Making the Nightmare Rental Kitchen Livable

FIRST: I would grow something.

Okay so I am new to this, and I will probably add more when I do some more testing and see what works and what doesn’t. If your like me, and have no green thumb to think of, this method might for work for you….

My husband bought me one of those living bulbs as a joke because the only thing I could get to grow in the yard of our old house were bulbs that come up every spring. I had hundreds of surprise lillies that I dearly miss as well as some spring, summer, and fall blooms that would pop up at different times of the year. Being in an apartment, sorry- Townhouse, now, I have no yard to grow them in.


The bulb is the one on the right, which is how I started. I did a little digging on growing veggies from the grocery store. Green onions are something that I purchase every time that I go to the grocery. They are inexpensive and I use them in virtually every meal.

Turns out, if you put their roots in water, like you would a living bulb, they continue to grow.


Here you can see where I cut them for a recipe, and how tall they grew within a matter of days. This is the simplest way to grow ever! And its infinitely useful in the kitchen.

I also tried this with living lettuce, and spinach to see if I could get them to at least last longer. Here I was disappointed. The living lettuce might have made it a little longer if I had been able to see the water lever at the roots. Every time I am at the sink, I peek at the water level to make sure it covers 75% of the roots at all times. I couldn’t accurately see the water level because I had to lift the lettuce out of the water, and I never knew where it was on the roots. I am going to try again though perhaps in a taller glass next time.

The water did nothing for the longevity of the spinach sadly. It looked pretty for a couple of days and wilted.

Another thing that I have grown successfully was garlic right out of the fridge. I had peered at my garlic one day and noticed it was growing pretty long. I like to keep the house cold, and apparently the garlic liked that. I moved it to the fridge, then waited until they were long, and planted in soil. I plan on doing that again here once I get myself some dirt and flower pots.


SECOND: I would make myself a temporary back-splash.

So you might have noticed above that I did some decorating in my kitchen.

As mentioned in previous posts, I have the most terrible kitchen imaginable. It’s tiny, it has those ugly white cabinets, no counter space, broken stove, and to top it off, CARPET.

I also happen to have my art studio in this kitchen, and my computer now, so it is where I spend all my time. I wan’t it to look as nice as possible. Let me tell you, looking at my dirty dishes is not at all inspiring.  At the same time, spending all my time in here forces me keep it in sight, and therefore in mind.

To the RIGHT, what you are looking at is some simple ink sketches, that I drew, then scanned and printed on regular computer paper, sitting inside of cheap plastic frames from the dollar store that were on sale. If you would like me to draw you something for your kitchen that you can print out and frame, email me at

To the left, you see some old sketches that I did on wood panels years ago. After I sketched it in pencil, I used wood stain to shade it. That’s as simple as it gets. Now you just seal it with acrylic medium, or finishing spray like an acrylic final fixative. If you have a gas stove I don’t recommend using wood, just saying. But I am confident mine is safe,and sealing with acrylic is like applying a layer of plastic on top of the wood. If your okay with plastic in the kitchen your golden.

The spices being on top of the stove were only temporary. I moved them to the lab vials you see below, and the rest are tucked away in the cabinet above the stove now.

The basket gave me a place for my misc stuff that always seems to litter my counter tops, or the weird kitchen tools and appliances that I don’t have room for. It also helped to tie in the black of the frame to my eclectic kitchen


THIRD: I tell those cabinets who’s boss.


To top it off, and to add some color to my cabinets (that worked with the wood), I drew the shape of of a tea pot onto cheap cork sheets found at any craft store for a few bucks, and I cut it out. Then to attach without damaging the cabinet, I used spray adhesive which can wash off when you take it down. Now I have a nice memo board right on my cabinet and it ties to the tea pots I now have in my kitchen.

FOURTH: accessorize the walls


The top is a invitation from my wedding. I am too cheap for frames most of the time, but I had some matte’s from some cards that I dis-carded (haha), and got for 25 cents at a yard sale. SCORE.

The bottom is the lid of my favorite cigar box. Oh how I LOVE cigar boxes. I used to go to a cigar shop regularly when I lived in Milwaukee. I would always ask them for their empty boxes while there. I had a pretty good relationship with the staff and they were happy to let them go because they had an abundance. I hung it because the art on this box inspires me and it is the perfect picture of my taste. The red in it matches my red appliances, the art neuveau nature matches all that I love, and the wood ties it all together. If it’s not apparent I don’t currently have one coherent theme. I have many themes, working with what I have at my disposal I make it work.

I have rearranged things a bit since I took these photo’s and added some additions that really brought things to life for me.

FIFTH: Pretty Storage




Almost everything that I get I find for a steal at the peddlers mall. The breadbox and the new canisters are prime examples both $15 or less. Have nowhere to store that cake stand? Use it to display something.


My kitchen is a work in progress as always. I will share the art studio side of it in a later post. I hope that some of my ideas will inspire someone else.


PS. sorry it has been a while since I posted. My last computer crashed and I just got a new one.





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