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/ Source: TODAY
By Julie Pennell

Kitchen upgrades can be costly and if you live in a rental, you’re usually stuck with what you have anyway.

But one renter in Hoboken, New Jersey, found a way to DIY her space to make it look and feel a little more designer. The best part? It’s landlord-approved because it’s temporary and it only cost her $200.

Regan thought the brown tiled backsplash and black countertops overcrowded the small space.Tersey Regan

Tersey Regan has lived in her apartment for around six years, but always hated the generic and bland kitchen, especially the green and brown mosaic tile backsplash and the black marble countertops which she said made the small kitchen feel overcrowded.

So, she got some contact paper and totally transformed the space.

Can you believe this is the same kitchen?Tersey Regan

Using about six $10 rolls of white marble contact paper, she covered the existing countertops. “I watched a ton of YouTube videos to educate myself on how to do it alone,” she told TODAY Home. “You also, not surprisingly, have to have a lot of patience to do this alone and not get frustrated when you need to redo a section a few times just to get it right.”

To help distract herself from her lack of patience, she downloaded a book on tape and listened to it as she made her upgrades. “It turned out to be a very fun afternoon!”

One of the things she suggested to others who are going to do this at home is to use a credit card to smooth out the air bubbles as you’re applying the contact paper.

Here's a shot of the kitchen after the subway tile backsplash was added, but before the marble contact paper on the countertops.Tersey Regan

For the backsplash, she went with a white faux subway tile design from Smart Tiles which cost her about $100.

“All in, this DIY kitchen upgrade cost me max $200, which to me was completely worth it,” she said. “The new look of the kitchen is literally night and day compared to how it initially looked.”

And, apparently, it’s holding up. Regan said she completed the project seven months ago and it’s still in great shape.

The kitchen feels bright and airy with the new countertops and backsplash.Tersey Regan

“People cannot believe it's the same kitchen,” she said. “It's now so much brighter, which makes the space look larger and more inviting.”

Her friends have loved the look so much, she’s even helped them do the same thing to their own kitchen and bathroom countertops. “I loved that I was able to inspire my friends, and even strangers who reached out via Instagram, to make changes to their own homes," she said. "I believe your home should be a true reflection of your personality and style.”

See more of Regan’s DIY projects on her blog.