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Jason's $250 Remodeled Rental Kitchen

Name:

Jason

Location:

New York , New York

Division:

Rent

Square Feet:

51

How many people live in home:

two, me and my Boston Terrier Stanley

What makes your small kitchen so cool?


At 51 sq ft, my kitchen proves, size doesn’t matter. Through organizing and maximizing all the wall space, I've been able to cook dinner for up to 15 with ease (okay, maybe not ease) but still fun and doable.

One challenge you overcame in your small kitchen, or a good resource you've found.


As a renter I had a very small budget (about $250) to make the space functional. There is very little storage and what was there was so old and decayed you wouldn’t want to put food in anything. I removed the cabinet doors on one side to open the space feel more open, all the cabinets were repainted, interior and exterior to make it more clean. There was a massive microwave that took up half the wall near the stove. I removed it, donated it and replaced it with hanging organizers to make spices and equipment more accessible so I wasn’t always touching cabinets with food covered hands. I added a hanging dish rack to free up more counter space. Before I redid it, people used to say how small and depressing it was. I filled it with fun, colorful items to distract my sous chef’s from the size, now people just enjoy exploring all the cabinets and items.

Favorite Meal to Cook in Kitchen


My favorite meals are refrigerator and pantry clean out meals. I tend to go overboard with bi weekly trips to the greenmarket and local food markets. Ill often invite over way too many people and come home way too late from work. I used to stress and run to three different grocery stores on my way home. Now I love working with what I have on hand, instead of having to add more ingredients and make more trips out to the store. I don’t like to waste food and through composting, freezing scraps for stocks and sauces I use almost everything and rarely have waste.

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Comments (52)

great work! food looks good too!

posted by sparknyc on July 16, 2011 at 4:59pm
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I really love the section with the stone background. Is that a wallpaper or something you made yourself? How do you protect it from water/food/heat etc? I'd love to hear more about that because it looks great and gives so much warmth and dimension to the space.

posted by HeyNowTex on July 12, 2011 at 1:37pm
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Smartest use of space ever - clearly designed with a keen eye for style, much more aesthetic than the other kitchens without sacrificing functionality!

posted by lmm2177 on July 12, 2011 at 3:39pm
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Beautiful! Love the use of the space and what a great idea to make the wall space more functional

posted by Lianne Alcon on July 12, 2011 at 3:47pm
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Amazing use of space! fantastic!

posted by gary malin on July 12, 2011 at 3:50pm
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Beautiful!

posted by Scott Savory on July 12, 2011 at 4:03pm
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Ingeniously well done!

posted by Steven Leon on July 12, 2011 at 4:10pm
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Bravo, Martha, bravo!

posted by Abramowitz-Schwimmer on July 12, 2011 at 4:23pm
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Impressive!!! Need to get the utensil rack myself! Very handy ;)

posted by Dmsgirl on July 12, 2011 at 4:49pm
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My mom told me you are fab in the kitchen! ;-) London loves you.

posted by Londie Pops on July 12, 2011 at 4:54pm
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Jason- your kitchen seems to have generous space between the lower and upper cabinets- allowing you to have that great hanging system- what is that dimension? Standard is 17"-18". thanks

posted by kryan on July 12, 2011 at 8:58pm
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Fabulous taste, Jason!

posted by Nicole McElroy on July 12, 2011 at 9:36pm
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i love the way everything is stacked up so perfectly! the stone background is great too!

posted by concetta testa on July 12, 2011 at 10:18pm
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Love the stone wallcovering! Source?

posted by LynnPickerel on July 13, 2011 at 11:26am
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Beautiful!

posted by Neeru kaur on July 13, 2011 at 2:30pm
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well done and very functional for the chef in all us.

posted by dr. eddie on July 13, 2011 at 2:33pm
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Looks amazing! Well done, Jason!

posted by mattdsgn on July 13, 2011 at 10:05pm
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The wallpaper came from Burkedecor.com. They have a lot of really unique wall paper. There is not much in the way of food and heat near it, so it maintains just fine.

posted by GuyRitchie on July 14, 2011 at 1:17pm
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love the Aunt Jemima bottle near the sink. is that for detergent?

posted by dan kusner on July 15, 2011 at 11:41am
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Like the use of old mason jars and tins for storage. Even with open shelves and closet doors the sleek kitchen has a homey, country feel. Also, great idea to eliminate the microwave and hang tools, knives and gadgets within easy reach. Seems very functional and frees up limited drawer space.

posted by Marian VN on July 15, 2011 at 12:39pm
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I <3 Aunt J! Great Space!

posted by daneegirl on July 15, 2011 at 1:06pm
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Beautiful and functional kitchen! You have everything you need right there. Love it!

posted by suznyc on July 15, 2011 at 2:02pm
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ive been privvy to some butcher block moments at this apartment. ive never seen such organized, smart use of space

posted by pdc on July 15, 2011 at 2:32pm
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Sh'hot.

posted by Moses Bergman-Sciacca on July 16, 2011 at 11:52am
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Looking good darling!

posted by cbass04 on July 18, 2011 at 12:22pm
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Safty, it's both utilitarian and rugged. Love it!

