kitchen refresh

I've never lived in a house that felt "mine." Not surprising, since I've moved eight times in the past six years. When I moved into my new apartment last November I finally felt like I saw that potential. I'm renting, so not every option was available to me as far as updates and renovations (my laminate counter tops still KILL me), but it's amazing what moving into a place that actually feels like me did for my happiness just staying in.

Given the size of my apartment, my kitchen is weirdly huge, and at least double the size of my last apartment's kitchen. I went from having six cabinets total to over 20! This is what it looked like before I moved in:

Not ideal, but definitely a much-needed upgrade from my previous kitchen!

My landlord is a literal angel who, I'm suspecting, had bad tenants before I moved in, so he has given me a lot of free range over what to do in the house. Before I moved in he'd already replaced the stove and let me paint the kitchen white. I also took down that black and white valance on the window, which was just a piece of fabric taped on its sides. For the biggest change, I switched out the fluorescent light fixture in front of the refrigerator to a schoolhouse light and a pretty standard (but not my taste in the slightest) pendant fixture (like this) for a simple glass lantern light.

I added some plants and various accessories, but the kitchen stayed like that for several months, until a few weeks ago when I convinced my landlord to let me add a subway tile back splash behind the stove and replace the rubbed bronze cabinet pulls for antiqued brass ones. Now the kitchen looks like this!

There's still a ways to go (and ignore the clutter), but this rug from Jean Palmer Home made every change feel pulled together! I'd mentioned looking for a rug here, but once it finally arrived I noticed how much the space needed something warm and colorful. A friend is also building me a narrow, bar-height oak table to fit in with the small eating area I have, and I plan to add these bar stools once budget permits! Maybe this print as well? I've used the photos below as inspiration for my ~kitchen vibes~. Will post updates as they come! :)