5 simple ways to make your kitchen cabinets look more expensive

Revamp your kitchen cabinets with these expert-approved ideas

kitchen cabient ideas
(Image credit: St Charles New York, Future, Eggersmann Design / 7am Creative)

When it comes to refreshing your kitchen decor, it can often feel like there are a limited amount of changes you can make. While other rooms in the home typically have more decor items and soft furnishings you can swap over time, kitchens on the other hand are costly to design and you'll most likely have your kitchen cabinets and countertops in place for years, if not decades. 

But that doesn't mean you can't elevate the feel of your kitchen cabinets. If your cabinets are in need of a refresh but there's no need for a complete remodel, there are simple decorating ideas you can embrace to create a more expensive-looking kitchen

Continue reading to learn how you can make your kitchen cabinets look more expensive with minimal effort, with these five ideas from interior designers. 

1. Opt for high quality hardware

Dark charcoal kitchen cabinets in a luxury kitchen

(Image credit: St Charles New York)

Although a fairly small detail, the hardware on your kitchen cabinets can go a long way in transforming the way your cabinets look. 'Investing in high-quality metallic hardware for your cabinets is a great way to give them an extra luxurious look and add a nice pop of visual contrast,' suggests interior designer Kathy Kuo

'One of the easiest ways to achieve an instant kitchen glow-up is to swap out your dated cabinetry hardware,' agrees interior designer Nicole Cullum, founder of Color Caravan. 

Nicole Cullum
Nicole Cullum

Nicole Cullum is an interior designer in Taos, New Mexico, and founder of Color Caravan, a charming hand-painted line of wallpaper, textiles, bedding, and home decor.

'Go for cabinetry hardware that has clean, modern lines rather than bulbous knobs or pulls in more contemporary finishes like matte black, polished, antique, or unlacquered brass that will immediately make your cabinetry and your kitchen look more luxe,' says Nicole. 

2. Style the cabinet contents

A kitchen with grey oak veneer glass-fronted cabinets and a breakfast bar

(Image credit: Eggersmann Design/7am Creative)

If the doors of your kitchen cabinets are made from glass, it's important to pay close attention to how you display the contents of them. Ensuring you keep items neatly arranged in a cohesive way will create a more polished look compared to having any clutter on show. 'I love the idea of artfully styling your dishware and glassware on your shelves if you have glass-front kitchen cabinets,' says Kathy Kuo. 

kathy kuo home
Kathy Kuo

Kathy Kuo is a celebrated interior designer and international guru within the home and lifestyle space. She has 20+ years of experience in the design industry. 

3. Paint your cabinets

purple cabinetry in kitchen island with yellow cabinetry in background and stone flooring in georgian period home

(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

'Paint is your best friend when it comes to upgrading your kitchen cabinets,' says Nicole Cullum. 'A coat of paint can do wonders for cabinets from back in the day.' Painting your kitchen cabinets will guarantee a completely new look while being a fairly inexpensive home decor idea.

When choosing the best shade for your cabinets, opting for dark hues such as a deep blue or aubergine color will help create a more expensive-looking finish. 'Bold cabinet colors are taking over 2024,' says Nicole Cullum. 'Pair a deep saturated, but muted cabinet color with a light tonal wall for a sophisticated yet dramatic boost.' 

4. Add under-cabinet lighting

A dark blue kitchen with gold faucet and shelf lighting ideas.

(Image credit: Smallbone)

Another way to make your cabinets look more expensive is to experiment with kitchen cabinet lighting ideas. Opt to add subtle lighting underneath the cabinets to fill the room with a cozy ambiance. 'Installing under-cabinet lighting creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in the kitchen, adding a sense of luxury,' says interior designer Soledad Alzaga.

5. Add decorative moldings

pink kitchen cabinets with molding details

(Image credit: Future)

Lastly, consider adding decorative moldings to your kitchen cabinets to create a more sophisticated and expensive look. This would work particularly well if you have a traditional kitchen, where you can reflect the style of the room through intricate molding details. 'Add decorative molding or trim to the cabinet doors for a custom look,' suggests Soledad.

These ideas will no doubt elevate the look of your kitchen cabinets while being fairly quick and easy changes to make. If you are feeling inspired to carry out some kitchen DIY, make sure you're aware of these outdated kitchen cabinet trends to avoid

Paint & Color Editor

Emily is H&G's Paint & Color Editor, covering all things color across interior design and home decor. She joined the team in the summer of 2023, having studied Fashion Communication at university before working in various creative roles ahead of making the leap into interiors. She lives in Glasgow where she loves admiring the city's architecture, frequenting her favorite coffee spots, and sourcing vintage furniture for her tenement apartment. Emily's interior style is inspired by the simplicity of midcentury design, mixed with more playful modern pieces that inject small (but bold) doses of color.