Easy Kitchen Swaps That Really Make a Difference

The upgrades our editors swear by.

Photography by cody guilfoyle

Living in New York City means generally smaller spaces and a proclivity towards renting rather than buying—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means that large-scale renovations are often out of the question. It also means we’ve had to get creative when it comes to storage, organization, and even decor. But our struggles are your gain, and so without further ado, here are the simple changes team Domino made in the kitchen that completely changed the game.


Kristin Limoges, Associate Lifestyle Editor | Toaster Tongs, Crate & Barrel, $4.95

I’ve already mused on about my deep love for toaster tongs, and here I am again, musing on further. The usefulness of this less-than-$5 tool cannot be overstated. It makes my daily life with hot pieces of toast so much easier! And it does look really interesting—and dare I say, civilized, perhaps?—when propped beside the toaster in my kitchen. I feel like I get a lot of positive feedback on the brilliance of it. (Maybe it’s just me admiring it every day when I walk past it, though).

Alyssa Clough, Social Media Editor | DIY Open Shelves

What I really, really wanted in my kitchen was a few open shelves for more storage. I have so many ceramics, glassware, art, and baking supplies—I wanted that all out and on display. All the floating and bracketed shelves I saw at my favorite retailers cost so much money, so I decided early on I was going the DIY route, which makes them feel even more special. I bought pre-cut oak boards in the right dimensions for my wall space at Lowe's (for a total cost of $15) and simple, white brackets at Home Depot (again, for like $15).

I can't take all the DIY credit, though. My "Task Parents" (what they call themselves when they visit and help with home improvement tasks) hung them for me. I might be biased, but I think they are so perfect and the trouble it took to source the materials was well worth it.

Jessica Dailey, Digital Editorial Director | Wevet in Modern Emulsion, Farrow & Ball, $110 per gallon

Making a rental kitchen look good is no easy feat, but since my kitchen and living room share one big(ish) room, I needed to do something to make it look a little less dingy. I had considered installing a peel-and-stick white subway tile backsplash, but the layout of the kitchen didn’t quite work for the coverage I wanted. The solution? Paint. I covered the drab rental beige on the walls and ceiling with Farrow & Ball’s Wevet, a clean white with just a touch of gray. The modern emulsion finish is durable and washable, so I can easily wipe down any cooking splatters, no backsplash necessary. It’s like I have a brand new kitchen, and I hardly changed anything at all.

Tracy Cho, Executive Director of Marketing, Growth, and Analytics | Rebin, MoMa Design Store, $48

I confess: I do not cook, so I have a LOT of paper bags from deliveries. In a small effort to not create too much waste, I reuse them for garbage, but it’s really not pretty to look at, and the paper bags do not easily fit inside normal waste baskets, so this one is a game changer for me. It’s white. It’s light. It’s perfect.

Elly Leavitt, Associate Digital Editor | White Mesh Locker Shelf, The Container Store, $9.99

My rental is blessed with really tall, narrow kitchen cabinets that for whatever reason have no built-in shelves—which means there was always about 90 percent of the cabinet space that wasn’t being used. These mesh shelves have doubled my storage and were super affordable. For anyone looking to organize a tiny kitchen with minimal effort, they're definitely a must.

Nikhita Mahtani, Digital Editor | Fruit Bowl, Anthropologie, $98

Okay, yes, I know it’s a splurge, but an organized kitchen is super important to me. I’ve been blessed with a lot of storage space in my kitchen but not a lot of counter space, so often fruits or vegetables get tucked into the fridge or cupboards and I forget about them. I invested in this stylish bowl to store all my perishable ingredients where I can see them, and have it look good. Also, the size prevents me from overbuying, since I know how much I can actually fit in there.

See more tricks our editors swear by:
The Decor Decisions That Make Our Editors Proud
The Best Products to Organize a Tiny Bathroom
How Our Editors Make the Most of Their Small Space

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Published on April 29, 2018 - 5:05am EDT

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