Before & After: This Rental Kitchen Kept the Oak Cabinets, but the Transformation Is Unreal

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In yet another fantastic example of making the most of oak kitchen cabinets instead of replacing them, this renter added so much personality and warmth to his kitchen, it’s kind of astounding. The totally-fine-but-pretty sterile space was full of the standard rental woes: outdated overhead lighting, bland cabinets, and a kitchen floor that has seen better days. But with a mix of gifts, Craigslist, and new purchases, the kitchen is now completely charming.

From Richard: “After twenty two years in my old apartment, I decided to take the 500- square feet residence above my vintage menswear shop in Chicago (Richard’s Fabulous Finds). I replaced all of the light fixtures (dated 80s gold chrome) with oiled bronze flush mounts. The ceiling fan was a must for the living area (sale score at Menards, $69), and the amazing brass chandelier was a recent find my friend Kim Tanner at Strangelovely Vintage made. She also snagged me the brilliant black wingback chair which centers the butcher block kitchen island (Craigslist, $200) nicely (red stools from Blinq — pair $46) . I had the backsplash installed with glass tiles from Home Depot (Canyon Vista). Dimmers were added to all light switches as I like a warm glow at night.”

All new black matte hardware replaced the silver chrome on the kitchen cabinets after a thorough scrubbing and application of lemon oil to darken the wood. The large bamboo mat adds warmth to the white tile floor (Ebay, $49).

Thank you so much, Richard!

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Before & After: A Night & Day (Nearly Unrecognizable!) Rental Transformation