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Sometimes it can be frustrating when you want to make changes to your home to reflect your style, but you can’t because you are in a rental. Or you do own, but you don’t have the disposable income to make grand scale renovations.

I feel your pain! Long ago I resigned myself to the fact that I can’t make any major changes to our kitchen. But, I still stare longingly at photos of open kitchen shelving.

photo credit: Tatertots and Jello

I love the look, but shuddered at the thought of open shelving showing off my eclectic (in the tacky sense of the word) dishes to the world.

The other day I decided to dream no more, now was the time to take action and make my kitchen a reflection of who I am! I put together a simple design plan:

Open shelving with patterned backed shelves (inspired by Tatertots and Jello’s shelves pictured above) and matching dishes. Plus, my plan had a “wind back the clock” option where I could return the kitchen to the exact same state it is today in no time.

Truth be told, I saw this set of white dishes marked down on clearance ($5.99 for 4 place settings) at Kroger (our grocery store.) So, they were already in the mix.

But, here’s the sweet part: I sold my old 90’s cobalt dish set for $20 and then donated the rest of the mismatched dishes. So, I actually profited from my little dish switcheroo.

With car keys in hand and $20 dollars in my wallet, I set off to Michael’s to buy everything else I needed:

  • Foam board
  • 1 Yard of Top Drawer Bella Citrus Fabric
  • Clear packing tape
Check back with me on Wednesday to see the tutorial and reveal of my kitchen plans. I urge you to make your own plans to update one small space in your home. Make it your own and be proud of it.

Here are some inspirational ideas from Apartment Guide for changes you can make that won’t break the bank:

Want to find even more design tips for your home? Apartment Guide has budget friendly ideas and DIY how-tos for people in any sized home on https://www.movingtoday.comand https://www.apartmentguide.com/blog/

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Whether you’re living, looking or moving, ApartmentGuide offers how-to tips for making the most of your space on a budget.

If you’re ready for a whole new space or looking to move, ApartmentGuide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you find the perfect apartment community.

Disclosure Statement:

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partnered with bloggers such as myself to participate in their monthly blogger program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what project to create or what to purchase. Nor did they influence my opinions. We believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

168 replies
  1. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    I’m currently stripping the wallpaper in our master bathroom. (I added master so you would know it’s a good sized room. Lots of wallpaper – ugh.) It will be painted when I’m finally finished. Thanks for the chance to win a gift card. I can use it for paint.

    Reply
  2. Stephanie P.
    Stephanie P. says:

    I want to update my dishware and accessories; get rid of the mismatched items and focus on my certain colors. Red and green with dark stained wooden accents.

    Reply
  3. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    I’m already a follower…. I want to uddate my laundry area… can’t call it a room since it’s really just a closet …but it still needs to be updated!

    Reply
  4. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    I would love to be able to paint all the baseboards and trim in my house white because the fugly brown the builder chose matches nothing I like 🙂

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Hutchinson
    Jennifer Hutchinson says:

    I would love to redo my whole kitchen but I am a renter 🙁 I think I can swing the project (and the low cost) of the added cup hooks in picture #3 of your post! It will surely add more storage room for the load of coffee cups we have!
    Love your blog, everyday you bring a smile to my face!

    Reply
  6. Meghan Finch
    Meghan Finch says:

    Well, my husaband and I are hoping to buy a house soon, so I’m really looking forward to redecorating! The house we’re hoping to get has hot link and black walls in the master bath…I’m pretty sure that’s going to be one of our first big projects!

    Reply
  7. Emily
    Emily says:

    I would love to do something very similar to your cupboard makeover in our kitchen. We just purchased our home in December and the cabinets are dark wood with ugly contact-paper shelfliners – dark, dark, dark! They could definitely use some lightening and brightening!

    Reply
  8. Louise in NE OK
    Louise in NE OK says:

    I’ve been looking for a deal on white dishes…Wish we had a Kroger in our ‘neck of the prairie’! Also, at least painting the insides of the cabinets a light and/or bright color. You have given me inspiration! Would love to win the gift card!!!

    Reply
  9. dragongirl
    dragongirl says:

    I’ve been a follower of yours via email for long time! Love so many of your posts! Can’t wait to see how your kitchen turns out.

    Reply
  10. Eliza
    Eliza says:

    I have a number of simple redoes underway but the coolest is tucking the kitty litter box into an Ikea BESTA bench with an entrance cut into the particle board so the kitties don’t ever get litter everywhere (although I am sure they’ll figure out something).

    Reply
  11. Sara
    Sara says:

    My budget friendly change I’m looking for is blocking the corners of my deck. The previous owners had it built with open corners (the rails don’t meet). We have two little kiddos looking forward to playing outside this summer and I need something classy, inexpensive, solid and lasting. I’m leaning towards square planters…maybe…

    Reply
  12. Abi
    Abi says:

    Hi Brittany!!
    I do love your inspiration board for your kitchen makeover. If the house I was living in was mine, I’d be all over re-doing the cabinets in my kitchen. But since I can’t, I think what I’d like to makeover would be our guest bedroom. I haven’t given it any love at all… and it needs some!

