How to Create an Expensive Looking Kitchen on a Minimal Budget.

9 Tips to help you make the most of your kitchen budget so your kitchen looks anything but budget.

Putting in a new kitchen is a huge decision and even the most modest renovation is going to force you to dig deep. Here are some ideas of where to spend your budget to have the biggest impact, where you can make cut backs without compromising the design and how to style your new kitchen to impress.

Work with the space you have and concentrate on getting the best use of space
  1. Layout You may dream of an island but if your kitchen is too small, cramming one in will not only be an obstacle to work around but will also make the space looked cramped and less airy and luxurious. So my 1st top tip is get the layout of your kitchen perfect and appropriate to the space you have. If this is the top priority the rest should be relatively easy. ​

  1. Illusions and Trickery. Make a smaller kitchen feel bigger by raising everything off the floor and letting the eye travel from wall to wall. This tricks the eye as the floor finish continues under and gives the illusion of more space.

Floating units look bespoke and give an increased sense of space
Extend your floor finish under the cabinets for an uninterrupted view from wall to wall

The same can be achieved with off the shelf units if your budget doesn't stretch to bespoke or a carpenter to make alterations. Don't fit kickboards and instead fit with beautiful, slender furniture legs allowing views under the units and adding your own unique design.

  1. Height. Nothing makes a kitchen look cheaper than stingy height wall cabinets. Try to avoid this.

Chose the tallest eye level cabinets possible- extending up to the ceiling. It not only means that you cannot be tempted to store anything on top of them, making the space look cluttered but it also makes the ceilings look higher and the space more generous. Allow a minimum of 40cm from the worktop surface to the underside of the cabinets but this can be increased to 50/55cm if it means your cabinets sit closer to the ceiling. Don’t think the only option for wall cabinets is 60cm. Many off the shelf kitchen retailers have taller options too and not only will they look better but you will gain valuable extra storage space. Get height by taking your cabinets full height, to the ceiling.

  1. Make a Splash Knowing where to splash the cash is the key to success. The splashback is the opportunity to make your mark, you can be more adventurous here so don’t hold back. Although this is a very visual area, in terms of square meterage it is relatively small so even a difference of £25 a sqm makes minimal difference to the overall cost- so spend away and make an impact. This is a great chance to express your personality and the choice is limitless.

  1. Get a handle on it The easiest way to make your kitchen look cheap is to choose the wrong door handles. Add elegance by choosing something beautiful. Stainless steel and chrome have had their day. Go for antiqued metals such as copper, brass, gold and bronze or how about leather?

  1. Lighting Lighting is always important. I bang on about it all the time. In the kitchen it becomes even more important. Kitchens need lighting to perform a number of different functions. The first being task lighting. This is achieved by counter lighting which must be concealed. The second is mood lighting. Many of us use our kitchens to entertain and dine so you need to be able to create a mood. Fit spot lights which are angled to wash down the wall cabinets with a dimmer and have them on their own switch so the mood can be changed. Nothing says cheap kitchen more than a strip light and equally nothing says expensive kitchen more than a dramatically lit space. The last function of lighting is to add interest. Use light to highlight features in your home. Chose a triptic of pendent lights to highlight an island or breakfast bar or surprise your guests with a chandelier in the centre of the space- use this opportunity to add something at eye level to break up the space.

  1. Don’t be floored by your floor Flooring is going to eat a big chunk into your budget but there are a few clever tricks to make your affordable flooring choice look more expensive. If using a plank format tile/vinyl tile lay it on the diagonal, herringbone or parquet. In general, rectangular tiles look more expensive than square unless square are large format- 60cm+ in size.

Taps Splash out on your taps. Not only will it show visually but in general, you get what you pay for with taps. Don’t automatically go for Stainless steel/chrome. There is a huge range of choices becoming available. Be an early adopter and choose brass or copper to be at the forefront of fashion. Its less 80s polished brass and more antiqued, softer and cleaner lines making them equally at home in a modern new build or a period property with ornate features.

  1. Accessorise Add personal touches with carefully selected pictures and treasures but display them in an unusual way. Fit a shallow shelf to a bare wall or above a worksurface and prop pictures up. That way they can be easily updated when you find another treasure or the mood takes you. It’s also a great way to add colour if you aren’t brave enough to splash the paint.

For links to the original source of the above images plus more inspiration please take a look at my Pinterest Board

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