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7 Affordable Hacks to Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

Kitchen remodels are notoriously expensive, and you may be loathe to invest that much in a space that’s already functional (if not as pretty as you’d like). However, there are some pretty simple hacks you can do to make your kitchen feel fresher and look more spendy without saving up paychecks for months.

In fact, if you put together a couple ideas from this list, you could easily do a mini-makeover in your kitchen in a weekend. Think creatively, clear away the clutter, and get a classier kitchen ASAP with these 7 ideas.

Replace Dated Lighting

The color of this chandelier really makes it feel modern and special
The color of this chandelier really makes it feel modern and special

It’s amazing how much a great new chandelier or pendant fixture can change up a kitchen’s whole feel. Not only will you have a brighter (or softer) light (either extreme is terrible in a kitchen, so make sure your wattage is appropriate), but it serves as a focal piece as well.

This contemporary kitchen gets a boost from a modern chandelier
This contemporary kitchen gets a boost from a modern chandelier

Chandeliers can work with a wider variety of styles and decor than you might suspect at first, including ultra-modern kitchens.

Swap Your Accessories for Monochrome

By keeping the accessories within a range of tones, this kitchen feels fresh
By keeping the accessories within a range of tones, this kitchen feels fresh

White is the easiest color to go monochrome with, as you can mix all sorts of shades together, from butter to cream to bright white, and they will all blend well, as in this kitchen via Thistlewood Farms. Choose simple pieces with interesting shapes, and keep lettering to a minimum to achieve the look of tasteful busyness.

Change Up (Just) Your Cabinets

Imagine another set of cabinet fronts instead of the red here and you'll realize how much they change the feel of this kitchen
Imagine another set of cabinet fronts instead of the red here and you’ll realize how much they change the feel of this kitchen

If you replace the fronts of your cabinets, you might not need to redo a whole kitchen at all, and if you pick something bold, like the red drawer faces above, your kitchen will look both more interesting and more luxe at the same time.

Add Color and Style with Trays

You can find vintage trays like these on Ebay or Etsy and spray-paint them to coordinate
You can find vintage trays like these on Ebay or Etsy and spray-paint them to coordinate

You can bring color and pattern into a blah kitchen by lining trays against the backsplashes (or using temporary 3M hooks to give them a place to lean on a plain wall). And of course, you can always paint a wall and add trays that are more about shape than color to add interest, like those above.

Freshen Your Floors with a Colorful Rug

This rug really ties the room together
This rug really ties the room together

Unless you have a very, very busy and messy kitchen, there’s no reason an oriental rug can’t class up this room as it does others.

This rug makes a tight kitchen space seem purposeful and cozy
This rug makes a tight kitchen space seem purposeful and cozy

If you aren’t into a vintage-style rug, this option from FLOR, using rug tiles that you can adjust to your exact size specifications, would be ideal for a tight spot or oddly shaped area.

Art: Go Large

Large art is unexpected in a kitchen
Large art is unexpected in a kitchen

Fine art has become a popular kitchen trend, but multiple pieces and a collection of frames don’t run cheap. For greater drama and impact, choose one large piece of art—it will transform the room, whether you go with pop art, an impressionist painting, or a giant portrait.

Paint Your Cabinet Interiors

This bright blue was coordinated with existing colorful dishes for impact and fun
This bright blue was coordinated with existing colorful dishes for impact and fun

This tactic is ideal for cabinets with glass fronts or no fronts (you could consider removing your cabinet fronts and painting the interiors if you want a new look for a very low cost and just a bit of labor).

This romantic sea-green color makes the cream surrounding it look crisper and cleaner
This romantic sea-green color makes the cream surrounding it look crisper and cleaner

Painting cabinet interiors is fresh, pretty, and highlights whatever shapes are placed in front of the color, so get creative with some of the shelves’ contents for dramatic effect.

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