12 Designer Kitchens for Less
Do you want the look of a designer kitchen without emptying your wallet? Check out these budget-savvy ideas that will get you the look without the cost.
Designer Randy Weinstein combined different materials in neutral tones to create an industrial-style kitchen. Incorporate stainless steel elements, such as floating shelves, to upgrade the space. Shop at flea markets and thrift stores to find vintage items, such as tractor-seat stools and industrial-inspired hanging lights.
Stunning Light Fixture
The only splash of color in this minimalist kitchen is the whimsical light fixture, which adds a modern feel to the space. Local flea markets and discount lighting shops have a large variety of extraordinary light fixtures at a great price. Designer Erica Islas suggests adding stainless steel hardware instead of appliances to get a chic, sleek look. If you want the look of luxurious marble countertops, shop at local marble yards to get remnant slabs at a fraction of the cost. Cover the windows with sheer curtains to bring a soft, inviting touch to the space.
Designer Sarah Richardson chose a soft color palette to make this small kitchen feel open and spacious. To create a designer kitchen island, paint inexpensive beadboard a light color and add metal stools to add shine and texture. Inexpensive tableware on open shelving completes the clean, crisp look.
Mediterranean-Inspired Kitchen Bungalow
Designer Erica Islas created a stylish bungalow kitchen using bright colors and vintage accessories. For a simple, instant update, add decorative hardware to spruce up a tired look. Bright colors bring life to a kitchen, so painting the cabinets a vibrant color and implementing the same color tone in various accessories will evoke a lively space. For a vintage-inspired look, purchase an old table from a flea market and update it with some paint, and look for vintage pendant lights at local thrift stores. Use decorative glass to create glass-front cabinets, and install simple wooden floating shelves for a lighthearted look.
Designer Amy Bubier installed floating shelves instead of upper cabinets to open up this small kitchen and save money. To create a high-end look without the cost, choose porcelain tile with modern aluminum edging instead of a solid-surface countertop, and paint wood cabinets a dark espresso color.
Vibrant Kitchen Design
Bold color makes a powerful statement with any kitchen design style. To create this upscale, contemporary kitchen, paint your walls a bold, bright color and your cabinets in a contrasting color. Designer Alia Meyer added three pendant lights made with semi-precious quartz to add sparkle to the space. Purchase standard pendant lights and attach strings of rhinestones you can find at the craft store to get a similar look.
Kitchen Fixture Alternatives
In this Spanish, contemporary kitchen, SPI Design chose stain-grade cabinets and a diamond Carrara backsplash to create a rich look. For a similar look, use paint-grade wood in espresso brown instead of stain-grade ebonized wood, and install white ceramic hexagonal tiles to get the look of the diamond Carrara backsplash. To carry through the luxurious look, choose hexagonal hardware and a simple gooseneck faucet. Stone countertops can be pricey, so install synthetic white stone instead of Carrara marble for more durability without the expensive price tag.
Vintage details bring a one-of-a-kind designer look to this kitchen designed by Sarah Richardson. Paint salvaged corbels and pieces of inexpensive wood in a bright color to create custom floating shelves, and install a wood backsplash on the bottom half of the wall to add texture and save money. Add simple window treatments to complete the designer country kitchen look.
Modern, Sleek Look
Stick to a monochromatic color scheme to create a highly stylish, modern look in your kitchen. Designer Joseph Pubillones chose a basic white refrigerator, cabinets and dining table. He went with Calacatta gold marble countertops, but install white Carrara marble instead for the same luxurious look at a lower cost. Frame bold artwork in a simple silver frame and pair it with an oversized pendant light for an over-the-top look.
Plenty of Kitchen Lighting
The amount of lighting in a kitchen can change the whole ambiance of it. Designer Gail Drury installed plenty of lighting, including recessed, pendant and under-cabinet lighting to create an intimate, inviting space. Purchase inexpensive metal pendant lights online and invest more in recessed and under-cabinet lighting. For a stunning backsplash, install inexpensive tiles mixed with higher-priced, colored glass tiles. Splurge on granite countertops because they're long-lasting and coordinate with any design style.
Over-the-Top Color Palette
For an easy way to bring an elegant look to your kitchen, choose a regal color palette such as gold and pink. Purchase an over-the-top chandelier on an online auction site to act as the focal point of the space. For an extravagant look, choose an elaborate wallpaper pattern rather than expensive tile, and implement the pattern's colors in seat cushions and window treatments for a unified look. Design by Dave Stimmel
Warm, Inviting Kitchen
Designer Gail Drury created a warm, inviting kitchen with light cabinetry, a dark wood kitchen island and an elegant chandelier. A chalkboard-front refrigerator is lighter on your wallet than a cabinet-front fridge, but still maintains a high-end look. Embellish a simple iron chandelier with beading for an elegant look, and spend a little more on wood countertops for that extra touch of luxury.