A couple of weeks ago, the soap door in our dishwasher decided that it would prefer not to open during the washing cycle, thanks all the same. Since the machine was absolutely ancient (at least 20 years old) my landlord was unable to obtain replacement parts and decided to swap it out for a new one.
When we got the news about the new dishwasher, I saw a small window of opportunity to improve something about our apartment. You see, I’ve been itching to move for over a year now, but the timing just hasn’t been right. Consequently, I’ve been feeling a bit trapped and the things I don’t like about the apartment have really started to grate.
First and foremost? The decor. This apartment’s color scheme is beige and white. Beige berber carpet (that is now very old and matted down, because berber carpet is famously difficult to clean*). White walls (that we are not allowed to paint). Beige Euro-style cabinets (see below) with beige countertops and a white paint “backsplash.”
To say our apartment lacks personality is an insult to the personality-free.
So when my landlord said that they don’t make beige dishwashers anymore and he’d have to buy white, I screwed up my courage and said, timidly, “I think a white dishwasher might make the beige countertops and cabinets look a bit yellow? And dingy? What about a black dishwasher? Or a stainless steel one, those are very popular.”
This suggestion was not appreciated. My landlord looked at me with huge, wounded eyes and exclaimed, “But that would be UGLY! It would be DARK and UGLY! Everything needs to be bright and light! No, no. White will be best.**” It was clear that the idea of a steel dishwasher was almost insulting to him — how dare I suggest putting something so horrible in his property?
That’s when it hit me. This beige-on-white color scheme? He did this on purpose! He thinks this looks good!
Ever since, I’ve been wondering if I could renovate the apartment in a way that doesn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out, but that would satisfy our landlord’s need for “light and bright.” To Pinterest!
Obviously, the new kitchen cabinets would have to be all-white. There’s an outside chance we could get away with a countertop this dark:
But I suspect our landlord would prefer the all-white version here:
Those floors are way too dark, though. What about a light bamboo flooring to replace the crummy kitchen tiles and the hideous carpet?
Finally, our 80s bathrooms (which also currently feature Euro-style cabinets and beige countertops) could get a little makeover:
If I was feeling really daring, I could try to get away with just a little bit of light color:
Well, it’s still not quite to my taste, if we’re being honest (except for the last bathroom, which I love, and you should check out the blogger’s entry on her bathroom reno) — I like light-and-dark contrasts and at least a bit of color. But at least the hideous carpet is gone in my imaginary landlord-friendly apartment renovation!
Anyone else ever get the itch to completely re-do a space that isn’t yours to re-do? Also, any advice on sprucing up an apartment you don’t love? We’ve already done a new light fixture, new curtains, and a new rug to cover more of the ugly carpet. Plus a new toilet seat, which I installed myself. Be impressed.
* I recently had the carpets “professionally” cleaned by a certain national conglomerate. The technician spent a grand total of 40 minutes here, the carpets look absolutely no different than they did before, and I’m out a slightly embarrassing amount of money. Let this be a lesson to all of us about not trusting large national companies who sub-contract to any local doofus with their own Rug Doctor.
** The white dishwasher has now arrived, and for the record, it does make the rest of the kitchen look dingy and yellow. In my landlord’s defense, I don’t think anything would look good with these cabinets.