We live in the California Bay Area, so more times than not, the American dream of owning your own home in your twenties is just that- a dream. Honestly, the median home in San Jose (we're talking 3 bedroom 2 bath 1,500 square feet) is 1 million dollars. So when I say the prices are crazy, I'm not exaggerating.
So while renting we may be more limited than home owners or our friends in Utah and Texas who are building their houses brand new, making our rental reflect our style was important to us and definitely not out of reach! We may not have the most Instagram worthy kitchen or flooring or moulding, but the results have made us happy on a daily basis and as cliche as it sounds, that really all is what matters!
When we moved in I almost burnt down our kitchen (I can laugh now, but many tears and curse words occurred at the time...) So really, the before pictures are much better than what they could have been haha...
The kitchen has a bar that opens up to the dining room, so it really isn't closed off to the rest of the house, but the black counters with darker cabinets made it feel super small and dark. They also showed every speck of dust and every crumb, and I knew that would drive me insane, so obviously I turned to Pinterest and decided that I was going to use stick on countertop and backsplash. Everyone thought I was crazy, but the results were fantastic!
The brown cupboards weren't my favorite, but theres nothing we could do about that and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them with the white and didn't hate it! And after about 7 months, I can say that they have held up amazing! That was my biggest concern, but I can see them lasting at LEAST another year. We always make sure to use trivets and cutting boards, but you would do the same with real marble, so I don't see that as a real downside. I put most of it on by myself, aside from the huge pieces like the bar, and honestly it was harder than I thought. The backing is SO sticky and strong and not the most forgiving. I would recommend doing the whole thing with an assistant haha. But all it took was a handful of hours, scissors, and an exacto knife and the results were totally worth it in my opinion.
The backsplash was also harder than I thought, mostly because of my own errors. I started at the large space over the stove and went out in both directions when I should have started at one end and gone to the other. If I did it again, I would start on one side ad the bottom right up against the counter and go up and across. the reason for that is the tiles my not fit perfectly and you may need to cut them in half once you hit the bottom of the cupboards, like I did. So after about a week (I ran out of both the countertop and backsplash so I had to order more) I had what felt like a new kitchen!
So clearly not remodel status, but I think for renters who are planning to be there for a few years it was definitely worth it. I believe it costed me about $150, but I linked the materials so you can see the detentions of how much you would need!
This absolutely would not work on a tiled countertop, but since ours was some kind of stone it laid flat. It would definitely work on a laminate or anything else that is smooth.
A few more, less dramatic before and afters: