Kitchens are glorious. If you're anything like me --that is, a total glutton-- the kitchen is probably your favorite room in the house. Mostly because, oh my God, there's food and wine in there! A whole room dedicated to eating. That sounds like the REAL happiest place on Earth to me. (But I think Disneyland is sort of a drag, so obviously I have no soul, myself.)
Plus, kitchens can be totally pretty. Especially if you're lucky enough to have one of those fabulous homes with a beautiful custom kitchen in a hundred-year-old house that oozes character and charm. Well, yay. Good for you. I might hate you a little, but whatevs. That's nice for you.
But a lot of people have boring-ass rental kitchens in crappy characterless apartments or --like me, for instance-- one of those new cookie cutter houses that looks identical inside and out to every house on the block. It's hard to infuse that kind of space with anything like real personality.
Breathing Life into Your Dead Kitchen
If you saw my kitchen, you would see the world's most boring rental space made into something that feels like it has a little bit of soul. Is it brimming with character and authentic charm? Nope. Not gonna happen. But... it doesn't feel like a rental. I'm not allowed to paint or do anything fun with it or risk forfeiting (I think this is what it says in our lease) my first born child. So I transformed my space with vinyl decals.
It is actually sort of amazing how much you can do with vinyl decals. Do you know that I CRINGE every time I say that on my blog? "Oh, wow, what a shock! This girl designs vinyl decals and she thinks decals are an amazing way to decorate! That is such a coincidence!" It makes me feel like kind of an asshole.
But I do this work because I LOVE it-- I love what you can do with your space with a little pattern and typography. Even in a shitty rental. So I'm willing to sound like an asshole, because at least I'm a passionate asshole, right?
Decorating Your Kitchen Appliances
By all means, put up shelves and pictures and chalkboards and framed art in your kitchen to make the space feel homey. But don't overlook the little things: your appliances. Doing something as simple as adding stripes or dots or fun typography to your refrigerator, for instance, will take the item in your kitchen with the most blank visual space and make it a fun focal point.
Here are some pretty transformative ideas for using decals on your kitchen appliances-- and instantly infuse a little soul into your boring rental kitchen.
Decorating Your Refrigerator
Refrigerator decals are going to make the quickest (and biggest) visual impact in your kitchen. My refrigerator is covered in matte-metallic gold stripes. It was a 40 minute project that transformed my crappy kitchen. Some fun options for decorating a refrigerator with decals are:
Stripes: See my awesome gold striped fridge, pictured above.
I have a weird love of toasters. I have no idea why. It's completely irrational. I used to have a wonderful vintage toaster that looked amazing in my kitchen. It burned every piece of toast and had to be retired. I cried.
Thank goodness I realized that I could decorate a $12 Walmart toaster to look ridiculously cute with a few bucks' worth of decals. Otherwise I may have needed serious counseling to get through my days.
I like to put typography on everything, so this is basically my favorite thing ever. But simple --and wordless-- can also be totally cute. So even with a few polka dots, you can transform your little toaster into something special:
The Kitchenaid Mixer and Other Small Appliances
Kitchenaid mixer decals aren't anything new, but given how adorable Kitchenaid mixers are all by themselves --they look like happy little retro robots-- I think everybody who has one should decorate theirs. Mine is, obviously, going to be dressed as a Dalek from Doctor Who-- the little knob on the front cries out to be Dalek-ized. Like this (though this one isn't mine!):
Countertop mixers and blenders and even crockpots are the perfect little vehicles for covering in dots or stars or little chicken legs or cupcakes or... whatever will make you happy every time you look at it.
Zap! The Microwave
Microwaves are ugly. So ugly that I've been tempted several times to get a working vintage microwave from the 60's just to have something with a bit of style. But given that it would probably take as long to cook my food as a regular oven --and I really do love me a popcorn button-- I've forced myself to be practical and forgo the vintage microwave.
Happily, the microwave can be upgraded SO SO easily by slapping on a few decals.
From boring to adorable in about 5 minutes. Yay. The addition of a kitten is helpful but not entirely necessary.