This kitchen was given a complete luxury transformation for £300 using paint and gold leaf

You wouldn't know it was the same kitchen

green kitchen with gold leaf splash back and kitchen table with bar stools
(Image credit: Bland Design)

Contrary to popular belief, a luxury-look kitchen doesn't have to mean you need a large kitchen. In fact, you can get some amazing results with small kitchen ideas. It's all about the materials you choose, factoring in good storage and being brave with your design. From beautiful stone worktops to bespoke cabinetry and quality fittings, taking time to consider your decor is something to do right from the start if you want to achieve the best results and it's well worth looking at some of the kitchen trends for 2024.

If, however, your budget doesn't stretch to some of the more costly finishes, why not take some inspiration from this kitchen makeover, which has been treated to a luxury look at a fraction of the price…

Luxury painted kitchen makeover

Gold leaf and mural expert, Daniel Bland,@bland_design.on Instagram, decided to update his kitchen himself and the results are incredible – it looks like a totally different room. The best part is that the new kitchen looks expensive, but has actually been achieved on a budget.

'If finances are tight but you hope to add a little luxury to your space then don’t feel confined to opting for more basic and budget schemes,' he says. 'You don’t have to be a thrifting expert or furniture upcycling guru. With a little imagination and imitation achieving a luxe look is available to one and all. The key is knowing where to spend and where to make savings.

'For example, worktops and splashbacks in a kitchen offer a big impact and are highly functional so it’s necessary to invest here and buy the best you can afford,' Daniel continues. 'However, there are lots of composites and solid surfaces that can replicate the look of marble, natural stone and granite while still offering the same durability.' 


old kitchen with wood table

(Image credit: Bland Design)

The plain wooden cabinetry, black worktops and basic tiled splashback in Daniel's kitchen were all functional but certainly wouldn't have won any design awards. 


green kitchen with gold leaf splash back and kitchen table with bar stools

(Image credit: Bland Design)

The biggest change has to be the colour of the cabinets and kitchen table, which Daniel painted in a deliciously dark green shade. 'I chose to spray paint the units with Rustoleum's kitchen cupboard paint in After Dinner,' he says. 'I also used Bare Birch for some of the other cabinets and then added the same two colours to the kitchen and dining room walls to coordinate beautifully.'

The old handles were removed and replaced with smart new ones, while the cabinets themselves were treated to some mouldings. 'To create expensive-looking kitchen units, I added beading to the doors, which is so cost-effective,' Daniel advises.

Changing the colour of the cabinets wasn't the only trick Daniel used to elevate his kitchen however… using gold leaf on sections of the splashback tiles has given it a high-class appeal. 'The gold leaf helps reflect light around the room,' he says. 'I sealed it with resin and I’m really pleased with the result.'

green kitchen with tiled splash back

(Image credit: Bland Design)

Next Daniel turned his attention to other areas of the tiled splashback. 'Marble is a huge trend right now,' he says, 'and I imitated this look by just using paint, which is a really great way of bringing the trend into your home without the excessive price tag. I’ve used this painting process on my kitchen tiles and it’s completely transformed them.'

It's hard to tell that the marble is an effect rather than the real thing, so how did Daniel achieve the look? 

'First I painted the tiles in a white colour, then to create the marble vein, I dipped a medium-sized paint brush into a dark charcoal paint to paint long free-hand lines,' he explains. 'It's worth trying this on paper first until you are happy with the look of your vein before committing to the walls or tiles.'

After waiting for that to dry, Daniel then painted finer marble veins with smaller paint brushes dipped into lighter shades of grey and repeated the steps to create the contrasting marble look. 'It only needs a light touch so don’t overthink it and it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it,' he says.

dining table and dining chairs with round mirror and artwork

(Image credit: Bland design)

Taking the paint colours through to the dining area ties the open-plan spaces together, and Daniel has gone for some smart wall panelling to zone the dining table. So how much did his makeover cost?

'All in all, it cost around £100 for the paint,' he recalls. 'The Wagner paint sprayer was £65 from B&Q and I’ve used this a lot in my home already. I also used wood beading for the units at £3 per length, changed out the handles, filled the holes and added smaller, more delicate ones. The gold leaf is just £5 per pack but the resin to seal it was around £100 to seal the sections where gold leaf was added.'

All in all we'd say that's not a bad cost for something that looks so high-end.

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at