Clint

posted by Clint Craig on July 18, 2011 at 5:32pm
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c'est bon!

posted by andy des versailles on July 18, 2011 at 9:09pm
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Amazing. I cannot believe what you have accomplished with that budget. Great Job!

posted by Trevor Nardini on July 19, 2011 at 12:21pm
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Fantastic use of space. Very cool.

posted by Scott Raphael on July 19, 2011 at 1:08pm
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Love the neutral colors with splashes of orange,..along with the smooth white dishes and glasses with the neatly stacked rocks in the back!

posted by beth z on July 19, 2011 at 1:22pm
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Jason is a Golden God.

posted by PaulineyM on July 19, 2011 at 2:25pm
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obsessed!!

posted by emmznyc on July 19, 2011 at 4:40pm
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nicely redone space, but i find the Aunt Jemima figurine and reused syrup bottle disturbing.

posted by taxidriver on July 19, 2011 at 11:07pm
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Like everyone else, I love the stacked stone wallpaper. I have alot of wood in my home so I'm looking to paint the white walls to bring in a bit of color. This wallpaper could be fun in my bathroom. Great redo of a small kitchen. Wonderful!

posted by PhotobugLA on July 20, 2011 at 1:37pm
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Well done!

posted by Rado V. on July 20, 2011 at 7:30pm
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I love the gray paint color on the cabinets. I am looking for something similar for my own cabinets. What brand/color did you use?

posted by sharon1021 on July 21, 2011 at 9:15pm
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Definitely designed with an eye for functionality and all on a shoestring budget! Everything is at your fingertips. Can I come over for one of your fabulous dinners? Would love to see how you do it.

posted by Gerry Katz on July 21, 2011 at 11:43pm
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ok, went all through the website and didn't find it. Perhaps it's no longer carried? What is the print called?

I yearn for that level of organization in my kitchen but am constantly evolving it...

posted by SuzeH on July 22, 2011 at 2:15pm
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Fabulous wallpaper! Totally changes the whole look. I feel like I'm in Europe!

posted by kbfromlb on July 22, 2011 at 4:48pm
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totally on board with the open cabinets. making things look so much airier. would love to do the same but owners just put new cabinets in. have u thought about cutting out that strip down the middle to make it look like one big continuous shelf?

posted by atn611 on July 22, 2011 at 5:16pm
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Jason well done! I've always said I hate cooking in a depressing space. I need a happy place to cook or else I'm not/won't. Love what you've done here it's both happy and functional! Nice.

posted by E.I.F. on July 22, 2011 at 6:35pm
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wallpaper is very clever and adds so much texture. not sure about the pot rack over the door, and I think it would look nicer to have the pots hanging sideways showing the nice side color rather than showing the burnt bottoms.

posted by chahn on July 26, 2011 at 12:43pm
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Very nice, and awesome wallpaper!

posted by marieheiss on July 26, 2011 at 1:01pm
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This looks like where I'd like to cook myself.
Love the stone paper. Great fun and function!

posted by Kate (NC) on July 26, 2011 at 1:32pm
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Jason I think what you did with the space you have is phenomenal! There may be other kitchens that I like better overall, but none compare with what you did in the space you had to work with. Great job! Gets my vote.

posted by txgardeningmom on July 26, 2011 at 5:54pm
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This is my favorite kitchen for such a small budget. I still can't figure out what the whole kitchen looks like from the pics. Where is the stone wall background fit in the scheme of things? What's up with the blue lockers behind the fridge? Either way this is my fav because it is modern and hard natural elements.

posted by brasslotus on July 26, 2011 at 9:12pm
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That wall paper is wonderul. I like the orange and grey together. That was smart to remove that microwave that was monopolizing all that room but now you don't have a micorwave. Don't you miss it sometimes.? I don't have a microwave either but sometimes when I am trying to reheat items on the stove and am burning them, I curse not having a microwave. That doesn't happen so often so maybe it really isn't worth having one for the few times when I really wish I had one.

posted by House Voyeur on July 27, 2011 at 12:34am
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I like the "stone" wall and your addition of bits of gray throughout. It really changes it from a boring rental kitchen to something much classier.

posted by tanya67 on July 27, 2011 at 9:34am
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Great job Jason! Now show me how good you can cook and have me over! Xoxo

posted by Arielito on July 27, 2011 at 12:17pm
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Either the dimensions given on your floor plan are wrong, or the kitchen is much bigger than 55 sq ft. Just curious, which is it?

posted by mei-ling on July 27, 2011 at 3:23pm
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Those are Mrs. Butterworth's syrup bottles. Nothing to do with Aunt Jemima.

posted by r2b2 on July 28, 2011 at 5:46pm
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Oh, I do see the Aunt Jemima now, in the cupboard.

posted by r2b2 on July 28, 2011 at 5:59pm
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