Budget design ideas to make your kitchen look more expensive

Easy updates and some of them won't cost you a penny!

Looking to jazz up your kitchen but don’t have the budget for a total refurb? Follow these tips and tricks to make your kitchen look more expensive, without forking out – because some of the ideas are free! Simple design tricks and. inexpensive updates can make all the difference in the heart of your home.

Ways to make your kitchen look more expensive: on a budget

It's surprising just how many things you can do to make your kitchen look more expensive, without having to dig deep for a budget. A successful kitchen idea can totally transform the space – from painting the cabinets to rearranging the layout, a few little changes can go a long way.

1. Add beautiful lighting fixtures

kitchen area wiith brick wall and wood counter with chair and kitchen units

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Holly Joliffe)

Beautiful kitchen lighting ideas can boost your kitchen's appeal in no time. If your current lighting fixtures are a bit dull or dated, add a statement pendant shade or filament lightbulb and see what a difference it makes to your kitchen.

2. Paint the units

kitchen area with grey cabinet and washbasin and wooden floor and marble worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Robert Sanderson)

The easiest and most cost effective way to transform dated units is to paint kitchen cabinets to give them a new look on a budget. We've seen SO many impressive kitchen makeovers in recent years thanks to a splash of paint to make the kitchen units look like new, and in turn making the kitchen look more expensive.

Look for the best paint for kitchen cabinets to transform your tired cupboards for as little as £10. It's important to use a specialist paint to provide durability and the best finish, otherwise it will look shabby as it starts to wear off.

3. Update cupboard handles

kitchen area with white cabinet and black worktop and window

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Give your kitchen an instant refresh by replacing cupboard handles. You can spend as much or as little as you desire, IKEA is a great place to shop for designer looking handles on a budget. Alternatively you could spend more at somewhere like Buster + Punch (from £60-£150), which will still prove significantly cheaper than replacing the whole  kitchen. Whether you go for a sleek stainless steel or a rustic wooden touch new handles can be totally transformative.

4. Clear your fridge door

kitchen area with blue firdge and white kitchen cabinet and wooden worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/ David Giles)

We're all for decorating your fridge door with postcards, drawings and photographs, stuck on with brightly coloured fridge magnets collected from around the world. But if you want to make your kitchen look more expensive, we'd highly recommend clearing your fridge to give your kitchen a cleaner and crisper appearance. This approach also makes a small kitchen feel bigger, because it declutters the space.

Best of all this won't cost a thing, and yet it will make a major impact on the overall feel of your kitchens aesthetic.

5. Declutter your worktops

washbasin with marble worktop and tap

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Darren Chung)

Go as minimalist as you can on your work surfaces for an expensive look. Get rid of any paper, shopping lists, toys and recycling. If you have the cupboard space you could even clear away anything from the worktop and look for savvy kitchen appliance layout ideas, to store your toaster and kettle out of sight for a super slick finish.

6. Introduce artwork on the walls

kitchen area with white wall and greyboard with light and grey worktop and washbasin

(Image credit: Future PLC/Fiona Walker-Arnott)

We don't always associate the kitchen with artwork, but adding a piece of art can work wonders and make your kitchen look more stylish and expensive.

7. Add a stylish splashback

kitchen area with chimney and wood worktop and cooker

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

A new kitchen splashback idea is an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new lease of life. Choose a brightly coloured splashback or one with an interesting pattern to make a bold statement. DIY retailers such as B&Q and Homebase offer splashback designs from as little as £40 for 80 by 60cm panels.

8. Welcome a wine fridge

room with wooden floor and wine fridge and stair case

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme)

A wine fridge or wine rack is a sure fire way to add class and elegance to your kitchen. The wine fridge is the new must-have in modern kitchen layouts, but you don't have to have a brand new design to accommodate one – just look to a free space within your existing kitchen to have one installed.

If you don't have any space within your cabinetry, use empty wall space to build a rack where you can display your favourite bottles.

9. Accessorise with copper

kitchen area with white tiles wall and chimney and wooden worktop and cooker

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme)

Go for matching copper accessories and appliances for an expensive look that is very much on trend. Furnishing your shelving or open storage with attractive cookware is a great way to add a touch of colour and sophistication to the overall kitchen scheme – practical and pretty, what's not to love?

10. Add a flower display

kitchen area with white kitchen cabinet and washbasin and white countertop

(Image credit: Future PLC/  Rachael Smith)

Pretty plants and flowers add a fresh touch and make it look like you take pride in your decor. They also welcome a fresh fragrance for the kitchen, which is always a bonus. Like a luxury hotel your home could adopt a signature scent, to make the space feel instantly more luxurious.