12 Affordable Renovations That Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

The kitchen is known as the heart of the home as it's often where friends and family gather to share meals and make memories. Since it's a room we spend a lot of time in, it's usually worth giving it a little TLC.

Find Out: Unplug These Appliances That Hike Up Your Electricity Bill
Read: How To Build Your Savings From Scratch

While full-blown kitchen remodels can get really pricey, there are small renovations and improvements you can make to give your kitchen a luxurious feel without having to spend too much. Here are a few expert-approved, budget-friendly ways to make your kitchen look expensive.

Stylish light gray handles on cabinets close-up, kitchen interior with modern furniture and stainless steel appliances.

Upgrade Your Cabinet Hardware

"Upgrading cabinet hardware totally changes the look and feel of a kitchen," said Tomas Satas, founder and CEO of Windy City HomeBuyer. "I have renovated many outdated cabinets simply with a coat of paint and a hardware upgrade."

For homeowners on a budget, Satas said that you can find great-looking modern pulls and knobs for around $10 to $20 per piece.

"For someone looking to make their kitchen luxurious on a budget, staying within this price range will do the trick," he said.

Take Our Poll: Are You Planning To Buy or Sell a House This Year?

Modern interior.

Replace Your Backsplash

"Replacing your backsplash is a great way to modernize your kitchen and add texture or color," said Brian Worthman, a Brooklyn-based real estate agent with the Corcoran Group. "Tile starts at around $10 per square foot, with very nice options available for $30 to $40 per square foot."

For an upscale backsplash, Worthman estimates the total cost at $1,500 to $2,500, including the tiles and installation.

A contemporary kitchen renovation remodeling featuring a center island, hardwood floor and quartz counter.

Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

"Repainting kitchen cabinets can be done inexpensively," said Scott Wheeler, a realtor with Mizner Grande who specializes in luxury home sales. The average cost to paint kitchen cabinets is around $856, according to Angi. For a luxurious look, Wheeler recommends painting cabinets navy blue for contrast, especially in an otherwise white kitchen.

Modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances, limestone backsplash, quartz counter tops, chestnut color cabinetry, small appliances and goose-neck brushed nickel faucet.

Install Granite Countertops

"One of the best ways to make your kitchen look more expensive is by adding granite countertops," said Bill Gassett, realtor and founder of Maximum Real Estate Exposure. "While some granite can be very expensive, on the lower end, you can pay around $50 to $60 per square foot installed."

Modern kitchen interior at day time with a way to go to an outside door on the tile floor, there are plastic chairs near the counter.

Replace Outdated Lighting

"Lighting styles have changed over the years," said Michael Valente, CEO and co-founder of Renovation Sells. "Updating light fixtures is like putting a nice watch on a cheap suit. It's achievable within an affordable budget but has a big impact."

Ceiling moldings in the interior, a detail of intricate corner.

Add Crown Molding

"Adding some crown molding to your kitchen is a great way to make it look more luxurious," said Shaun Martin, owner of We Buy Houses Denver. "This is a fairly simple project that you can do yourself, and it will really make a difference in the overall look of your kitchen."

The average cost to install crown molding is around $1,244, according to HomeAdvisor.

Creative interior- suburb white and black modern kitchen.

Repaint the Walls and Ceiling

"One of the quickest and easiest ways to make your kitchen look more expensive is to simply paint the walls and ceilings," said Matt Teifke, founder and CEO of Teifke Real Estate in Austin, Texas. "A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for a space, making it look brighter and more finished. When choosing paint colors, opt for light and airy hues. This will help make the space feel larger and more open."

The average cost to paint a kitchen ranges from $600 to $1,300, according to HomeAdvisor.

Modern and bright shaker style kitchen with wood worktop and Belfast sink.

Opt For Chic Kitchen Accessories

"Small details in a kitchen can matter significantly," said Sal Dimiceli, Sr., owner of Lake Geneva Area Realty. "Pour dish soap into a chic dispenser so that your guests don't have to look at an ordinary bottle with an uninspiring logo every time they go to wash their hands. Replace the raggedy dish towels and put out some fresh ones instead. These aesthetically pleasing yet functional changes can make your kitchen look more sleek and elegant."

Stainless steel double oven and french door refrigerator add contrast to white kitchen.

Replace Stools or Chairs

"Stools can bring a uber-chic bar look and make your kitchen look expensive," said Gunner Davis, a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Realty in Tampa, Florida. "Additionally, they can provide functionality to a small or large kitchen by adding extra seating and making lovely design statements."

A good quality, aesthetically pleasing stool can cost as little as $150, Davis said. If you don't have the space for stools, consider upgrading your current kitchen seating to chairs with modern designs and luxe materials.


Add or Cover a Range Hood

"One of the key details that make a luxurious kitchen stand out is the range hood," said Bill Samuel, a residential real estate developer with Blue Ladder Development. "In very high-end kitchens there is often a custom high-end range hood cover that is a major focal point of the space. However, you can get the same high-end look by installing a custom-built cover over your existing dated-looking range hood or [by adding] a new basic range hood."

If you install the range hood or cover yourself, you can make this upgrade for under $500, Samuel said.

Wine cubby with glass doors with wine bottles stacked within in a wine cellar.

Convert an Existing Cabinet Into a Wine Cabinet

Adding a wine cabinet will give your kitchen a hint of luxury, and it doesn't require much work. Simply replace one of your cabinet doors with a glass door to showcase bottles of wine inside.

"This small renovation is an easier and cheaper alternative to adding a bar station," said Nick Good, real estate broker and investor with eXp Realty. "Each glass door should cost approximately $100 to $300."

Monochrome kitchen detail of black gooseneck tap set in a white marble counter top.

Switch Out Your Kitchen Faucet

"Many large manufacturers are now offering kitchen faucets in a variety of shapes, finishes and configurations," said Kerry Sherin, consumer advocate at Ownerly, a home valuation company. "Swap your standard version for a unique kitchen faucet with a decorative finish that matches your cabinet hardware to give your space a high-end look."

You can find modern faucets for as little as $35, she said.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 12 Affordable Renovations That Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

More Related Articles

Info icon

This data feed is not available at this time.

Sign up for Smart Investing to get the latest news, strategies and tips to help you invest smarter.