How to Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

Your kitchen is one of the most-used rooms of your home, so why not decorate it so that it's a place where you actually enjoy spending time? Keeping a few small strategies in mind will help you turn your food prep space into an expensive looking spot that you'll fully enjoy spending time in, even if you're simply preparing to run the dishwasher. Read on for eight tips to have in mind while you arrange and decorate.

  • 01 of 08

    Display Some Art

    Whittney Parkinson Design

    Whittney Parkinson Design

    "It makes the space feel thoughtful and like an extension of the rest of the home instead of 'just' a kitchen with cabinets, countertops, and appliances," designer Caroline Harvey says. Of course, you won't want to spend a ton on artwork that will be displayed in an inherently mess-prone area. Digital downloads that you can reprint or thrifted pieces are therefore smart choices for this heavily trafficked space.

    And why not go for a food or drink theme while you're at it? This can be done in a tasteful manner without looking cheesy (promise!). Search for vintage-inspired fruit prints or even frame menus from your favorite bars and restaurants from your travels. These simple touches will bring a smile to your face even while completing the most mundane cooking tasks.

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  • 02 of 08

    Think About Lighting

    Studio KT

    Tristan Thompson for Studio KT

    Harvey considers light fixtures to be "an easy and impactful way to make a kitchen feel more expensive" and says they're worth the splurge. "It is the one place I always tell my clients to spend their money—lighting makes a space! Large gold lantern pendants and chandeliers elevate kitchens from ho-hum to 'wow.'" Placing a small lamp on your countertop is also sweet—and functional. Mini lamps are having a major moment these days, and you can create a stylish vignette by placing one beside a stack of cookbooks.

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  • 03 of 08

    Arrange a Bar Station

    Tyler Karu kitchen

    Tyler Karu Interiors

    No longer is it acceptable to stash all of your alcohol and entertaining supplies on top of the fridge like you did during your college days. "A curated bar area is another way to make a kitchen look and feel upscale," Harvey explains. "There is something fancy about nice wine and liquor bottles, a crystal decanter, gorgeous stemware, and bar accessories."

    If you like to entertain frequently, designate a small drawer for special cocktail napkins, paper straws, coasters, and the like. Having these festive touches on hand will make even the most impromptu of happy hours feel a little more luxe.

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  • 04 of 08

    Mix Your Metals

    Mary Patton kitchen

    Mary Patton Design

    Give yourself permission to switch things up. "By mixing metals, such as stainless steel appliance with brushed brass plumbing fixtures, or black hardware with a great accent colored stove, gives your kitchen a curated feel instead of a store bought set feel," designer Blanche Garcia says. "Think [in terms of] fashion, you wouldn’t wear a matching set of earrings, necklace, and bracelet. This feels much more custom."

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  • 05 of 08

    Tackle Cabinet and Drawer Pulls

    Whittney Parkinson Design

    Whittney Parkinson Design

    This is a quick fix that will make a lasting impact. "Oversized cabinet pulls give weight to the space and immediately upgrade inexpensive cabinetry," Garcia says. Best of all, this is a renter friendly upgrade as well—just store the original pulls somewhere safe so that you can put them back prior to move-out. Then, when you're ready to move on from your current digs, pack up the hardware you purchased and bring it with you to your next place.

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  • 06 of 08

    Decant, Decant, Decant

    Jessica Nelson kitchen

    Carina Skrobecki Photography for Jessica Nelson Design

    Toss unsightly bags and boxes and decant items such as coffee grounds and cereal into aesthetically pleasing glass jars. Note: this setup won't just look pretty, it will also prevent, uh, critters from making their way into your snack stash (it happens to the best of us!). If you feel like going the extra mile, print out labels to keep track of exactly what you're placing in each jar. Organization has never felt so good.

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  • 07 of 08

    Keep the Space Clean

    Victoria Bell Design

    Victoria Bell Design

    A clean and maintained kitchen is an expensive looking kitchen. Don't let dirty dishes and plates pile up, go through your cabinets and part with chipped plates or cracked glassware, and stay on top of expiration dates for food and condiments. Even if your kitchen is small or part of a temporary space, treating it with a little love will work wonders in making the space shine.

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  • 08 of 08

    Upgrade Your Day-to-Day Products

    MStarr Design

    Becca Brendler for MStarr Design

    Pour dish soap into a chic dispenser so that you don't have to stare at a blah bottle with an uninspiring logo, replace raggedy dish towels with some fresh finds, and stop stashing utensils in that empty oatmeal jar once and for all. Treating yourself to aesthetically pleasing yet functional pieces will help your kitchen appear more sleek.