10 Budget Tips To Make Your Kitchen Look More Expensive

Transforming your kitchen into a space that looks more expensive does not always require a hefty budget. While some financial investments may be necessary, with thoughtful and strategic choices, you can elevate the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank. From subtle design tweaks to the incorporation of high-end materials, there are a wide range of options open to help you imagine a space that reflects sophistication and refinement.

Whether you are a seasoned decorator or an enthusiastic beginner, these tips and tricks will help you invest in creating a kitchen that reflects your exceptional taste.

Make Your Kitchen Look More Expensive

Enhancing the appearance of your kitchen can do more than just make it look better; it can also improve the way your room feels and functions. Choose ideas from among these that work for your space and budget. Integrating these design concepts with your own distinct tastes and aesthetics is the best way to proceed with updating your kitchen space.

Clean the Clutter


The first tip for improving the appearance of your kitchen is free; simply clean up and organize your kitchen space more efficiently. Clutter disrupts not only the visual harmony of your space, but also its functionality and atmosphere.

Removing unnecessary items from the kitchen’s countertops and floors allows the eye to focus on key design elements and specific focal points that you can create in the room, adding to the space’s sophistication. Fewer items on display will also make the room appear larger and more cohesive.

Change Out Your Hardware

Change Out Your Hardware
Elizabeth Lawson Design

Changing the hardware in the kitchen is an easy yet impactful way to improve the style of your kitchen. These elements can become worn and outdated over time. New hardware, including cabinet knobs, handles, faucets, and drawer pulls, plays a crucial role in defining the aesthetic of your kitchen. This choice can give your kitchen an instant visual upgrade; choose a hardware type that complements your kitchen design or one that pushes the style boundaries of the space.

Finishes like brass, gold, and nickel add brightness and a modern look. While the cost of hardware can be prohibitive, shop around for sales and less expensive options. You will also save money by completing this change yourself.

Choose Statement Lighting

Choose Statement Lighting
House Sprucing

Replace or add statement light fixtures for the most prominent area or areas of the room. Certain locations in the kitchen make the most visible statement in the style of the room. This can include over an island or above an eat-in dining space. Choosing statement pendant lights or a chandelier can completely change the look of the kitchen. It is also a good way to add lights that reflect your unique personality and style.

Adding more lights will not just enhance the appearance of the kitchen; it can increase its functionality by giving it more and better quality illumination for specific tasks like food prep, cooking, and eating.

Paint the Cabinets

Paint the Cabinets
haywoodmade interiors

If your kitchen has outdated cabinet doors but you are not ready to replace them yet, one option is to paint them a fresh and modern color. Choose a color that reflects the mood you want to convey, as the color of the cabinetry in the room has the greatest influence on the appearance of the kitchen. Dark colors give your kitchen a sophisticated and moody vibe, whereas bright or light colors instantly make it feel more open and airy.

Before you begin this project, make sure you have completed all of the necessary preparations, including educating yourself on the types and sheens of paint that you can use and best practices for achieving high-quality results.

Add Natural Decor Elements

Add Natural Decor Elements
Laura Engen Interior Design

Natural materials such as wood, stone, and leather add texture and warmth to the kitchen’s design. Incorporating natural decorations not only connects your indoor and outdoor spaces but also makes the inside appear more vibrant yet relaxed.

This means that displaying natural items such as stoneware and wooden cutting boards will contribute to a more visually interesting and warm space. Other items, like displayed houseplants, cut flowers, and woven textiles, allow you to personalize your kitchen with even more variety and color.

Include a Rug

Include a Rug
Best & Company

A rug can be a difficult proposition in a kitchen where food and debris are constantly present, but a single, well-placed rug can have a significant impact on the look and feel of the kitchen. Choose the rug’s location carefully; find a spot where it will be visible and/or add softness to a specific area, such as where people sit or to provide comfort while they prepare food. Many rugs come in vibrant colors that can complement the colors of walls and cabinets.

Look for a rug material that is both durable and easy to maintain; wool, for example, has the advantage of being both soft and durable. Many cotton rugs are made with flat weave techniques, which makes them less dense and easier to wash when necessary. You can also opt for rugs made of polypropylene, as they are durable and easy to scrub down when necessary.

Extend Cabinets to the Ceiling

Extend Cabinets to the Ceiling
Elizabeth Reich

By extending your cabinets to the ceiling, you may be able to change their appearance, even if you lack the budget for a full kitchen makeover. This increases storage capacity while also giving your kitchen cabinets a more custom look. Extending your cabinets to the ceiling has additional advantages: it eliminates the awkward space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling where dust and grime accumulate, giving your kitchen a larger and more expansive appearance.

If you have enough space to add another cabinet above your existing cabinets, this is the most versatile and appealing option. Trim and crown molding can extend your existing cabinets to the ceiling and give them a more finished look if they are near, but do not touch the ceiling.

Curate Countertop Items

Curate Countertop Items
Mitchell Wall Architecture and Design

One smart and deliberate way to improve the look of your kitchen is to display select countertop elements. When selecting your countertop decor, it is important to strike a balance between style and utility. Once you have decluttered your space, you can begin to add back.

One tip is to use a set of canisters to organize your food or to showcase items in groups on a tray, such as spices or cooking oils. Choose high-quality materials for your display, such as glass, marble, and select metal accents. For example, use a high-quality container for your dish soap and hand lotion instead of the plastic ones that come with them. Always designate spaces for the arrangement of cut flowers or greenery, and use the countertop to switch up seasonal displays such as fall foliage and fresh fruit.

Focus on the Windows

Focus on the Windows
Katie Emmons Design

Curtains are a great way to add texture, color, and privacy to the kitchen. Kitchen curtains can be more varied than curtains in bedrooms or bathrooms. Short curtains are possible in kitchen spaces; options like cafe curtains, Roman shades, and blinds can allow you to keep the style of the kitchen simple but elevate the look with quality materials like linen and heavy cotton.

Allowing in as much light as possible is usually the best strategy for a kitchen space, so heavy drapes are not usually a good choice. Yet, you can still dress your windows with custom-looking long panels that add height and elegance to the kitchen windows. Be sure to hang curtains above the window frame to visually heighten the appearance of the room.

Include a Section of Shelves

Include a Section of Shelves
Deniece Duscheone Design

Open kitchen shelves are a contentious topic in kitchen design. Many people appreciate their aesthetic appeal; others dislike them because they are less practical than closed cabinets, and items on display attract difficult-to-clean dust and grime.

Whether you are drawn to open shelves or not, shelves help to improve the appearance and function of the kitchen. Even a small section of tastefully arranged shelves can make an impressive visual impact in the room. A small shelf footprint will also help keep costs low.

For the most impact, select a shelf material that reflects quality and substance, such as solid hardwood or a natural stone like soapstone or marble. Display high-end or visually appealing items such as attractive cookware, cohesive dinnerware, sparkling glassware, solid wood cutting boards, and sculptural decor. Maintain an organized and consistent shelf to add sophistication to your kitchen. Add interest to shelves by strategically hanging small wall art and cutting greenery.

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