exciting and somewhat unique challenge ahead of her. “My goal was to inject color into the space without having to cover the brown marble countertops or beige cabinets,” she explained. And that’s exactly what she did.

A blank wall in Ashley’s kitchen was the jumping-off point for the project. She partnered with Rifle Paper Co. to create the transition, and they supplied her with materials, like peel-and-stick wallpaper in “Citrus Grove.” The peel-and-stick coverings didn’t stop there; she also added a peel-and-stick backsplash from Etsy

In order to keep the project renter-friendly, Ashley hung a beadboard and painted it in Behr’s “Tournament Field.” After the more time-consuming additions were finished — adding the wallpaper and painting and hanging the beadboard — it was time to accessorize. 

Ashley added color to the room via a vinyl floor mat from Rugs Direct and installed rustic floating shelves to display her gorgeous jars and vibrant glassware. All in all, it cost Ashley around $600 to transform the basic, stock-like kitchen into a colorful space. 

“I love how colorful my kitchen is now while not sacrificing function,” Ashley said. “I also love the green beadboard, which really pops and can be seen ever so slightly from the living room.”

The kitchen isn’t the only room with Ashley’s ingenious DIY touches. To see more of her colorful, clever space, visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy.