Styling Our Rental Kitchen Two Ways : Color vs Neutrals

When we moved into our rental in January, we’ve always known it was temporary.  While we count down the days until Our Austin Casa is complete, we’ve been settling in and making our current digs feel as much like home as possible, without investing too much in a space that we know isn’t for forever.  (We aren’t even hanging curtains or art here because I just can’t justify it for 5 months and hours spent patching holes and touching up paint.)  As Aaron and I slowly select a piece here and there that we know we’ll use in our new space too, I’ve been obsessing over how such small styling pieces can make such a big difference in a space.  Aaron is much more pro-color than I am.  I could live happily ever after in layers of textured whites and grays with muted blush, green or blue tones.  Meanwhile we’ll be at store and he’ll point out a bright orange velvet pillow that he thinks is cool.  (Thank goodness we’re both pretty good at finding a happy compromise!) I thought it would be fun to scrap everything in our rental kitchen and re-style it two ways: first with bright, bold pops of color and secondly in my favorite neutral and wood tones with live plants to pull it all together.  Which is your favorite rental kitchen scenario?! (You already know mine!)


After || Neutrals:

After || Color:

Photography by Katie Jameson

  1. Whats the Price for the Stools and how long for del inn Aus

  2. Stephanie


    Live the bar Stools! Where from?

  3. Kajsa nielson


    Hi, i am eanting to buy these west elmbarstools! Wondering if you still like them? How do they hold up to food spills, scratches etc? Thnx so much!!

    • Jen Pinkston


      Hi Kajsa! We love them! Like any real leather product, it’s definitely not indestructible. It shows some wear– especially the one that Parker sits in, but not in a bad way. I always think the way leather wears just makes it looks that much more lived in, in a good way.

  4. Vivian


    Love both! But I’m a neutral girl too! Please tell me where the counter stools are from?

    • Jen Pinkston


      They’re from West Elm and we adore them!! They’re probably the most comfortable bar stools ever!

  5. Hi Jen. Love your blog, your style, your positive, upbeat tempo!
    I’m in ATX…looking for a rental about the time (I think) you’ll be leaving yours.
    If you don’t mind, I’d love to know where you’ve rented.

    Feel free to email me at


  6. Shawnda


    While the neutrals are pretty, the colorful option is more happy and fun. That neutral palette would be great for a restful bedroom, but for a kitchen, I have to say that I like the colorful option better.

  7. I liked the neutrals. However, I would love to see it styled with different pops of color. The colors you picked seemed more tropical and didn’t really go with the dark cabinets. It would be interesting to see with primary colors.

  8. Caleigh


    I can see why you love neutrals, everything looks so put together & calm. I love that too, but there’s something amazing about a colourful, cheerful kitchen (when done right). I love colour, I’m so glad the stark white look is going away, it reminded me way too much of mental health wards. Obviously I love how you styled both the neutrals and the colours!

    • Jen Pinkston


      Yes, that’s so true! The color is awfully cheery 🙂

  9. Jennifer Callahan


    I’m a neutral girl so I was all about that until I saw the color; stunning. Very well done.

  10. One word LOVE xx

  11. I love the neutral but there are definitely some elements that I love in the coloured one as well! Maybe you can add some of the coloured elements to the neutral one that happens to go?

    xx Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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