Who cooks and eats here: Michelle Marek, chef at Foodlab, and Anthony Kinik, film professor and food writer Where: Montreal, Quebec Rent or Own? Rent When I was in Montreal a few months ago I looked around, as I always do, for a cook to visit, someone willing to open up their own home kitchen to all of us. On this trip, I got a double pleasure: a visit with chef Michelle Marek both at home and at the restaurant, Foodlab, she runs with her partner Seth Gabrielse.
We’ve seen and heard our share of rental kitchen woes lately, particularly when it comes to those ubiquitous contractor-grade honey oak cabinets. Tux painted his backsplash to try to downplay the blandness, while Courtney painted over the cabinets entirely (but she owns her home — that’s not an option for most renters).
Tux knows a thing or two about the frustrations of rental kitchens. His Brooklyn kitchen has a litany of them: “The floors are a pinky orange 90s faux terra cotta, the countertops are a horrible faux granite laminate in a weird speckled yellowy beige color… and the cabinets… are… I can’t even say it… honey oak! The horror!” he writes on his blog Brooklyn Homemaker.
Three years ago when Gregory told me that Alysia’s apartment was for rent and we should check it out, I was skeptical. We weren’t actively looking to move and as we toured the apartment, I thought I was simply humoring him — until I stepped into the kitchen. Sunlight poured through the open windows, from which I caught a view of the sparkling Silver Lake reservoir. The kitchen was surrounded by trees and songbirds flitted through the branches. “Yes,” I said.
If when you hear the phrase “eat-in kitchen” you think a) yeah right, or b) does standing next to my countertop count?, then to you I say this: consider the wall-mounted drop leaf table. Often even the smallest of kitchens can accommodate this type of table because of its signature space-saving feature: prop it up when you want to use it; drop it down flush against the wall when you don’t.
Looking for a super easy and totally renter-friendly way to spruce up your kitchen? For a little bit of patterned fun, Lela of the German blog Vorstellung von Schön applied a strip of black-and-white polka dot washi tape to the outside edge of her cabinet shelves. The effect is a nice little surprise every time she opens the cabinet doors!
We have a special treat today: a sneak peek of Remodelista editor Sarah Lonsdale’s rental kitchen, featured in the just-released book Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home. Sarah’s rental kitchen is absolutely lovely, the result of a few smart updates. Jump below to see another photo and to hear more from Sarah on what changed in her kitchen, what she loves, and her advice to people who live and cook in rental kitchens: 1.
Who cooks and eats here: Krista and Lorenzo Ricchi Where: Florence, Italy Rent or Own? Rent Krista, an American lifestyle-travel-blogger-expat, lives with her Italian husband in a cozy yet elegant apartment in the Santa Croce neighborhood of Florence. Their kitchen is typical of European rentals; it sits flush against one wall of the living/dining room. However, there is a lot more style and functionality going on here than in most of the apartments I’ve rented in in the US!
Who cooks & eats here: Chef and author Barton Seaver and his wife Carrie Anne Where: Jamaica Plain, Boston Rent or Own? Rent In August I spent seven days sailing around Alaska with a crew of fellow food writers, photographers, and chefs, one of whom was Barton Seaver.
When Katie Logan decided to rent out the first floor of her New Orleans house, she knew she would have to do something about the kitchen before the place could be Airbnb-ready. It’d be challenging for anyone to spruce up this grungy kitchen, especially with “no money and no time,” as Katie said. However, prepare to be amazed, because the ‘After’ transformation is truly inspiring: So, so, so much better!
I’ve always loved Victoria Smith’s (of sfgirlbybay) personal style. She calls it “bohemian modern” but there’s a lot of black and white, a lot of wood. Her new rental kitchen is the perfect example: the wood cabinets are nothing fancy — they look like basic contractor-grade cabinets — but she really made it work by creating a strong, neutral palette around it. Of course, plenty of light doesn’t hurt!
