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11 nifty tricks to make your kitchen look more expensive

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Coastal Retreat Classic style kitchen by ADORNAS KITCHENS Classic
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If you could give your kitchen a designer upgrade for a fraction of the expected cost, you'd want to know how, right? Well you're in luck, as we are going to let you in on all those fantastic professional kitchen planner secrets that result in incredible, covetable cooking spaces that not only stand the test of time, but also look intensely expensive whilst doing so! The key, as with most home decorating ideas, is to stick to simple but impactful additions, in small numbers, as apposed to simply drowning out stylish choices with a wealth of silly little accents, but don't just take our word for it! Come with us now as we show you exactly how to get that chic designer look for a whole lot less and then, start planning your secret kitchen overhaul!

1. Make an island the star!

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones Classic style kitchen by Harvey Jones Kitchens Classic
Harvey Jones Kitchens

Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones Kitchens

If you really can't afford a super expensive kitchen, make the most of a central feature, such as an island. By drawing all eyes to one piece of furniture, you can go all out with the fancy touches there and simply leave the rest of the room a little more understated.

2. Dark cabinets look so elegant.

The Cheshire Townhouse Kitchen by deVOL: rustic  by deVOL Kitchens, Rustic Wood Wood effect
deVOL Kitchens

The Cheshire Townhouse Kitchen by deVOL

deVOL Kitchens

Painting your old kitchen cabinets in a super matte and dark colour will always make them look fantastically more expensive and contemporary than they actually are! Ultra dark grey is THE colour right now and just look at how beautiful it looks in this example!

3. Get some great dining chairs.

kitchen : classic  by MN Design, Classic
MN Design


MN Design

If you have an integrated dining area in your kitchen, try to go a little more fancy with your chair choices! Most people will look to blow the budget on the table itself, thus negating the chairs, but if you do things the other way around, you'll make a much more impressive statement!

4. Wood veneer works well!

Mr & Mrs Moreton's Kitchen Classic style kitchen by Room Classic Granite

Mr & Mrs Moreton's Kitchen


When you want the look of solid wood, but your bank account simply can't make it happen, wood veneer is a fantastic option! Nobody in their right mind will be thoroughly inspecting your new doors, to see if they are solid wood or not and we don't think you'll be able to tell the difference on sight alone!

5. Experiment with wallpaper.

Bespoke Map Wallpaper Kitchen Splashback Design Modern kitchen by Wallpapered Modern

Bespoke Map Wallpaper Kitchen Splashback Design


These days, you can get some seriously beautiful kitchen and bathroom-specific wallpapers, which are well equipped to deal with moisture and wow, do they create effortlessly stylish and upmarket feature walls in a space! There are even metallic papers and they REALLY take things up a notch.

6. Pendant lights are perfect.

Inset ceiling lights are functional, modern and pretty, but if you want to add some real style to your kitchen that insinuates that you've spent more than you have, you NEED some pendant lamps. Above an island, they offer targeted ambient lighting and look so designer.

7. Use fabulous tiles.

Vibrant Aqua tiles with Porcelain Cabinets Classic style kitchen by ADORNAS KITCHENS Classic Ceramic

Vibrant Aqua tiles with Porcelain Cabinets


If you're going to use tiles somewhere in your kitchen, don't simply plump for the cheap plain white square ones that everybody does! Visit a couple of tile warehouses and see what you can find on offer and take your exact measurements, as you might find a stash of heavily reduced luxury tiles, that will fit your walls perfectly!

8. A stunning splashback can be all you need.

If you liked the tile idea but know that you aren't planning to use any, you can apply the same rule to your splashbacks! Glass splashbacks are cost-effective to buy and easy to customise, if you go direct to a glass manufacturer, instead of through a kitchen planner. You'll get the designer,made-to-measure item you want, for a fraction of the expected price!

9. New cabinet doors add instant charm.

If it's just the doors in your kitchen that are letting the side down a bit, as they've become tatty or dated, why not just replace them? Keep your existing carcasses and don't touch the worktop, as these are the pricey things to re-fit, but swapping out your doors will be very cheap in comparison and look like a whole new kitchen! As an extra tip, oil your wooden worktops, to make surface scratches disappear and the colour revive!

10. Invest in new handles too.

Don't go swapping out some kitchen doors and leaving naff old handles in place, as that will always give the game away in terms of budget upgrade attempts! If you're going to invest in new handles, we recommend something along the lines of brushed aluminium varieties, that look contemporary.

11. Accessorise simply but stylishly.

minimalist  by TU LAS, Minimalist Wood Wood effect

TU LAS model B wine and glass rack | pear wood


Finally, to really finish off your deceptively cost-effective but expensive-looking 'new' kitchen, a few very simple but elegant accessories are a must. Clever touches, such as this wine display shelf, look so cool and as though they must have cost a fortune, but you'd be surprised at what you can find for very little money these days, thanks to the internet!

For a little more kitchen inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Ideas for an organised kitchen.

Are you going to try any of these ideas in your kitchen now?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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