5 ways to make your kitchen look expensive — expert interior design tricks

Luxury kitchen with a central island unit and herringbone pattern wooden floor
(Image credit: Lusso)

You may wonder how you can make your kitchen look like it’s come straight off the pages of an interior magazine. Whether you’re looking to give it a premium feel for your own enjoyment, for when you entertain or if you’re planning on selling up, there are plenty of interior design tricks to upgrade your kitchen without investing in a complete remodel. 

We all know the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s a functional space used for food prep, but it also serves as an entertainment space, whether relaxing over the first morning coffee or chatting to friends as you prepare a meal. So, having a space that you love and looks sensational makes sense. It’s also good to know that a well-appointed kitchen is a top priority for buyers when selling a property. 

So, if you want to enhance the design appeal of your kitchen, here are 5 ways to make your kitchen look more expensive without spending a fortune.

1. Think bespoke 

Electric sockets in back of pull-out drawer in kitchen

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

One design trick to creating a show-stopping kitchen is to add bespoke elements. Mike Whitfield, interior expert at furniture and homeware company Lusso says, “Think beyond the standard off-the-shelf kitchen design by considering how you live in a space and what would make your life easier.

“Perhaps appliances on the worktop ruin your minimalist vibe, consider adding sockets to your cupboards so you can hide away unsightly kettles and toasters. If you have limited space but frequently have guests for dinner, built-in seating might be the best way to maximise your hosting capacity. These unique features don’t need to cost a lot. However, they immediately make your kitchen feel more considered and will elevate the experience of your space.”

And if you have pets, he has another idea, “You could repurpose a pot filler at the base of a counter to act as a bowl filler.”

2. Upgrade your hardware 

Kitchen cabinet handle on door

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

There’s nothing as satisfying as a quick swap to transform the whole aesthetic of a room scheme. In the kitchen, replacing the hardware is a cheap design hack that instantly shifts the aesthetic up a gear.

“Hardware with design interest will immediately make your kitchen feel more expensive,” says Whitfield. “Whether you are adding a pull bar, cup handle or door knob to your cabinets and drawers, go for something with a little added interest, whether it be a hammered, brushed, textured, matte or polished finish.”

In essence, the design is in the details. “Think of it as adding the finishing touches to an outfit — you want to complete the final details well as these can have the largest impact,” he adds.

To upgrade your cabinets try these contemporary cupboard and drawer pulls from Westablize, they have a knurled design and are available in gold, black, bronze and nickel, gold and black, and gold and grey (from $69 per 24 pack, Amazon).  

3. Avoid a mismatch of metals

Kitchen sink

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Elegance in the kitchen is about achieving a coherent look that isn’t interrupted by widely opposing elements. Although patterns are not off-limits, it’s best to reign in the quirkiness if you want a high-end aesthetic.

The same is true when choosing or replacing your hardware. “Consider coordinating your brassware throughout your kitchen to avoid risking a disjointed look,” says Whitfield, reminding you to include door handles and latches, adding. “Even the smallest of details can match with your wider appliances such as kitchen taps and sinks.”

Alternatively, he says you can choose to mix your metals but advises the metals should have opposing base colour tones to make the overall aesthetic intentional. 

4. Go for maximalist textures

White tiles laid in a herringbone style in a white kitchen

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Think beyond color in your kitchen and add interest with textures that create a lasting impression. Whitfield says, “If you are adding a marble countertop, opt for something with bold veining or a larger pattern. The marble itself becomes an art form for your kitchen.” 

If choosing a backsplash, he suggests selecting a finish with fluted tiles or a chevron pattern. It will add interest without creating a clutttered look. 

For a ceramic tile with added dimension, opt for this polished fluted Ivy Hill Tile, in Mawr White ($7 per sq ft, Home Depot). 

5. Keep it sleek — go for multi-functional appliances

Undersink workstation and a pot filler

(Image credit: Lusso)

A cluttered countertop can make even the most glamorous of kitchens look untidy. A chaotic kitchen takes your eye away from the beautiful design elements, so you only notice the disarray. However, one way of overcoming countertop clutter is to opt for clever, multi-functional appliances.

“It could be a four-in-one boiling water tap, meaning you no longer need a kettle as it offers instant boiling water. Or a kitchen sink with an undermount workstation, again reducing work surface clutter by having a built-in chopping board and colander,” suggests Whitfield. 

“Multi-functional products can be beautiful and practical, so you don’t need to compromise on style.”

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  

As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.