There’s no denying that the kitchen has become the focal point of the modern home, the place where the outsize influence of the Food Network and HGTV converge. Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves gathered there among friends, sipping wine and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres with ease—or perhaps preparing a family meal while the kids pitch in as little sous-chefs.
But achieving that dream kitchen is also one of the most expensive home remodeling projects you can possibly undertake. If your taste trends more toward Veuve Clicquot on a budget that’s solidly PBR, never fear: We’ve got some sneaky tricks to give your kitchen a fancy upgrade on the cheap.
1. Choose a luxurious color palette (and play with texture)
“These work best and convey a really luxe vibe,” she says. “Look at the branding colors of luxury designers—they are mostly lightly muted and off the primary color.” She favors charcoal, cream, and champagne over harsher black, white, silver, or gold.
And consider texture when you’re planning your palette.
“You want to vary the texture to vary the complexity and make the design more layered and high-end,” says Hoffmann. “Choose two or three very close colors and play with texture instead—think white, a cream, and a very, very light natural beige as your colors, and then create visual interest by incorporating lots of texture in the room as your accent.”
Think of varying high-gloss, matte, and distressed finishes, and using raised patterns.