11 Design Ideas for a Luxurious-Looking Kitchen on a Budget

11 Design Ideas for a Luxurious-Looking Kitchen on a Budget

Kitchen Remodeling
Kitchen
By Dikran Seferian June 20, 2022

Everyone loves a high-end kitchen. But in certain cases, a tight budget can stand in the way of obtaining one. Designing your dream kitchen with all the bells and whistles can be expensive, after all. There are, however, several measures you can take to achieve the luxe kitchen look without having to break the bank.

Whether you’re going for a complete kitchen makeover or a minor refresh, there can be a large gap between budget and expectation. Incorporating items that appear more luxurious than their price tag may suggest, however, will allow you to stay within budget without forgoing style. Fortunately, this trick applies to just about any element in kitchen design — from lighting to backsplashes, to flooring and countertops. 

1. Consider a Free-Standing Kitchen Island

If space permits, you can make your cooking space look more sophisticated with a free-standing kitchen island. These standalone units are more budget-friendly than their built-in counterparts, and can even provide a massive boost for storage — as well as additional room for seating. This luxury kitchen idea can also serve as an additional space for preparing food. And if you’re living in a rental where storage space is limited in the kitchen, a standalone island can be ideal; it is fully mobile which means you can take it with you should you move out in the future. 

2. Upgrade Kitchen Appliances

Many new kitchen appliance models often feature a modern and elegant design.

Many new kitchen appliance models often feature a modern and elegant design.

Are outdated appliances proving to reduce the aesthetic value of your kitchen? A brand new set of amenities can do wonders in giving the space a much-needed facelift. Many new models of kitchen appliances look more high-end than they actually cost. To make do until a complete kitchen renovation, consider switching out one big item such as the fridge. Refrigerators often have a major impact on the kitchen, so a new unit can elevate the whole space.

You can get the best deals on high-end kitchen appliances by looking for discounted floor models. Also, consider checking the “scratch and dent” section for units with minimal signs of wear; just make sure to inspect the appliance thoroughly before purchasing it. 

3. Invest in Vinyl or Laminate Flooring

Tiles with charming patterns are among the most popular choices for kitchen flooring. But if you’re on a budget, you may want to look into more affordable options such as vinyl and laminate. Not only are these two types of flooring easier on the wallet, but they can also mimic high-end varieties such as tile, stone, and hardwood. Vinyl and tile flooring are moreover hardwearing, making them ideal for busy spaces such as kitchens. Should you be looking into luxury kitchen ideas on a budget, these two flooring options may just be the solution you need.

4. Go for High-End Lighting

LED lighting is a great way to give your kitchen a high-end look without breaking the bank.

LED lighting is a great way to give your kitchen a high-end look without breaking the bank.

Outdated lighting fixtures are often among the first elements that give out a kitchen’s age. Try swapping out old pendant lights for modern options. For instance, you can add accent lights such as a sconce or two in strategic places. Another way you can get the expensive kitchen look is by installing led strips beneath cabinets. Lighting is one of the most affordable ways to revamp your cooking area, and picking the right fixtures will do wonders in achieving that high-end aesthetic. 

5. Install a Chic Yet Affordable Sink

The type of kitchen sink you opt for largely depends on the amount of space you have, and whether it works with the overall kitchen design. Sinks are normally fitted into an opening in the countertop, making them easier to install. Moreover, they are relatively affordable which can be ideal if you’re designing a luxe kitchen on a budget.

You have three main options when it comes to selecting a kitchen sink material: ceramic, stainless steel, and stone (or composite). While ceramic sinks tend to carry more of a vintage vibe, stainless steel has a sleeker appearance. Composite sinks, on the other hand, are available in a slew of gorgeous finishes to choose from. 

6. Choose Elegant Hardware for Cabinets

Copper handles can elevate an understated set of cabinets by adding a jolt of glamor.

Copper handles can elevate an understated set of cabinets by adding a jolt of glamor.

Cabinet hardware like hinges, knobs, and pulls are the jewelry of a kitchen. As with wearing a chic necklace, for instance, these accessories can be the sprinkle of glamor a kitchen needs. To give your cabinets an upgrade, try looking for handles made from luxurious materials such as copper or mother-of-pearl (also known as nacre).

Simply replacing the hardware can often be enough to elevate an understated set of cabinets. Should that be the case, make sure the handles you choose match the holes in your cabinetry — especially if you’re replacing the drawer pulls. Otherwise, you may need to drill new holes to be able to install the new hardware.

7. Try a Stylish Paint Color

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to transform a kitchen — or any other room, for that matter. The same concept applies to making a budget kitchen appear more lavish. Consider a timeless kitchen wall color such as a warm off-white tone. You can also add visual flair with a deep shade of blue-gray. If your kitchen features tiled walls and they look somewhat weathered, painting over them can be a much more cost-effective solution than replacing the tiles. The process of painting tiles is rather straightforward and can even be done as a DIY project.

8. Add Visual Interest With a Mosaic Backsplash 

The backsplash is a strategic place to add a “splash” of luxury to your kitchen.

The backsplash is a strategic place to add a “splash” of luxury to your kitchen.

An attractive mosaic backsplash can boost the visual appeal of the cooking space. Since backsplashes constitute a considerable portion of the kitchen wall, the impact they have is quite significant. Try creating an artisan look using hand-finished tiles and mixing in a few plain tiles with different shades like taupe, cream, and sage. You can then cover bigger portions of the wall with inexpensive tiles for contrast. Other options for backsplashes include glass and stainless steel. Not only are they easy to clean, but they also offer a sleek, luxurious aesthetic.  

9. Swap out the Countertop on a Budget

Countertops are among the first things that you’ll come across when browsing kitchen design inspirations. The right finish countertop will enhance the whole room's aesthetic value. Bear in mind that countertops are often the focal point of a kitchen. While granite and quartz units carry a hefty price tag, composites can mimic their opulent appearance at a much lower cost.

Another idea for a luxe kitchen on a budget is to mix and match countertop materials. For instance, you can pair a quartz countertop with a solid oak surface. This allows you to do most of the prep on the cheaper and more hard-wearing surface while injecting luxury with the expensive material. And it wouldn’t cost as much since you’d be installing the latter on only one surface. 

10. Opt for Sleek Window Treatments

Window treatments come in a variety of sleek designs, allowing you to create a high-end look in your kitchen.

Window treatments come in a variety of sleek designs, allowing you to create a high-end look in your kitchen.

Window treatments don’t need to be expensive to look good. Roller blinds, for instance, are a budget-friendly option that allows you to introduce a dash of color, pattern, and texture to your kitchen. This is especially true in a small kitchen since the blinds take up very little space. Shutters shouldn’t be out of budget, either. You can even find DIY-able options that cost a small fraction of those that you’d hire a professional to measure and install. Consider choosing a sleek design that looks and feels high-end without leaving a dent in your wallet. 

11. Create a Combination of Expensive and Cheap Finds

Another luxurious design idea for a new kitchen on a budget involves mixing and matching pricey and budget buys. Consider keeping the expensive items for areas where they can be in plain sight and double as features. For example, select a quality material such as granite for high-profile surfaces like the countertop or the backsplash. A statement pantry, on the other hand, can lend a bespoke aesthetic to your kitchen. Consider making a combination of open and closed kitchen storage. Open shelving, for instance, often costs a lot less and allows you to showcase your fancy earthenware.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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