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Come See this Fun Rental Kitchen Makeover with Floral Cabinets!

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Check out this before and after rental kitchen makeover with floral cabinets using peel and stick wallpaper and other clever DIYs!

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Hi, there friends!  Eek! This week has been the most fun for me during the One Room Challenge.  I finished installing the floral removable wallpaper on my cabinets and am just smitten with the way they look and can’t wait to give you all of the details.

A rental Kitchen Makeover Using Peel and Stick Wallpaper on the Cabinets

The One Room Challenge is a 6-week room makeover/renovation for a group of featured bloggers and 100s of guest participant bloggers like myself if you aren’t familiar with it.  This is the first time I’ve participated and have really enjoyed the process and interaction with readers and other bloggers.

A rental kitchen makeover in Okinawa, Japan using peel and stick wallpaper on the cabinets with a rose print.  A partial view of a white electric stove next to a metal counter with grey and white rose patterned cabinets.  Swiss crosses made with black washi tape on the kitchen tile.  Pineapple art and copper with black board and chalk labeled seasoning jars add an eclectic touch.
Rental Kitchen Makeover with Floral Cabinets

First, let me give you a little background. My family and I are living in a rental home in beautiful Okinawa, Japan while my husband is stationed here. We have views of the ocean and lots of natural light in our small house.

All of the surfaces including the floors are white, cream, or light mint. It really is a blank canvas to put our renter-friendly stamp on.

The kitchen has cabinets with a slick surface, maybe plastic?, which makes them perfect for a makeover. They are also creamy looking next to the white appliances and tiles.

A Japanese rental home kitchen in Okinawa, Japan for Americans with white laminate floor, boho rug, white appliances and kitchen tile, metal counters, and cream cabinets.  The room has lots of natural light.
Our Japanese Rental Home Kitchen Before

After I prepped for the rental kitchen makeover with inspiration, organization, and even updated the tiles, it was time to tackle the cabinets!

Update: Find all of the One Room Challenge stories below.

Week one: Inspiration

Week two: Cabinet Organization

Week three: Update

Week four: DIY Swiss Cross Tiles

Week five: Floral Cabinets

Week six: Rental Kitchen Reveal

I thought this part of the room makeover would take the most time but I completed this project in 2 hrs!  I reached out to Walls Need Love and they sent me three 10 foot rolls of Clara wallpaper.  I decided to hang it vertically so the pattern would line up across the cabinets from left to right.

It worked out perfectly.  I used a yardstick and craft knife for nice, straight cuts.  Make sure to measure twice and cute once if you are trying this! 

A before and after picture collage of a Japanese rental kitchen in Okinawa, Japan from all white materials to a cute floral pattern using peel and stick wallpaper on the cabinets, black swiss crosses on the white tiles, and a color dipped thrifted kitchen table set makeover with mint green and white.
The Before and After of a Rental Kitchen Makeover

Here’s how to install a renter firendly kitchen cabinet makeover using peel and stick wallpaper:

  1. Remove any hardware and make sure your caninets are clean.
  2. Think of your upper and lower cabinets as one unit (like a solid wall). If all of your upper cabinets are the same vertical size then you can start at the top of the first upper left cabinet and after your first cut, continue the paper on the lower cabinet. Then you would line up the pattern on the second upper cabinet and continue in the same fashion. If you’re first left upper is smaller one, make sure to leave extra paper at the top so when you get to your tallest upper cabinet size, the pattern matches up.
  3. Measure twice and cut once! Precut your wallpaper pieces using a straight edge and exacto knife or fresh razor blade so you don’t rip the paper. Leave just a little extra room so you can wrap the paper around the edges if you need to.
  4. Start applying the peel and stick wallpaper by peeling off the first part of the first cut and line up on the cabinet. Slowly smooth down with a flat tool or your hand and continue peeling off the back until the paper is fully on.
  5. Our kitchen cabinets were so smooth that I didn’t have any issues with air pockets or bubbles. But if you run into this problem you can adjust and retick the paper, use the smoothing tool, or poke a hole into a bubble with a straight pin and push down with the tip of your finger and it will lay flat!
Cutting peel and stick floral wallpaper for kitchen cabinets with an exacto knife and yard stick on a white table.
Cutting Peel and Stick Wallpaper for on the Cabinets
A process shot using peel and stick floral wallpaper on rental kitchen cabinets in Okinawa, Japan.
A Process Shot Using peel and Stick Wallpaper on Cabinets

The wallpaper was a dream to install.  It was easy to reposition and didn’t leave any sticky residue like the last contact paper I used.  Yes, this is the second time I’ve covered these cabinets.

Since I had previously tested this makeover with contact paper and successfully removed it without damaging the cabinets at all; I was confident in installing this lovely product! 

Do read this story for more details on how to DIY a renter-friendly cabinet makeover and see how I also covered the toe kick and temporarily changed out the pulls with a dollar store option.

I’m super happy I made the decision to recover them again.  It’s such a crazy design choice (which is why I LOVE it!) but a perfect short-term solution as a renter! I mean, who else has rose-patterned kitchen cabinets?

A graphic showing the One Room Challenge updates for a white rental kitchen makeover with boho accents.
One Room Challenge Updates

If want to try something similar but a smaller project, give a piece of furniture a makeover with peel and stick wallpaper!

A quick rundown of the ol’ to do list:

Spruce up seating with a pop of color

Remove old contact paper

Cover cabinet doors in a floral pattern – renter friendly

Update pulls to brass or gold

Hang new art

Add a new rug

Update tiles – renter friendly

Better organization of countertop space and cabinets

Maybe try something new with the window treatments?

A big thank you to these companies for sponsoring my project; Minted, Epson, and Walls Need Love.   

The One Room Challenge sponsors for uptodateinteriors.com graphic.

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

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  1. Kathy the wallpaper is just fantastic. I can’t wait for the reveal! I love the direction the room is going in. As a fellow ORC participant it’s been wonderful to gather some fantastic inspiration. I’d love for you to share your progress at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Our readers would love to see it. The gathering is at http://www.decortoadore.net

  2. That’s such a cool idea! Definitely interested in seeing the final reveal! Looks great so far 🙂

    Lauren | Lovely Decor

    1. Lol, I’ve had some questionable contact paper in the past. My friends that come over keep asking if I’ve painted the hood! Thanks for the sweet comment.

  3. What a fun idea to cover your cabinets! I love the floral wallpaper on them, such a great idea! Can’t wait for the reveal!

  4. This is unreal!! You have STUNNING design taste! I can’t wait to see this room revealed next week. The floral cabinets are perfect 🙂

    1. I used temporary removable wallpaper that already had adhesive on the paper. It’s similar to a decal. I could apply and reposition it easily. It took a little elbow grease and goo gone to get the cabinets clean after I removed the paper but it was easy. 🙂

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