The Upgraded Home: How To Maximize Your Kitchen For Cheap

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As promised for lo these many weeks since I’ve redone my apartment, TFD is finally doing a series about the ways in which I (cheaply and effectively) upgraded my home. There’s one for every room — from the bathroom to the living room — and this one is about the kitchen. After a long year of having only a blank wall opposite my counters, I decided to finally do something with the space and make use of this large, white space.

The truth is, despite being the heart of your home and (if you’re like me) the place where you spend the most waking hours, kitchens are often under-utilized, space-wise, and are an afterthought when it comes to decoration. Though I painted the back wall with a striking (if I do say so myself) shade of midnight blue, I knew I wanted to get more use out of it, that was both beautiful and functional at the same time. My solutions? A bar area, a beautiful piece of artwork, and a nice pot rack.

Confession: I fucking love pot racks. For some reason, they feel “adult” and put-together like few other home accessories do, and besides being classy as hell, they serve a really nice purpose. Before, my pots and pans were stored haphazardly in a large cabinet next to my stove, and now, they act as both their own sort of decor, and take up under-used space in the corner. I got mine for 50 bucks on Amazon, and the setup was quick and easy. For 50 bucks, it has added enormously to my overall kitchen experience.

And for the bar, I took the bar that I already had (I got it at Target on sale last year for 85 dollars), and gussied it up with a few accessories. I added silk flowers in an old, pretty vodka bottle, two lovely glasses gifted to Marc from a friend (which sit on a tile I got in Lisbon for 10 Euro), and a small candle. They make the whole thing look intentional and beautiful, instead of just a place to store booze.

Above it, I put one of my favorite old liquor ads (for one of my favorite drinks of all time, Martini vermouth — though I prefer the white instead of the red, usually), which I got on Amazon for a few bucks. I framed it in a frame I got on sale at a local craft store for under 30 bucks. It’s huge, and makes a nice statement as well as echoes some of the colors scattered throughout the rest of the kitchen. For under 200 dollars total, I was able to make the most of my kitchen in a huge way, and have a new favorite corner that gives an adult vibe to the rest of the apartment. (What is more grown-up than having alcohol you aren’t drinking immediately, much less the ingredients for FaNceE cOcKtAiLs?)

bar-cart-in-full bar-up-close painting pot-rack-far-away kitchen 4Now, because your kitchen might not look like mine, here are a few more inspirations from around the web for making the space more functional and lovely (which will encourage you to cook and stay in more, of course!). Get inspired, and go make something beautiful!

DIY-college-kitchen-shelvesImage found here.

kitchen-shelves-DIYImage found here.

3845887ccf6b2c2f20be22a51139adf8Image found here.

f7183ff9bd9ce25a0a3f943895924ea9Image found here.

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