Kitchen Tour

This Designer Created Renter-Friendly Marble Kitchen Cabinets for Less — And We’re Obsessed!

published May 13, 2023
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Kitchen with black and white painted cabinets, lots of light, plants, wood and gold accents
Credit: Erin Derby

Name: Kim White
Location: Brooklyn, NY 
Rent or own: Rent

Renters all face a common (yet arguably exciting!) challenge: cultivating a space that you don’t necessarily own, but one that feels like it’s yours. Even though your name might not be on the deed, it’s still somewhere you pay to live and likely spend most of your time, so it should be everything you want it to be. 

Unless you’ve negotiated a magical clause into your lease, your landlord likely won’t appreciate you making long-lasting changes like painting the kitchen cabinets. However, designer Kim White, who rents a 600-square-foot apartment in Brooklyn, found a rental-friendly loophole that added character to her kitchen cabinets. And you might just want to try it yourself.

Credit: Erin Derby

She found a way to include her favorite materials in the kitchen without a hefty price tag.

White has always loved the look of Copacabana stone, but being a renter, she didn’t want to spend much money installing traditional marble countertops. “Instead, I decided that I would mimic marble but on the cabinets themselves,” White says. So, she got a little crafty.

Credit: Erin Derby

White took photos of Copacabana marble that she liked, zoomed into where the veins seemed interesting, and worked with a freelance designer from Fiverr to scale and print images the size of the cupboard doors (including on the clever IKEA medicine cabinets she hung in her kitchen). 

Once White had the images, she worked with a printer to turn the images into peel-and-stick wallpaper (and if you’re interested in this pattern, you’re in luck — her wallpaper designs are shoppable!). Hanging the wallpaper didn’t take a lot of time and was fairly easy, White said. 

“I decided to hang each piece length-wise to elevate the low ceilings. All of the ceilings in the space are very low, but with the pattern running vertically as such, it lifts up your eyes and gives you a bit more headroom in the space.” 

But the clever cabinet wallpaper hack isn’t the only savvy solution White incorporated into her apartment: She even used a piece of her outdoor fencing as a window valance in the kitchen! For more stylish and creative inspiration, check out the full tour here