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15 Designer Tips Under $500 for Kitchens

September 27, 2016

Experts share their best advice for satisfying an appetite for high style on a budget.

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Photo: Terracotta Design Build. From: Terracotta Design Build.

1: Paint the Small Stuff

Paint the sashes (or inside frames) of your windows black for a chic and unexpected way to accent the kitchen, says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, architect and designer with Terracotta Design Build in Atlanta. This kitchen also has another design trick, depending on your budget: Install tile backsplash all the way to the ceiling. Here, dark tile grout ties in with the black window sashes.

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Photo: Michelle Mentzer Interiors

2: Start With a Plan

Think contrast. For an easy designer look, paint perimeter cabinets and keep the island stained or in an existing contrast color, says Georgia designer Michelle Mentzer. You also can change existing hardware (knobs and pulls) to an updated bronze or brass finish, she says.

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Photo: Terracotta Design Build . From: Terracotta Design Build.

3: Use a Cool Illusion

When the kitchen is in the center of the house or in a windowless space, place an oversized mirror over the sink to create the illusion of a window, says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, architect and designer with Terracotta Design Build in Atlanta. This home also uses furniture in the kitchen for storage, instead of another row of built-in cabinets.

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Photo: NKBA/Greg Riegler. From: Cheryl Kees Clendenon.

4: Intensify Your Backsplash

Change up your backsplash. A new backsplash, especially one with a unique tile shape, gives the whole kitchen an instant makeover, such as in this 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association Design Competition winning space by Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Interiors. Choose tiles that are on sale or discontinued to save some money, and ask the store to check other locations to make sure you can get as many as you need. 

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