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Apartment Tour: The Kitchen (Before)

As a blog reader, one of my favorite things has always been home/apartment tour posts. I think it's so fun to get a glimpse into other people's homes. I love to see how they decorate, and get inspiration for my own home. It's no surprise that Bower Power and Young House Love are two of my favorite blogs! They are full of amazing decorating and DIY tips!

I thought it would be a fun to give you all a glimpse into my apartment. That way, you can come along as I decorate, and make it feel more like home. It's very much in the "Before" stage at the moment, but it will be fun to look back and see where we started once it's all put together.

Although I moved into my apartment over a year ago. It is just starting to feel like home. Between my complicated roommate situation, and trying to get settled in a new city, it just never truly felt like home.

Andrew moved here in February, and my old roommate moved out. We've slowly started unpacking and  settling in to the apartment. (It's hard to find time to unpack with the arrival of my perfect little nephew and there has been such beautiful weather for wine tasting and roof deck parties!) But even so, it already feels so much more like home than it ever did before. I am sure that is a combination of the excitement of living with Andrew for the first time, as well as the relief that my old living situation has ended. Either way, it's a great feeling to finally feel like I am getting settled.

We are very lucky to have the apartment we do for being renters in one of the most expensive cities in the country. It is beautiful, and very "San Francisco." Compared to the size of most apartments in the city, we have an obscene amount of space. And I'm not complaining :) Two bedrooms, one bathroom, a spacious living room, formal dining room, and a kitchen complete the layout. We even have 4 walk in closets! Hopefully, we won't have to move for a long time!

I thought I would start this tour with the kitchen, after all, it is the heart of the home! We have a good sized kitchen, but with very limited counter space. Luckily since the room is quite large, we have room for an island in the center, and another piece of furniture on the far wall for more work and storage space.

The Before:
I snapped these pictures on my phone before I moved in over a year ago, and a few more after my old roommate moved out and Andrew moved in.
View From the Doorway

View of the far wall that is waiting for a piece of furniture
View from Doorway into Dinning Room

I really love this room, the windows look out onto the backyard. As you can see, the room gets great light in the morning. The floor is kind of a dingy yellow linoleum that I assume is original. Too bad our beautiful hardwoods don't carry over into the kitchen! Besides the lack of counter space, it's a great room. The small door between the stove and refrigerator is a pantry, it's a little narrow but has plenty of storage.

I created this mood board as inspiration for the type of feel I hope to have in this kitchen eventually.

I thought a small rug under the island would help distract from the ugly yellow linoleum. I was thinking something like a indoor/outdoor jute or natural woven rug would be nice. I thought if it was an outdoor rug, it would be easier to clean since it will get a lot of wear and tear in the kitchen, especially under the island workspace.

Since there is so much open wall space on the far wall, I'd like to add some shelving to display my grandmothers milk glass, and other vintage finds. I've been pinning up a storm, and love both the crisp white in Katie Bowers kitchen, as well as the rustic wood from this West Elm display.
(Click image for original source)

Andrew and I found a kitchen island on Craigslist for only $60! It's really sturdy and has a shelf at the bottom for extra storage space. We plan to do a little DIY project in the near future! We want to sand and oil the butcher block top, and paint the base a dark navy or grey color. Stay tuned for the results of that project!

Before - Kitchen Island & Open Space for Cabinet or Table

Kitchen Island Inspiration
1. /2. (link from original pin is broken) /3. /4. /5.

We also need a buffet cabinet, island, or console table for the large empty space along the far wall. It would provide a lot more prep space for cooking, as well as storage space below. Since the island will be a dark navy, I think something white or neutral will look best against the wall so that it doesn't compete.
There is also some blank wall space by the stove, I thought about adding some shelves for spices we use often, and a clock above the stove. What do you think?
I'd also like to paint the walls a light grey, my sister has some leftover paint from the nursery she said I can use. But I'm not sure if I need to use a gloss paint since it is for the kitchen? I think it will make the white cabinets stand out a bit more, and add some depth to the space.
We have a very limited budget, but over time I know we'll make it both beautiful and functional. We both are good bargain hunters too, so we've been searching Craigslist for something to put along the empty wall and I'm sure we'll check Ikea for the shelves. Hopefully it won't be too long before I can share the "after" photos with you. I'm excited to see how it all comes together!
Have you been updating any rooms in your home lately?


  1. We have exactly the same tile on our kitchen walls. It must be a San Francisco staple. :)

    I love the idea of shelves on the wall space near your stove. We are limited with cabinet space so we added a spice rack to the wall near our stove, which is so convenient when cooking. No more digging though dark cabinets looking for spices!

    1. Do you have a pink bathroom too? :) I love the old San Francisco tile.

      I think we'll be putting up a shelf by the stove soon. The more meals we make, the more we realize how helpful it will be to have those things within an arms reach.

  2. i'm totally feeling the space! i have a lot of the same on my wish list too:)

  3. We're moving into a new home at the end of the summer, and I've been enjoying taking pictures of the empty rooms to start planning how we'll decorate them. I love your inspiration photos! Right now we have to focus on the physical moving- we're still looking at different moving companies- but the fun part will come soon enough. Good luck with your redecorating!


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