13 Design Ideas to Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

Get the kitchen of your dreams, even on a budget.

Clear off the fridge

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Photographs can add a sweet touch of nostalgia to your space, but a fridge that’s plastered with magnets and mementos looks chaotic. If you’re not ready to part with all your refrigerator art, pick just a few favorite photos to hang in a line with simple magnets for a more streamlined look. (Related: Here are more organizing mistakes that make your kitchen look sloppy.)

Swap out your hardware

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For a quick update, replace your old cabinet and drawer pulls with all new hardware. Add interest by using different designs for drawer pulls and cabinet knobs, but make sure to stick with the same finish for a streamlined look. (Related: Read these other simple upgrades that make your home look expensive.)

Pick a new faucet

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With all the great designs on the market, there’s no excuse to settle on a boring faucet. Pick a sleek one in the same finish as your cabinet hardware to immediately add an expensive-looking touch to your sink. (Pssst: Here's what house guests really notice about your home.)

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Invest in great lighting

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One of the first things people do when they step into a kitchen is take a look at the lights on the ceiling. If yours is outdated or just plain boring, get your hands on a gorgeous light fixture. Pick one that reflects your personality, whether it’s a classic chandelier or a line of modern spherical lamps. (Related: This is what interior designers notice about your home.)

Go for stainless steel

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Even if you can’t afford all-new appliances, you can get the look of stainless steel with the ones you already have. Coat your fridge or dishwasher with a stainless steel finish for a high-end look that doesn’t cost much.

Hang beautiful art

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Kitchens might feel utilitarian, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from adding fun touches like a stunning work of art. No need to stick with same-old-same-old still life paintings of fruits—feel free to hang up any tapestries, landscapes, or abstract works that speak to you. Don't make these common mistakes when hanging pictures.

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Stick with light colors

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Light colors reflect more light, making the whole room appear bigger and brighter. Go for white cabinets and walls to trick the eye into thinking your kitchen is larger—and more expensive—than it is.

Get rid of clutter

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When you think “expensive,” you never think “messy,” but the kitchen can easily become a hoarding ground for mail, files, and bags. Find a permanent spot for as much as you can (and make sure it gets back to that home every day), and corral come-and-go items like mail and your kids’ schoolwork in a decorative basket to keep them contained. Don't miss these daily habits of clutter-free people.

Tuck away appliances

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Leave out the items you use every day, like the toaster and coffee maker, but find another home for the ones you use less often. No matter how annoying you think it will be to lug out your stand mixer once a month, it will pay off with your clear, clutter-free counter. Click here for more tips to make your counter clutter-free.

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Get your hands on potted plants

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Scattering a couple plants in your kitchen will add a pop of natural color to your space and make it look like you put effort into the décor. As a bonus, you can use those herbs on your windowsill to add the fresh flavor to your recipes. Start with these tips for growing indoor plants.

Add a rug

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Give your floors the attention they deserve by laying down a funky rug to dress up the space. Unless your cooking gets messy, you can probably get away with any design you want, but stick with an easy-to-clean outdoor rug if you expect lots of spills.

Find cool stools

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If you have an island or bar in your kitchen, the stools you choose are a great opportunity to add visual interest to your kitchen. Hunt for unique ones that are sure to garner compliments. Even if you don’t have counter space calling for a stool, tuck a small seat in a corner to create a fun, unexpected sitting space.

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Update your cabinets

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If your cabinets are looking dinged and dull from everyday wear and tear, don’t call a remodeler just yet. Replace just the fronts of your cabinets, or sand and stain the ones you already have to freshen up your kitchen’s look and hide any cheap-looking scuffs. (Related: Check out these tips for keeping pots and pans organized in your cabinets.)

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