Project Apartment: Kitchen Makeover Reveal

Project Apartment: Kitchen Makeover Reveal

GUYS. Here I am totally pumped/psyched/in-hyper-drive to do my kitchen reveal. You can see the full before here, what I didn’t like about the space and what I wanted to do. But for now, I’m going to just show you the pictures BECAUSE I’M DYING FOR YOU TO SEE THEM.

I photographed this over a few days so there’s a plant I changed here and there so don’t freak out if you see a couple of things swapped. It’s all under control. 

Full resource list at the end of the post.

Unlike my bedroom that I wanted to have a moody, dramatic vibe, I wanted this to be a bright, cheerful, pumping-with-color space (because it’s shared with the living room). I hated the drastically open layout and the fact that it was always in my face and after trying to ‘hide’ it in some way and failing, I decided to embrace it and make it part of the whole setup.

Just for fun, here’s the before.

And here’s the after.

One more, before.

And one more, after.

What do you think? (hand over heart). I LOVE IT. Let’s talk through it a bit.

Although not completely a lost case but I didn’t like the dark cabinets or the counter-top. It was too dark and giving me mood swings. Painting was out of question because the landlord wouldn’t have been able to deal with it so I completely contact-papered the hell out of it. And it worked.

After doing the cabinets and the counter, the refrigerator started asking for a makeover (I swear). And so we discussed it’s future for a bit and then duct-taped it – easy to do, easy to remove. I really feel this became the statement piece of the room.

The backsplash was a sad beige and while I would have ideally painted it white, this was tile and there was no going back after doing that so I decided to do artwork all along it and draw focus away.

I found these amazing food illustrations by Sara Zin and they went super perfectly with the kitchen while being something fun to look at from the living room. She has a ton of such illustrations and also sells them online; purchase link right at the end. (I’m going to talk about these next week in more detail, by the way). I love them.

Because the counter space is super limited, I’ve kept all my regular essentials on top and the rest I completely shoved into the cabinets. I wanted some styling but also not so much that it all end up in a mad chaos if I ever tried cooking (I said, tried).

I always have my glasses out next to the sink because they’re used so frequently. I picked up these retro-esque ones just a few days ago and currently crushing on them. Drinking water has never been so fun.

This apartment has really limited space and we had a lot of books from our last place that had no place to go suddenly when we moved in here. So we stacked them one day above the kitchen cabinets to get them out the way and then both N and I looked at them a couple of days later and said, those look good, they’re staying there. Happy accident.

I bought this cabinet second-hand when I realised I needed more storage. This was a really dark brown and since I was feeling happy vibes inside my brain, I revamped this too. Initially I had a crazy pattern picked out for it (and even painted it another color once) but after the refrigerator I felt things needed to be subtle so I decided it had to be kept minimal.

But I didn’t want all white as well, so I turned to these pom-poms (pom-poms are the answer to everything, remember that) and they made me happy.

I did a mix so the cabinet would stay minimal but have bursts of color to break the white.

DIY-ed most of these pots.

We got these colorful knives a while back since our regular ones died. But they had a really tacky stand so I just shoved them in the old one I had. And while there are empty slots, I’m keeping it this way because imperfect is also pretty great sometimes.

Nearly all plants from Dubai Garden Centre by the way, never forget that. Guys, their plants are so insane, how do I explain this to you? I love them.

To break up the pom-poms, I also did a leaf tassel by the way.

And that is ALL. Let’s have a look one more time?

This was the before.

And this is the after.

Now tell me your thoughts. WAITING LIKE A PSYCHO.

Resources: Rug: IKEA; Plants: Dubai Garden Centre; Food Illustrations: Sara Zin; Contact Paper: Ace Hardware; Tea Tins: IKEA; Mugs: Alfatah Lahore; Glasses: Home Centre; Green Mug: Warehouse; Plates: H&M Home; Soap Dispensers: H&M Home; Duct Tape: Ace Hardware; Sideboard/Cabinet: Dubizzle; Knives: Ace Hardware


  1. Ok I havent commented ever before even though Ive been reading your blog since the beginning and I have to say Im not even sure if you are real. This is beyond amazing. Im floored. Completely speechless. I love you and your blog wayyy too much. God bless you.

  2. OMG ! I absolutely love everything in it. A brilliant makeover, I must say. That kitchen looks amazing. πŸ™‚

  3. My mom, who is not even that tech savvy just called me up to tell me that Shehzeens kitchen reveal is up! :p

    The kitchen looks amazing. Honestly when I saw the before I wasn't sure what you would do with it. Since you couldn't change much. But oh my. I want to live in your house!

  4. Omg Shahzeen..
    This is super ammazing. No one would've believed this to be the after if you wouldn't hve shown the before pic.
    But seriously.. You work magic.
    Love it.
    The whites make everythin pop. Love the refrigerator.. Hard work done there..

    The other side The pom poms just toooo goood.


