My Semi-Glorious Cabinets…

So they are still kinda crappy but this is my problem: we are not allowed to paint things in this apartment. We could paint the walls if we repainted before we move out but my partner has more or less forbidden painting the walls. Since he will let me decorate however else I like, I abide by this. (Because realistically, I will not repaint before moving out).

When we were looking for an apartment, we faced a lot of difficulty. It seems the Chicago renters’ market has improved and we were often finding that people were renting out the apartments we were scheduled to view before we even got the chance to see them (them being the ones in our modest budget). So we came up with a plan. If we were actually at a place and we liked it enough to spend a year living there, we were prepared to pay both first months rent and a security deposit on the spot if we both agreed “taco pizza.”

kitchen 1

they all look pretty much like this

I had seen this apartment early on in my search, and it’s mid-month availability initially deterred me. However, after apartment after apartment had been rented without even being able to view and it’s re-emergence onto Craigslist I had a hunch she would be ours. We were ready to “taco pizza” and we looked at her. Turned out the tenant was actually still sleeping in the main bedroom, so we didn’t even see it but we knew, “taco pizza.” The thing that I was most worried about prior to moving in wasn’t what did the bedroom actually look like, but the hideous cabinits (standard to all Rosh rentals) and what I could to to make them tolerable.

hong kong bag

Right away I scoured blogs like Apartment Therapy and found a link to someone who made wallpaper out of fabric! And then I found an article on Design Sponge about Washi Tape! I went to the washi tape website and bought 90$ worth of tape! So much money I would not tipically spend (but hey, I had had plenty of wine with ice) and was really optimistic for the ability to so easily decorate my ugly ugly cabinets. When my package finally came (obviously I moved and ended up having to go to the USPS office) I was stricken by the packaging. It wasn’t even taped shut! Just tied with a little bit of string. ALL THE WAY FROM HONG KONG. And even crazier, it was all inside. And wrapped in the cutest little tissue paper. It seemed smaller than it looked online, but they also included a little bonus role of bunny tape which will be cute on presents or stationary later.


So I got a bunch of various roles of (essentially) masking tape and set out to fix up my kitchen.

It wasn’t going to be easy. It is actually still not the best (oh, the floors are worse than the cabinets, but I need to wait to purchase a rug…I am not 1, made of money or 2, good at making it…).

But I gave it the ol’ art school try.

I really did.


This is my kitchen with a few stripes… I tried a few methods. I pulled the tape across all of the cabinets, and I also did it door by door. They both worked about the same… The long way tended to sag while doing it piece by piece tended to result in mismatched lines. To smooth things out I used my bone folder that I use in paper crafts and bookmaking.

kitchen4It tended to get the bubbles out. I found it to be harder to get a smooth application the wider the roll of washi tape.

It is not perfect and yes, I did paint my knife holder and coffee pot… (and gave the knife holder a little washi treatment.) Over all, I am happy for now. It is not a glamorous condo (gotta love “vintage” apartments) but it is fun, which is something I guess you have to keep having until you can afford nice things. And I still have quite a bit left so I can take it all off and try a new pattern (did you see the plaid I created on the diswasher?).

I can’t really complain. I have a huge, “penthouse” apartment in Chicago, where I have a dishwasher, an entire extra bedroom to use as an art studio (and a little office for the man cave so I don’t have to look at any of the boy toys that involve cords), and all the daylight one could hope for (for less than smaller ones we looked at) and I am in a decent neighborhood… But man, if only I could paint these walls and cabinets…The bathroom is still horrendous too (though there is a footed tub)… worst tile ever. Creative solutions, I guess.



2 thoughts on “My Semi-Glorious Cabinets…

  1. Pingback: Kitchen Limbo | Wine With Ice

  2. Pingback: Washi tape two ways | Wine With Ice

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