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DESIGN | How To Add Luxury For Less

A common statement I hear from my clients all the time when discussing their designs is

"I want it to look expensive".

I love hearing this because as a designer this is my chance to really get creative, source new products & spend the budget in all the right places to achieve the desired look.

So exclusively for The Kitchen Design Blog readers here are my top tips for achieving a luxurious finish to your kitchen, while keeping your budget under control.

Contrasting cabinets

Contrasting cabinet colours is a great way to add a little luxury to your kitchen. A lot of kitchen suppliers on the high street will only offer a simple selection of cabinet colours, usually white, grey, cream & beech which will accompany most door colours.

However, if you're looking for something more exciting, choosing a rich wood grain or other contrasting colour for your cabinet interiors will really add something special to your kitchen.

Wooden cutlery trays

Instead of a generic plastic divider, opt for an oak or walnut cutlery tray. It will always add a sense of luxury each & every time you reach for a tea spoon.

Upgrade the sink & tap

I always feel like the sink & tap get a very generic reputation because they don't come across as the most exciting items in the kitchen. However, they can play a huge part in creating the right aesthetic.

Our Purquartz sink & matching tap is the perfect example. Instead of an ordinary stainless steel sink & chrome tap, try something a little more inspiring. A stone texture to compliment your kitchen will add a luxurious feel to the space without breaking the bank.

mix Your textures

Textured doors are a great way to add some interest & some unique flair to your space. Wood grains (shown above), concretes & ceramics are usually laminated doors which means they are pretty heavy duty in terms of wear & tear but are also surprisingly cost effective. The brass finish you see here does come at a premium cost as each door is individually painted to order. However, using them sparingly as shown shouldn't put too much pressure on the budget & the over all look, a designer finish without the price tag.

Try a shaker

Using a moody colour scheme, dressed with marble & gold accessories for a contemporary shaker kitchen

When I think of luxury kitchens, I think of Mowlem & Co, Martin Moore & Tom Howley. 3 Brands I have followed closely for my entire career in kitchen design & brands I often look to for inspiration & ideas. What do these luxury brands have in common? They all supply hand made shaker kitchens.

Although a shaker style kitchen may not be to everybody's taste there is no doubt that they always look & feel expensive. The shaker style doors & the painted finish just oozes luxury & there are so many ways you can achieve a stylish & contemporary look with a shaker kitchen too. Use modern colours such as cleans whites, dark greys & even moody blues; contemporary marble worktops & stylish brass or copper accents. All of these features will ensure your shaker is up to date & luxurious without a hint of farmhouse in sight.

Below is another gorgeous contemporary example (found on Pinterest) of shaker style kitchen that avoids the traditional look.

I love the calm vibe of the colour scheme used in this kitchen. The pistachio colour on the cabinets is surprisingly warming while the marble stone, wooden breakfast bar (mixing textures) & gold tap all add a touch of classic luxury. #Swoon

Our EASTDON kitchen has a clean crisp shaker panel & is perfect for recreating this contemporary style.

Use a moody colour scheme

While lighter colours such as whites & greys remain popular, there is a certain richness in deep dark tones. This COSDON kitchen just speaks for itself. The dark graphite adds mood while the copper accents add that hint of chic individuality. A colour scheme like this will always come down to personal taste but if your brave, go bold & you'll create a truly striking space.

Which ideas would you use in your new kitchen to add a little luxury for less? Let me know in the comment section below.

See you next time,



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​​​​​​​Do you want to connect with other people who are undertaking kitchen projects too? Head over to the THE KITCHEN DESIGN GROUP on Facebook for ideas, inspiration, discussions, reviews & also tips & advice on renovating/building your dream kitchen. Anyone can join & get involved so be sure to add friends & family who may be interested too!


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