'Does My Kitchen Look Cheap?' 8 Things That Are Sabotaging Your Style

Itdoesn'tmatterifyourecentlyrenovatedyourkitchenorhavebeenlookingatthesamecountertopsfordecades—noonewantstheheartoftheirhometolookcheap.

"Yourkitchenisoneofthehardest-workingroomsinthehouse,somakeitaprioritybykeepingitupdatedandpleasanttobein,"saysKarenGray-PlaistedofDesignSolutionsKGP.Notincidentally,whenitcomestimetosellyourhome,it'soneoftheroomspotentialbuyersjudgethemost.

Sotakeacriticaleyetoyourkitchenasawholeandthendivedeepintothedetails.Paintcolor,lighting,andclutterallplayanimportantroleinkeepingyourdesignfresh.Tohelpmakeyourkitchenlookmorepulledtogether,hereareeightthingsyoushouldnix—andsmartwaystoimprovethem.

1.Fluorescentlighting

"Nothingscreams'cheapkitchen'morethanoutdatedfluorescenttubelightingwithayellowingplasticcover,"saysJamieNovak,theorganizingguruandauthorof"KeepThisTossThat".

Plusittendstogiveoffaneeriegreenishhuethat'scommonlyfoundinsoul-crushingworkspaces.

"Youdon'twantpeopletoassociatetheselightswithofficebuildings,"saysDrewHenryofDesignDudes.

Fixingbadlightingdoesn'thavetocostafortune.Novakrecommendsreplacingitwithabudget-friendlychandelierorpendantlights.Henrylikesrecessedlightingwithaccentpendants.Youcanalsoaddasmalltablelamptoyourkitchencounterorremoveacurtainvalancefromakitchenwindowtobringinmorelight,saysGray-Plaisted.

2.Oldlinoleum

Everycheap-lookingkitchenseemstohavealinoleumfloor,butrippingitupandreplacingitwithhardwoodisanexpensiveundertaking.Tosavealittledough,Novaksuggestshidingalinoleumfloorwithabrightrug.Orconsiderdecorativetileinsteadofhardwood,saysHenry.

"Itwon'tbeasbigofaninvestment,butit'llinstantlymakethespacelookmoreluxe,"Henrysays.

3.Faddishcolors

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Avocadoandorangepaintinakitchenmaybetrendyforafewseasons,butovertimeit'llenduplookingtired.

"Timelesscolorsaresubtle,sotryforwhites,coolgrays,andotherneutralsinthekitchen,"saysHenry.

4.Crowdedcounters

Clutterlooksbad,period.

Pilesofoldmailandahalf-dozensmallappliancescancrowdyourcountertopsandruinsightlines.Thesolution:Puteverythingawaythatyoudon'tuseonadailybasis,andgetintothehabitofopeningbillsandrecyclingcatalogstheminutetheyenterthehouse.

Anddon'tgetusstartedonthatrowofplattersandcheapishbasketsthatlinethetopofmanykitchencabinets.

"Keepinganythingupthere,liketeapotsordriedflowers,isadatedwaytodecorateakitchen,"saysKatieMcCann,aprofessionalorganizerandownerofHaven,aNewYork–basedhomeandofficeorganizingcompany.Sparseisyourgoal,sosweepitallaway.

5.Worn-outdrawerknobs

Anythingthat'schippedorscratchedwillbringdownthelookofyourkitchen,especiallydrawerpullsandknobs.ReplacingthesefixturesisaninexpensiveDIYprojectthatwillgivetheroomaninstantupgrade.

"Thinkofthemasjewelryforthespace,"saysHenry.

6.Fakeplants

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Realitycheck:Thatsuspiciouslylush-lookingpottedivyontopofyourrefrigeratorisn'tfoolinganyone.Fakeplantshaveatendencytolookcheap,sonixtheplasticfoliageandstickwithavaseoffreshflowers(ornothingatall).

Ifyou'dliketoincludesomegreeneryinyourkitchen,Novaksuggestsplacingafewpottedherbsalongthewindowsill.Youcanusetheminmeals,andthrivingplantswillelevateyourspace.

7.Mismatchedappliances

Theidealkitchenlookincludesapplianceswithallthesamefinish.

"Designshowsreportthatstainlessiswaningandblackappliancesareemerging,"notesGray-Plaisted.Butifanewfridgeordishwasherthatmatchesisn'tinthebudget,youcanalwayscoveruptheoddduckwithpeel-and-sticktilesorapieceoffabwallpapercuttofitandheldinplacewithfourstrongmagnets.

8.Plasticanything

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Ifyoumusthaveafree-standinggarbagecanonthefloor,optforonemadeofmetal,notplastic.Metalisslightlymoreexpensivethanplastic,buttheinvestmentisworthitforthepolishedlookit'llbringtoyourkitchen.

Ifyoucan'tspringforanewtrashcan,trytuckingitaway.

"Goforamodelthatwillfitinaclosetorpantry,orinstallacabinetunitthatofferstheslide-outtrashcanfeature,"saysHenry.

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