Before and After: An Affordable Rental Kitchen Makeover

Julia Millay Walsh

When we heard that our stylist friend Peter Dolkas, a former MyDomaine market editor, was giving his Los Feliz kitchen in Los Angeles a mini makeover, we couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. He’d made a lot of nice upgrades to his rental apartment as soon as he moved in, but six months after living there, he felt his kitchen still wasn’t coming together. The red oak cabinets didn’t jibe with his neutral tendencies, his gray composite granite felt out of place, and overall it needed an infusion of style. As he puts it, “I wanted the kitchen to feel fresh and airy like Ina Garten’s but also have some interest like Grace Coddington’s.”

Dolkas got to work making just a few simple yet thoughtful changes, including painting the cabinets, changing out the knobs, and introducing new storage options, which quickly made the kitchen feel lighter, brighter, more efficient, and more current. For those of us living with rental kitchens that are less than desirable, it’s a great reminder than you can make impactful changes that won’t break the bank or upset your landlord.

We sat down with Dolkas to get the details on his kitchen transformation. Read on to learn how this space came together and shop some of his décor finds.

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