The entire kitchen makeover cost just $750.
Rental Kitchen Makeover After with Elizabeth Van Lierde
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

If you think your kitchen doesn't have enough room to stash everything you need, or that you don't have enough counter space for a full-on cooking spree, check out how one savvy food blogger maximized her tiny kitchen. Elizabeth Van Lierde of the College Housewife didn't let the fact that she lives in a rental stop her from transforming her small kitchen into a cook's dream space—after getting her landlord's go-ahead to repaint the cabinets and replace the faucet, she transformed the room to make more efficient use of every square inch. No matter what size your kitchen is to start, let the space-saving solutions hiding in this little kitchen inspire your next project.

Kitchen Makeover Before wood cabinets and tile floor
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

1 The Kitchen Pre-Makeover

Before the makeover, the kitchen was a lackluster space in desperate need of a spruce-up. Luckily, the wooden cabinets, white walls, and tile floor also made it a blank slate for Van Lierde's personalization.

Kitchen Makeover Storage Reveal with pot rack and shelves
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

2 The Big Reveal (Full of Storage Solutions)

After the transformation, the small room not only feels stylish enough for a food blogger's kitchen, but it's also packed with clever storage ideas. "Storage is such a never-ending problem with a smaller house!" Van Lierde explains. "Being a food blogger, I have a really abnormal amount of dishes, cookware, appliances, etc., so I knew the few cupboards we had weren't going to cut it! I also knew I wanted to display some of my nicer pieces and dishware that I have collected over the years. The first project we tackled after painting was the open shelf concept." By turning the blank wall into open shelving, she now has a space to show off her favorite pots, pans, and dishes. Continuing the trend, a pot rail on the small side wall holds kitchen essentials, while taking advantage of vertical space. To get the look in your own kitchen, take a peek at the blank walls in the room. That space over the stove is perfect for a pot rail, and the blank wall on the side could be just the right spot for open shelving.

Kitchen Makeover Cabinets Before
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

3 The Cabinets Before Their Transformation

Before getting a coat of fresh paint, the old wood cabinets were dating the space. The good news: a quick coat of paint is an inexpensive solution.

Kitchen Makeover After with plant and rug
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

4 The Power of Paint (And a Vintage Rug)

By using affordable fixes like paint, Van Lierde was able to keep the cost of the makeover low. In total, she reports spending less than $750 on the transformation—plus, she did it all within three months of moving into the space. "To be honest, the most expensive thing we bought was the vintage rug!" she says. "I have been wanting a vintage rug for FOREVER! I looked on Etsy, and all my favorite houseware brands for one, but ultimately discovered this gem at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market. It was rolled up in a pile, and I knew as soon as I pulled it out it would be the perfect fit!" Originally priced at $300, she haggled it down to $200. Now, the standout piece covers over the older tile floor in the room, making it an inexpensive solution for the rental floor she couldn't fix.

Kitchen Makeover Shelving with dishes
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

5 Tucking Storage into Every Nook

Taking advantage of every last inch in the room, Van Lierde not only maximizes space in the cabinets, but she even uses the top of the cabinets to stash glass serveware and pitchers she doesn't reach for too often.

Wood and Metal Shelving Unit with marble top
Credit: Elizabeth Van Lierde

6 Choose Storage You Can Take With You

In addition to the cabinets already in her rental, Van Lierde invested in storage pieces she could take with her when she moves to another home. This shelving unit provides another spot to store dishes and appliances, and when guests stop by, the beautiful marble top provides the perfect spot to set up a drink station or small buffet.