New Year New Room Refresh: Global Eclectic Rental Kitchen Makeover


A botanical print, copper and wood tones, and a colorful rug gives a rental kitchen makeover a global eclectic vibe.

Hello, hello!  What a month.  I’m so pleased with the progress we’ve made in our new Japanese rental home.  A huge thanks to the challenges I participated in this month.  

We are a military family living overseas and after being stationed in beautiful Okinawa, Japan we get to experience mainland Japan in Ikuwani.

Last week, I shared the $100 room makeover featuring our global eclectic master bedroom, and today it’s time for the New Year, New Room Refresh Reveal hosted by Casa Watkins Living.

A Global Eclectic Rental Kitchen Makeover

A global eclectic rental kitchen makeover in a Japanese kitchen with a grey tiled wall, wood storage cabinet, and botanical wallpaper on sliding doors.  Copper pots and pineapple art print hang on the wall.
Our Global Eclectic Japanese Kitchen

week 1 | week 2 | week 3 | week 4

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First, let’s revisit the inspiration board.   

A Japanese rental kitchen makeover plans and inspiration mood board showing a boho red rug, grey tile walls, herbs print wallpaper, copper pulls, and a wood bar cart with copper pots, blue stemmed glasses, and a plant.
Rental Kitchen Makeover Plans

The space is very small but I managed to squeeze in enough elements to get the global eclectic style I was after. Looking at the before and afters, I’m kind of shocked what the difference between the few changes made!

A Japanese rental kitchen makeover before picture showing small kitchen with grey tile walls, cream cabinets, stainless steel counters, and wood floors.  A little fish oven and hood are on the far wall with a small window.
Rental Kitchen Makeover Before
A renter friendly makeover with eclectic global style in a Japanese kitchen.  Cream cabinets with stainless steel counters look updated with a boho rug, wood storage cabinet and copper pots hanging on the wall.
Rental Kitchen Makeover After

I wanted to break up the dull tile and cabinets with warm wood tones, copper, and a fun botanical print.   I used many of the same copper accents in our last kitchen, like chalkboard and copper seasoning jars and DIY Ikea glass canisters.

A cute vignette in a Japanese kitchen showing a wood caddy storage cabinet with wood cutting boards leaning on a grey tile wall with a pineapple print hanging above in a copper frame.  A cute plant in a pink pot sits on the counter and a glimpse of botanic wallpaper on the side.
Hang Art with Command Strips on Tile

We were lucky to find a wood kitchen cart at the local thrift store.  I changed the wood knob to a brass pull and hung a pineapple print from Minted.   Command strips are working so far on the tile so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

A rental kitchen decorating tips showing extra storage with a wood island against the wall showing cute blue and white dishes on open shelves, copper pots hanging on the wall for vertical storage and styled with a pineapple art print, pretty cutting boards, and a small plant in a pink pot.
Adding Warm Tones with Additional Storage

Here’s a close-up of our fish oven.  It’s very common in traditional Japanese homes.  I have yet, however, cooked fish in it.  The black countertop oven to the right is what I bake in.  A full-size casserole dish fits in it, so I’m happy. 🙂

A Japanese kitchen fish stove on cream cabinets and grey tile walls.
A Japanese Fish Oven

Having the kitchen cart and pots and pans rack really helped open up countertop space and create more storage.

A rental kitchen before picture in Japan showing the opening into a small kitchen with grey tiled walls and white wallpaper sliding doors.  The opening has a cut out with a wood French window and a wood breakfast bar opening into the living room.
A Small Rental Kitchen Makeover Before
A rental kitchen makeover in Japan showing a wood island against a grey tiled wall with open shelves showing cute dishes and copper pots hanging above.  Botanic peel and stick wallpaper cover the Japanese sliding doors.
A Small Rental Kitchen Makeover After

When we first walked through this house,  I knew immediately that I wanted a bold wallpaper in this space.  The kitchen is so dark but opens up to a bright living area.  Thanks to a gorgeous peel and stick option, I was able to achieve the look I was going for!

A rental kitchen in traditional Japanese home with a pass through, wood French window, and wood bar.
A Pass-Through with a Cute Window
A close up of a wood breakfast bar with green and blue books underneath looking through a kitchen pass through to botanic wallpaper on sliding doors in a rental friendly kitchen makeover in Japan!
Color Matching Books to Wallpaper

It feels much more cohesive now.  Especially with plants carrying the green hues throughout the house!  I can’t wait to show you a complete tour of this floor.  It’s super cute!  A little boho and definitely global eclectic.

A botanical print for kitchen peel and stick wallpaper on Japanese sliding doors in this renter friendly kitchen makeover.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper in a Rental Kitchen

Here’s the view, looking out into the piano studio/living area from the kitchen sink. 

A leave in a sea glass vase decor for grand piano in small space.
Leaf in Vase

The only thing on the to-do list I wasn’t able to complete was to replace the cabinet hardware with repurposed copper hardware from our last rental kitchen.  Unfortunately, the size was too small.

A collage of a rental Japanese kitchen makeover with botanic print wallpaper and wood cabinet.
Rental Kitchen Makeover

If you love the vibe in this small space, you can achieve a similar look with this shopping guide.

An eclectic global kitchen mood board shopping guide for a renter kitchen makeover.
Shopping Guide
  1. kitchen bar cart | 2. copper pulls | 3. IKEA rail | 4. copper pots and pans | 5.  bohemian pink rug | 6. herb garden removable wallpaper | 7.  gripperwood cutting board 

Please join me in visiting all the other amazing reveals of these talented bloggers!  I can’t wait! 

A graphic for the New Year New Room Refresh with participant logos and profile pictures.
New Year New Room Refresh Participants

Casa Watkins Living // A Designer At Home // Bigger Than The Three Of Us // Domicile 37 // Fresh Crush // Iris Nacole // Monica Wants It // Pocketful of Posies // Seeking Lavender Lane // Sharon Joyce Interiors // This Is Our Bliss // Up To Date Interiors // Vintage Romance Style

A huge thanks to these sponsors for helping us achieve our to-do lists for this challenge! 

Nynrr Sponsors

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  1. omg that is a small kitchen. I will never ever ever complain about the size of my small kitchen ever again.
    I love who your brightened it up and added some small touches that really make a difference. Way to go!

  2. The wallpaper is gorgeous and does a great job brightening up the space. I love the hanging pots and how much pattern the rug adds to the kitchen. Very pretty!

  3. Seriously Kathy, you are hands down amazing! It doesn’t even look like the same place, and heck if you ever move, I’m thinking they will want you to leave everything as is, it’s so great!

  4. You are ah-mazing!! AND tackling 2 spaces this month..I give you such an incredible amount of props!! Your kitchen is stunningly beautiful. Your paper was made for a home like yours and the copper pans and pineapple print also stole my heart! Lovely, lovely job, Kathy!

  5. It’s beautiful! All the color you added makes such a huge difference. I love posts like this because you show people that a small space can be pretty and functional!

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