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  • Worth the Dime

5 High End Kitchen Hacks

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

So you desire to have a kitchen that looks like it belongs on the pages of a magazine, but your budget makes your reality less rosy. There are plenty of hacks to accomplish a high-end look for less.

  1. Appliance Redo

  2. Cabinet Renovation

  3. Backsplash

  4. Countertops

  5. Flooring Revamp

1. Appliances Upgrade

If you have old appliances and do not have the budget to upgrade to stainless steel appliances, then perhaps applying a stainless-stain facade to the old appliance is the way to go. I used this in a bonus room old fridge to update the look of the old appliance without discarding it.

Another appliance hack is getting the built-in microwave appearance without installing an actual built-in microwave. You can achieve this by buying a microwave trim kit to place around your standard microwave that can sit in a recess in your cabinets. The bonus of not having an actual built-in microwave is that you do not require special hookups. When the appliance eventually dies it is easier to fit something else in its space without having to readjust cabinetry. An actually built-in microwave costs from $500 to over $1000, meanwhile a decent trim kit is about $200 and gives you a similar appearance for less. I used this method when I designed my first home to keep my wishes within budget (see the microwave below). It cost significantly less than a double wall oven or wall oven with a built-in microwave. Many manufacturers make trim kits designed that are compatible with their different models of countertop microwaves so that you can get a seamless color match and fit.

You can see a similar kit here:

2. Renovate the Cabinets

A little paint and new hardware on cabinets can go a long way. Once you have finished painting or changing out the hardware consider a battery operated under the cabinet light fixture that gives the appearance of under the cabinet wiring. If you want the look of a built-in pantry, replace the doors on a closet with cabinet doors and get the look of a custom built-in pantry for a fraction of the price.

3. Backsplash on a Budget

There are many options nowadays for peel and stick backsplashes. These backsplashes offer an affordable option for an upgraded backsplash without the commitment and labor required to install a tile backsplash. They come in many appearances including tile, glass, and marble. This is a great option for renters who want to upgrade their space with options that can be reverted back when they move on.

4. Luxury Countertop Look

Similar to backsplash you can purchase peel and stick countertop surface covers in different appearances. They are inexpensive and easy to install. They may require special care like not cutting directly on the surface to avoid damaging the film.

5. Fake a High-End Hardwood Floor

Hardwood Flooring can be expensive, however, you can simulate the look with vinyl planks. As vinyl has become more popular due to its lower maintenance requirements the prices for some luxury vinyl planks can be close to the price of manufactured wood. So shop around for lower priced items.

Be Careful of Hazards

While it is nice to pursue bargain upgrades, be careful with the materials used. There are videos floating around the internet where some folks apply contact paper or a laminate to their countertops and backsplashes to fake marble or other finishes near cooking surfaces. Please remember that these materials may be flammable or heat sensitive. Nothing could be worse than creating your discounted designer kitchen and then watching it go up in flames.

Key Takeaways:

You can achieve the look of a high-end kitchen for less. You can use some of these techniques to keep your kitchen project within budget without sacrificing the overall look. Make sure that the items you select are appropriate for the area they are going to be used, such as heat resistant backsplash near a stove.

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