When I first moved into my 1920s rental apartment, I was horrified by the built-in mirrored cabinet above the sink. Wouldn’t it be awkward to stare at myself while doing dishes? Yet this little cupboard unexpectedly became the most joyful feature of my kitchen (and it has nothing to do with vanity!).Such cabinets are not uncommon in Los Angeles kitchens of this era and most people I know use them to store spice jars.
When I arrived at Samin Nosrat’s house, her front door (which, appropriately, also happens to be her kitchen door) was wide open. I could see her shuffling around inside with a rag underneath each foot as she hastily dried her freshly washed kitchen floor. With sparkling eyes and a wide smile she shuffled forward and welcomed me into her kitchen. Samin is a true treasure of the Bay Area.
Take a look at this galley kitchen. Looks pretty ordinary, right? It has nice light, and a bold wash of color… and then, turn your head. That’s an enormous, gilt-framed painting on the wall, smack dab in the middle of this otherwise modest kitchen. Wow! What a statement! What do you think of this?That is a serious statement in this kitchen, and I kind of like it.
Kristin Appenbrink is one of those funny, welcoming friends with an enviably big kitchen and impressive homemade ice cream skills. She recently threw a little party for the ladies of Pantry Confidential (a great new site we’ll explain below), and while we’re happy to get a sneak peek at her space, we’re a little jealous we didn’t get to go.Kristin, who is an editor at RealSimple.
When you’re renting and you want to jazz up your kitchen, the options are often pretty limited. No paint, no appliance switcheroo, no new materials like tile, countertops, flooring. That’s why we jumped at this nifty temporary backsplash idea: Over at Remodelaholic, there’s a tutorial on putting up a DIY fabric backsplash with starch.
Look! A kitchen, and a rental kitchen at that, won first place in the International division of our Room for Color contest! We were very excited to see such a vibrant kitchen in the first place spot.Heather says that she built the color palette for her little kitchen around a paper parasol that she loves.
Maybe you have a rental kitchen. Maybe you don’t have the resources to renovate a kitchen that you own. But you’re stuck with ugly, cracked, or disfigured countertops. What to do? Here are a few creative ideas. • Top with a big cutting board – If you have just a tiny swathe of countertop, like we have had in past apartments, try topping it with a big, handsome cutting board.
Food blogger and cookbook author David Lebovitz is an American renter in Paris who inherited a narrow kitchen with a motley assortment of appliances stuffed under the slanted roof of his 650-square-foot top-floor apartment near the Bastille. “In America, if you don’t like your kitchen, you bulldoze it,” he says in his kitchen on a recent afternoon. “But renters don’t really spend a lot of money to do that in France.
One of the biggest complaints, and hardest things to change, about a rental kitchen is the floor. When you own a kitchen you can put down new tile or wood floors — but even then you may not want to for reasons of cost. So, many of us are stuck with ugly, peeling linoleum tile, but here’s one great option for renters and budget owners alike: Canvas floor cloths. Floor cloths (or floorcloths) are a rather antique form of floor covering.
We just received this simply lovely budget kitchen makeover from reader Leea in central Mexico. She has a rental kitchen, so she couldn’t change much, and yet she made a stunning difference — on a budget too! Read on for dramatic before and after photos, as well as Leea’s budget makeover tips for rental kitchens.Kitchen location: Central MexicoRent or own? RentTotal cost of makeover: $150 Leea says: The kitchen was dark and depressing, not to mention cumbersome.
We’ve been hunting for a new apartment, but keep running into a problem: many of the the otherwise great apartments we’re finding come with an electric stove in the kitchen. We’ve been cooking with gas for years now and have trouble imagining going back. Is a gas stove a deal breaker?Gas stove-tops definitely have a reputation for better temperature control, a bigger range of stove top cooking temperatures, and more even cooking.
It’s DIY Month, and we’re encouraging you to take care of all your projects around the house, even in the kitchen! We get lots of questions from renters who want to spruce up their kitchens without breaking the bank (or their lease agreement). When you rent you rarely have permission or resources to renovate a cramped or ugly kitchen. But there are simple, inexpensive, and creative ways to make your kitchen brighter and better.