Make your own free website on

Click below to go to the following:

Home Sweet Rented Home
Menu Page
Home Sweet Rented Home...
"Building a Reusable Color Scheme"
Home Sweet Rented Home...
"Windows and Walls"
Home Sweet Rented Home...
"Fickle Furniture...Does that belong there?
The Everyday Decorator
Home Page

Home Sweet Rented Home
Cabinets and Tiles!

Cabinet doors and ceramic tiles are among the easiest to "change" in an aprtment - provided that you have a workable background to begin with. Let's face it - ugly, orange tiles are still gonna be ugly, orange matter what you do to them. But, for those Plain Jane cabinet doors and tiled kitchen backsplashes...there is hope! Just as I described using fabric cut-outs as borders on walls, they can also be used as wonderful collages to add splashes of color and design on backsplashes as well as cabinet fronts. Coordinate the cut-outs with your kitchen or bath theme, i.e. fruit, flowers, shells, etc. Large-patterned fabrics work best, but keep scale in mind when choosing your cut-outs. Tiny seashells will get lost on a the doors of a larger bath vanity cabinet, and an overly large pear or apple will be too overwhelming on a small cabinet door. Once a fabric has been selected and cut-out, adhere designs with starch, (Visit for directions.) If using starch, the designs will stay on for a while, but may need a few touch-ups with starch over time. The cut-outs are easily removeable and better yet...reusable. If you are planning to be in your present aprtment for some time, go ahead and use wallpaper paste. This is more durable and creates a washabel surface. When you are ready to move, use a non-chemical citurs based wallpaper remover to remove the designs. Use the same cut-outs to decorate fronts of dishwasher doors, fridge doors, lampshades, corners of mirrors and so much more. Store extra cut-outs not being used in large envelopes marked according to theme, i.e. fruits, florals, etc. It's even possible to make a collage of cut-outs for a creative, unique look. Just overlap designs similiar to decopauge.

A few more ideas...

1.) Shelf Paper Cover-Up: If you do have those ugly, orange tiles as mentioned above - all hope is not lost. You can try using shelf paper, which does not have quite the adhesive backing as contact paper, to cover the entire area. Yes, the grout lines of the tile may show thru some, but at least you are able to cover those horrid tiles. This idea works best on a backsplash. I have also used fabric and starch over tiles in a bath area with great results. I used a thicker weight fabric, and very few of the grout lines showed thru. After I applied the fabric to the walls, I saturated it well with Scotch Guard to aid against water and dust. If you use shelf paper, a small amount of r4esidue may be present when removed. Just use a citrus based adhesive remover to clean.

2.)Hardware: Sometimes, something as simple as changing the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can make a difference. This may not be practical for the renter who will only be there a year or so, but for long-term renters, this could be prove to be a good investment. Be creative and paint or design your own hardware, or better yet - recycle some old finds such as silver forks and spoons for kitchen cabinets. Use a small metal drill to add holes to the silver utensils. Make sure these holes line up with the holes in the drawer. Use a longer screw with a nut and a bolt in back to hold in place. Prior to placing the new "handle" on, bend the fork or spoon to acccomodate finger space to open the drawer or cabinet. How about some pretty garden tools such as a spade and mini hand-rake used in a bathroom with a garden setting? Even old leather belts can be cut into lengths and used as unique pulls. Use your imagination and I bet you can come up with lots of inventive ways to add new life to your cabninets.

3.) Paint: Again, for long term renters, talk to your landlord about painting the cabinets. Sometimes, they are just as eager for updates as you are, and if you sweeten the deal by agreeing to provide the paint as well as the labor, this offer may be too good to turn down. It is in the best interest of the landlord to agree to improvements that will update his property. I must warn you ,though, that although painting cabinets is a do-able project, it is not something you will wamt to jump into and expect to finish in a weekend. This project can be time consuming, but well worth the payoff if done correctly. Talk to your local home store and get all the details needed for this project. The homeowner or landlord may agree to this project, but he/she is expecting for it to be done right!

4.) Working With What You Have: I have seen some pretty hideous tiles during my career. But, I also know that sometimes the worse scenario is when someone tries to ignore them totally and work around them as if they weren't there. Trust me, they are there - and trying to ignor them will not make them go away! Instead, go with the flow. Let's say you have a bathroom, for example, with bright pink tiles. Try using a semi-busy fabric on the walls with a neutral background and a design that features pinks, greens, and other colors. Make sure the pink is similar in tone to the pink in the tiles. For accessories, put a generous amount of focus on the other colors such as the green, etc. Do not use the pink anywhere else in the room. This technique utilizes the dominant color (the pink) that is present in the room and cannot be changed; yet puts the focus on additional colors. Remember that the eye is drawn to splashes of color. So, group several green towels on one bar, and wrap them with a pretty french ribbon bow. Use a patterned window treatment, again, that focuses on the green. For example, if the fabric used on the wall is a floral, use a green gingham or check. Use green floormats, etc. Finally, pick up another color from the fabric to use as a third color. It can even be the neutral background color. Add small touches of this color - perhaps thru a candle, decorative soaps, etc.
The idea is to make the pink tiles look as if you planned the decor all along.

Search for the Album or Artist of Your Choice!
Album Title
Song Title