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15 low-cost tricks for a designer-style kitchen

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Kitchen revamps can become a costly affair if you don't watch your budget, but you shouldn't have to adjust your preferred aesthetic just to fit a financial framework. And now, you really don't have to! 

We've taken a look at how some kitchen planners have added designer touches and high-end finishes to projects in a bid to raise the profile significantly, and we think we've come up with a few sneaky and cost-effective ways to achieve similar results—for significantly less money. 

Nobody will think that you've 'cheaped out' or compromised your installation—if you follow these fantastic tips!

1. Use leftover pieces of worktop to add wall shelves.

You won't need to buy extra materials if you use your worktop offcuts, and floating wall shelves are so in right now, especially in kitchens!

2. Hang your utensils, don't put them in a drawer!

A simple metal rail won't cost you much at all, but it will be priceless in terms of displaying your utensils and keeping them close to hand while you cook. So chic.

3. Upcycle industrial light fixtures as kitchen pendulums.

Handleless Kitchen Finished In Farrow & Ball Downpipe Modern kitchen by Just Click Kitchens Modern MDF
Just Click Kitchens

Handleless Kitchen Finished In Farrow & Ball Downpipe

Just Click Kitchens

You can pick up some super cheap industrial light shades from thrift stores, and all they need is a little spritz with some spray paint to look amazing! Hang them as pendulums and they'll really dazzle.

4. Install hooks on the reverse of your cabinet doors.

To really capture that designer kitchen look, you need to embrace a clutter-free style, which is why adding extra hidden storage is key! Hooks on the back of cabinet doors will allow you to hang towels and cleaning products with ease and out of sight!

5. A small island will still be a luxury touch!

Don't think that you need to have a huge island in order to make a seriously luxurious addition to your kitchen, as even a tiny one will have that effect! It'll be a lot more cost-effective as well.

6. Use matte paint to update a cruet set.

Old cruet sets can really drag a counter down, but give them a coat of matte paint and suddenly, they look totally fresh and contemporary! Matte finishes are considered to be really chic right now.

7. An area rug will instantly lift the kitchen.

A vintage rug will make a kitchen floor look so much more stylish, but make sure that you really stick it down with some gripper tape! The last thing you want to do is trip over a corner when you're carrying something hot.

8. Bare bulbs will look contemporary and save you money!

If you want to hone in on a really cost-effective tip that will instantly add some designer flair, you need to get rid of your light shades altogether! So minimalist and modern!

9. A few new tiles will make for a terrific splashback.

To create a designer splashback, all you need is a box of eye-catching tiles that you love and a free weekend. This monochrome installation looks so incredible!

10. Bare brick walls add stunning rustic flavour.

Gallery House on Richmond Park Modern kitchen by Elemental Architecture Modern
Elemental Architecture

Gallery House on Richmond Park

Elemental Architecture

If you don't fancy stripping plaster off your walls, you can still get the bare brick look, with feature wallpaper. You won't believe how realistic it can look and what a difference it will make!

11. Get the look of marble for a fraction of the cost, with granite worktops.

Marble worktops are beautiful and add instant luxury, but they have a hefty price tag attached to them too. You can get all the glamour of marble with gorgeous granite and for a fraction of the cost.

12. Spray painting the inside of light shades makes for a fantastic burst of colour.

Minimalist White Kitchen with Warm Accents Minimalist kitchen by homify Minimalist Solid Wood Multicolored

Minimalist White Kitchen with Warm Accents


Copper and bronze elements are really fashionable right now, and you can tap into the trend by spray-painting the inside of your light shades! The bulbs will radiate out the warm metallic tones too. 

13. Don't rip out your whole kitchen, simply change the cupboard and drawer fronts!

Mr & Mrs McD, Pyrford Classic style kitchen by Raycross Interiors Classic
Raycross Interiors

Mr & Mrs McD, Pyrford

Raycross Interiors

The carcasses of your kitchen cabinets will most likely be standard sizes, which means that you can simply buy new doors and drawer fronts, when you feel your existing installation is looking a little tired. Everyone will think that you splashed out on a whole new designer kitchen!

14. Painting your window frames in a bold colour will add life!

Light Grey Hand Painted Kitchen Classic style kitchen by Verdi Kitchens Classic Solid Wood Multicolored
Verdi Kitchens

Light Grey Hand Painted Kitchen

Verdi Kitchens

If you love your kitchen as it is, but want to inject a subtle splash of designer chic, you have to consider painting your window frames and architrave in a contrasting colour! It's a real designer tip!

15. If you enjoy woodwork, how about making some textural doors yourself?

Grab your router and see what patterns and effects you can create on some plain wood doors, as that will guarantee you a totally unique and bespoke kitchen, which always looks expensive!

For more great kitchen inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 12 kitchens that would look fantastic in any house.

Which tips could you see working wonders for your kitchen?
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