  5. Looooooooove it!!!!!!!! Every single thing is absolutely perfect!!! I wish we had contact paper available in khi, but sadly even the big art stores don't know anything about it…

  6. Looooooooove it!!!!! Every little thing is absolutely perfect!!!!! I love contact paper but sadly it's not available in khi, even the big art stores have no idea about it….

  7. The fridge is everything. Do a tutorial please!

    – Mahnoor

  8. I LOVE the bright kitchen accents! So so so so amazing. It is light and airy and fun and sigh now I just want to squeeze lemons (no innuendo intended)

  9. Unbelievable. Literally the work of a genius. Dww you are truly gifted

  10. We are about to buy a house Alhumdulillah and we have a black fridge and brown cabinets. This blog of its has provided me with the ideas of changing the look of my kitchen to be IA thanks for sharing so excited for duct taping my fridge too! πŸ˜€ will send you pics in like 4 months when we move in to our new place IA plus need details on the Pom poms did u make em or buy em?

  11. Absolutely love the kitchen makeover πŸ™‚

  12. I'm gonna say exactly what Huma said… Are you for real?

    Question: What kinda paper (or whatever it is) did you use for the counters and how will you keep them clean?

  13. The kitchen looks awesome..

    but some pics are loading..some aren't..i have tried a few browsers..some are loading perfectly so i don't know if its a problem of the format or some attachment link or something..

    again…awesome transformation of the kitchen


  14. I'm crushing over this place. I'm sucker for such minimal indoors and you are the ultimate genius. Totally blown away.

  15. Completely mind blown. Shakes can't wait to see it live. I think cabinet has my emotionalities most out of all the elements. But it is a kickass overhaul.

  16. Author

    Huma: Thank you! And loveee commments from long time readers πŸ˜€

    Sumaica: Thank you soooo much (k)

    Anon: Haha, oh man, totally love your mom!

    Kashmala: You're way too sweet! Love your feedback.

    Rabiah: That sucks I know! Contact paper can do so much, wish someone would start stocking it. Try ordering online if you ever get too desperate? Haha. Thanks so much!

  17. Author

    Mahnoor: Thank you! I love the fridge the most too. Definitely going to talk through it πŸ™‚ It's INSANELY easy.

    Atiya: Hahaha. Thank you, loveeee your feedback!

    Maham: Thnaks mayhemmmm πŸ˜€

    Mikster: I love you!

    Najma: Thanks mummmayyyy

  18. Author

    Mrs. K: Wow, congratulations and mashallah! Having your own place is always such a rewarding experience. Lots of luck with setting it up. And the pom-poms I made myself, I'll talk through them a bit soon πŸ™‚

    Fareeseh: Thank you Fareeseh! So happy you loved it!

    Amo: THANK YOU SO MUCH! Haha. It's contact paper (I'll explain it in a post soon) and it's super wipe-friendly so it's no problem at all keeping it clean. πŸ™‚

    Unknown: Sucks that you can't see all πŸ™ But thank you so much for loving whatever you could see πŸ™‚

    Sania: Thank you! πŸ™‚

    Sidra: Love that you love it! πŸ˜€ Makes me feel all giddy and happy so thank youuu.

  19. Good Work.. a lot of people have ideas but only a few like you can implement them! Amazing makeover

  20. Sigh… again not all photos loaded but amazing kitchen makeover! The white really helped brighten up the place and make everything pop!
    How did you do the counter?

  21. Books in the kitchen? No thanks. Totally lame. Sorry.

  22. Absolutely love this! So inspiring what you've done with a rental. And here I've done zilch to my own apartment in 6 years. You should put your creativity out for hire!

  23. have you used, contact paper before? i alsousedit in my last apartment, but when we were moving, we had to take out the paper and.. dont ask, what adisaster it was! the sticky surface wont clean πŸ™ and we had to py for the counter πŸ™
    i really wanna changemy kitchen cabinet look, but too scared to use contact paper , n being a rental, obviously no paint.. what to do?

    1. Author

      Hi. Not sure what brand you used but I've used this one before and it comes off very clean, with no residue πŸ™‚ I bought it from Ace Hardware.

  24. Beautiful makeover! Do you have any tips for getting the contact paper to stick to your cabinets? I'm having trouble along the edges of my cabinets. Thanks!

    1. Author

      Thanks Jess! For the edges, I cut a tiny slit with a paper cutter where the paper would fold over, so it folds like the lid of a box would? I don't know if you can understand what I said πŸ˜›

  25. Amazing…..
    And Refrigerator….OMG
    Is it really duct tape????
    How did you think about it??
    I don't like my refrigerator and have been thinking to do something with that from ages now:) your idea is mind blowing….gonna stealth it:)

  26. hey …. just checking out your blog … where is the dispenser gone in after pictures ?

    also i am looking to buy contact paper for my side table DIY project and cant find it … any other shop other than ACE Hardware that i can look into….

    ACE Hardware is not in Bahrain … but both dubai and bahrain share more or less same shops including the dragon mart … so was wondering …

  27. You have got an awesome eye for great decor that is modern,Β thanks for sharing with us. totally inspiring.

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