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renter with brown tiles in kitchen... need ideas for colors/cheap fix

5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

I just moved into an apartment that has brown tiles. I'm not a fan. But my friend pointed out that they're pretty high quality (considering what a cheapskate my landlord is). They're not unattractive per se: I wanted to do a white, modern kitchen, pulling elements from some of my things.

Here's the tile. I think it is "high quality" vinyl. It's matte, looks like slate--that's great--but it is brown, and has much more veining (blue/gray, generally) than I would prefer--really pulls the focus to the floor.

Now, while the tile is "high quality," the rest of the apartment is crap. Forgive the mess: doing a bit of DIY entailing upcycling some stuff.

First, the glorious fridge. Discolored--the previous tenant lived there over 10 years and was a chain smoker :(

Next, the cabinets--similar discoloration problem, plus ugly "wood" sides:

(you see how the beige cupboards just look horrible with the floor?)

And the counters. Marked up to the extreme, and similar beige:

Then the total non sequitur: a black stove. This, I can live with (despite it all):

The highlight, if you will, is that I have some nice open shelving, painted (you guessed it!) not beige, but white!


Forgot to add: the over all effect (and can't seem to add more photos now, but here's a link to a pic of the kitchen)

So that's what I'm dealing with.

My first inclination was to go with white, red, blue, and a touch of turquoise from my Dansk Fjord set--these colors, and maybe some contact paper here and there like the pattern that follows:

It's a whimsical, retro/primitive Danish print. The colors are, too--otherwise it's like the Fourth of July. And I just don't know how to reconcile this with the brown floors.

So I'm considering a few things just short of repainting the cabinets/counters (and freaking fridge):

  • Covering up with Panyl or some other "faux finish" paper. But what color? I like the look of brushed steel, butcher block/light wood, and flat gray slate, but none of these (other than maybe the steel) seems like it would go with my colors and the floor. Would a darker wood work? I've seen ppl use peel/stick or click flooring to redo backsplashes. Not sure what I'd do with the counters.
  • I found some good pictures of really rich gem tones with floors like these; I'm thinking that perhaps matte, deep/dark blue peel and stick tile would work. Cut out most of the red, and stick to blue and white.
  • Focus on the "country primitive" aspect of the Scandinavian stuff over the modern/retro aspect of it. Use more wood and aged metal.

If anyone has any ideas/advice for a renter (on a budget!), I'd love to hear them. Especially about what colors/style I should strive for, given my aims and what I'm dealing with.

Thank you.

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