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Small Changes That Made the Kitchen My Favorite Room in Our Apartment


About a year ago I watched It’s Complicated for the first time — it’s not necessarily considered a Nancy Meyers classic, but it’s become one of my favorites. One of the major reasons why is an unpaid, but not unappreciated actor: the kitchen.

While Jane Adler (Merryl Streep) deliberates over her new kitchen plans and sorts through life after divorce, I contemplate how I can capture even a sliver of her kitchen setup (while simultaneously wondering why she would ever change it).

So, how does one replicate some semblance of the charm of Santa Barbara in a kitchen with hardly any natural light and very little room to operate? I know as well as Jane does (and I’m sooo sorry for doing this to you all): it’s complicated.

(Yikes. Please keep reading, it only gets better from here.)

Shop Dining Nook Inspiration Below:

As a starting point, we moved on from the moody green that once made our kitchen feel like a dream. It was great for a season, but terrible for my seasonal depression. Lightening up the color was the first massive game changer that made this daydream start to become reality. This seemingly small adjustment made my other staples (lamps in the kitchen, open shelving, and our peel and stick floor tiles) come to life in a new way.

Next up was the wall mural, which we’ll dive deeper on in another post. This was the creative pop that set the tone for the rest of the kitchen by using our wall with the most natural light as an accent piece.

That brings us to our most recent changes, which focus on organization, and, of course, tying in the Nancy Meyers’ aesthetic in a major way. One of the most practical lessons I’ve learned since living in the city is that combining form and function is mandatory when decorating and organizing your home. I love pretty things, but when you’re counting square feet like spare change, you’ve got to dig deeper to find pretty things with purpose.

Shop Kitchen Counter Inspiration Below:

The star of the show for these updates is this beautiful rail for hanging pots and pans. I’ve wanted to have something like this for months, and now that it’s finally installed, I’m in love. Beyond that, we updated the lamp in the kitchen to add more color to the dark counter tops. (See the video transformation here!)

Lastly, I’ve started mixing and matching glassware a lot over the past year or so, collecting pieces I love over time. Instead of feeling like you have to stick to a uniform look of having the same collection of glassware all from the same place, pick and choose your favorite pieces and embrace a bit of eclecticism in your life.

I’ve linked all the pieces from this methodical kitchen update in the carousels above. I hope they inspire you and help brighten up your space!



PS – Click here to read more about how we changed our kitchen with renter-friendly peel & stick floor tiles!



• leave a comment •

  1. Jessie Patria says:

    Beautifully done! Where did you get the three smaller pictures you hung on the wall to the left of the stove?

  2. Melissa says:

    When I think I couldn’t love it more! Well done. Also, did you see her garden in the movie😍

    • Anna says:

      Thank you!!! I dream of that garden on the regular. Wondering if my next project should be turning my rooftop into one haha!

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