    Reply
  13. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    I love the DIY update idea. I have reupholstered dining chairs and painted plain furniture to give it more life. I’ve even just switched out pillows- all cheap ways to update old furniture to something fresh

    Reply
  14. Alice
    Alice says:

    I can hardly wait to see your finished project. You always keep me on pins and needles as to what fantastic diy project you show us next. I always get inspiration from you to do something myself and hope I can get around to having a stand alone pantry that would fit where the fridge once stood in my apartment. You’re awesome for posting this just in time for Valentines day tomorrow. Good luck to us all for that $50. card.

    Reply
  15. Sarah T.
    Sarah T. says:

    Fun! I subscribe to you via my google reader! Thanks for the chance….right now we are living at my in-laws…so my budget tip and plan of action is to use pinterest to pin all my inspirational images for the day we get our own house!

    Reply
  16. Leslie W
    Leslie W says:

    I would love to redo my living room. I have a tiny one bedroom and the living room is the size of most peoples closets! However with the right furniture placements, it looks pretty cute. Now all I need are some bright pillows and some rad art to adorn the walls & $50.00 would go a long way in helping that! 🙂

    Reply
  17. Kelly D
    Kelly D says:

    I would like to change the curtains in many of our rooms. Right now they are boring neutral colors, and I would like to add curtains with more color. I think this would brighten my rooms and add more personality.

    Reply
  18. Regina
    Regina says:

    I have an endless number of little projects that need tackling in our home! A lot of them involve painting, a piece of furniture, basement stairs, shelves for my son’s room, a shelf for the master etc etc. Can I buy lots of time anywhere to do it all? It all just comes down to some primer and spray paint, that’s it. $50 would certainly come in handy…..

    Reply
  19. breanna
    breanna says:

    i’ve got this great old piano that was handed down to me from a friend. it’s this awesome shade of red, which is lovely- except for the part where i’m OVER THE RED. i’d really love to paint it a rustic white! it’s not a huge expense, but i’ve totally been putting it off (even though the red annoys me each and every day!)

    Reply
  20. Sally Rountree
    Sally Rountree says:

    I’m planning on re-doing the ceiling in my dining room (textured into flat) and could use the money for some new crown moldings!

    Reply
  21. Jen Heller
    Jen Heller says:

    My husband and I have just started shopping around to start renovations in our kitchen. First on my list is a backsplash using a lovely vintage yellow penny tile I found on line. I cannot wait to place my order and get started!

    Reply
  22. Destiny
    Destiny says:

    We are working on re-doing our bedroom. It will have to be budget friendly. So far, we’ve removed the carpet to discover the wood floor beneath isn’t too bad. Next up, we’ll paint the walls. This alone will be a huge improvement over the bright white with ugly flower border paper.

    Reply
  23. Sam McAtee
    Sam McAtee says:

    I’ve never been a very handy girl, So something that would make a huge impact but would be very budget AND energy efficient would be installing a Duel Flush on all my toilets. It’s fairly easy and it helps the environment!

    (I “Liked” Apartment Guide, Follow you on Facebook, and receive your emails)

    *crossing fingers* 😀

    Reply
  24. nik
    nik says:

    We have no shelving in our bathroom, just big bare walls. I’d like to find a repurpose-worthy glass door shelving unit or medicine cabinet, and use your fabric-covered foam core backing in it. I like the look of open shelving but will do anything to avoid dusting, so glass doors would be ideal.
    Many thanks! I found your site through Today’s Creative Blog and I’m off to explore more…cheers!

    Reply
  25. Gretchen
    Gretchen says:

    I already follow you on my home page via RSS feed. I want to redo the laundry area in my garage. Have had some ideas percolating, but your post today about the flow system has inspired me! Will be seriously checking that out. Thanks for asking.

    Reply
  26. Karen Buck
    Karen Buck says:

    Am following you on Facebook and subscribed to your emails. Would love to have gift card to spend on a home improvement project. My laundry room is half gutted and needs to be finished. I have seen pretty laundry areas that would make doing laundry a more pleasant experience. I would love to keep laundry in the laundry room from start to finish but have no place to fold so it always ends up on the dining room table. UGH! Help!

    Reply
  27. Monica Young
    Monica Young says:

    I think my tiny downstairs bathroom is in desperate need of a frugal and girlie makeover, it’d be awesome to do something nice with it, other wise I’d have to say frugal silverware.

    Reply
  28. Dianne
    Dianne says:

    I just found your blog. The Wallpaper for Windows is exactly the kind of thing I was wanting (but couldn’t find) for my kitchen door. Great stuff!

    Reply

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