As much as we dream of pristine cabinetry, bold granite countertops, and gleaming stainless steel accents, our cook-space reality looks more cramped budget than luxury living. But, just because we don’t have the coin for some big remodeling project doesn’t mean we can’t achieve elevated kitchen status — we just need to be thrifty about it.
After pounding the virtual pavement in search of the most effective solutions for making cheap look luxe while still serving a purpose, we distilled our findings down to the most cover-worthy cooking material. Ahead, our under-$50 hacks to take kitchens from
meh to okurr in an add-to-cart instant — from Spanish-style stick-on tiles to Art Deco oven mitts, geometric trivet sets, and more.
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Urban Outfitters Kitchen Tile Decal The easiest way to hide those grease stains behind your stovetop? First you scrub, then cover with a stick-on waterproof, heat, and humidity-resistant Spanish-style tile decal. Urban Outfitters Geo Kitchen Tile Decal, $, available at Urban Outfitters
Yamazaki Step Trash Can Trash cans do not need to look like trash — so let this chic and sleek geometric wastebasket prove it. Yamazaki Sanitary Step Trash Can, $, available at Amazon
Cedar And Stone Garden Concrete Soap Dish Keep your kitchen sink from turning into a kitchen swamp by picking up a soap dish that’s as artful as it is useful — this modern-concrete piece has a self-draining structure that keeps excess water (and swampy stuff) at bay. Yamakazi Home Flow Silicone Soap Tray, Pink, $, available at Amazon
Kitchen Details Geode Fruit Basket With Banana Tree Turn your overflowing fruit collection into a sculptural statement with this gold banana-hanger basket and its sharp geode design. Kitchen Details Geode Fruit Basket with Banana Tree, $, available at Walmart
Bodum Coffee Press Pour your morning java with some pastel-mint, French-pressed swagger. Bodum CAFFETTIERA French Press Coffee Maker, $, available at Bodum
Clod And Pebble Shop White Stoneware Spoon Rest Avoid the mess of setting your cooking utensil down on your countertop willy-nilly and try placing it on this sweet and speckled spoon rest for a touch of style. ClodandPebbleShop White Stoneware Spoon Rest, $, available at Etsy
SIN Handmade Twist Trivet Whether these handmade trivets are working hard to hold hot pots or are off-duty hanging on countertops, they always put out that elevated vibe. SIN Handmade Twist Trivet, $, available at Food52
LSA International anopy Trio Vase Set Place this curvy vase trio on your kitchen windowsill to grow your personal scallion farm in style. LSA International Canopy Trio Vase Set, $, available at Goodee
Drew Barrymore Flower Home Oven Mitt Set Purchase a pair of oven mitts that you actually feel proud to put on display inside your kitchen — and toss out that singed hand-me-down from ghosts of roommates past. Drew Barrymore Flower Home Art Deco Fan 2 Piece Oven Mitt Set, $, available at Walmart
Amber Lewis Magdalena Stemless Wine Glasses For those with limited cabinet space inside their tiny apartment kitchens, opt for dishes and glasses that aren’t eyesores when stacked in plain sight. Amber Lewis for Anthropologie Magdalena Stemless Wine Glasses, Set of 4, $, available at Anthropologie
Umbra Buddy Paper Towel Holder From the mint-green hue to the flexible silicone material and cute little support buddy, this paper-towel holder is a big luxe-kitchen mood. Umbra Buddy Paper Towel Holder, $, available at Amazon
World Market White Marble And Wood Cheese Board And Knife Set We may not be able to replace our crummy countertops with an elegant marble surface, but at least we can accent it with a sparkling marble cheese board. Cost Plus World Market White Marble and Wood Cheese Board and Knife Set, $, available at Cost Plus World Market
Anthropologie Amphora Bath Mat We can’t afford a vintage Persian-style runner for our bare kitchen floors (and with our spill history, probably wouldn’t want to). So, we’re going with this just-as-stylish but more affordable (and water-resistant) bath mat instead. Anthropologie Amphora Bath Mat, $, available at Anthropologie
Kahler Hammershoi Salt & Pepper Set Transfer your favorite seasonings from their unsightly bulk packaging to this chic Scandinavian-style set of tiny fluted spheres. Kahler Hammershoi Salt and Pepper Set, $, available at Williams-Sonoma
Yamazaki Home Cutting Board Stand Thanks to this minimalist stand, we now have an expensive-looking solution for streamlining our cutting boards that doesn’t involve shoving them on top of the microwave. Yamazaki Tosca Cutting Board Stand, $, available at Amazon
Now Designs Tawashi Dish Scrubbers We never thought we’d see the day where we’d covet a pair of dish scrubbers — but this hand-crocheted, Japanese-style cotton and zari-nylon pair is so right it just proved us wrong. Now Designs Tawashi Dishcloth Scrubbers (Set of 2), $, available at Amazon
Umbra Stack Dish Rack Finally, a dish-drying rack that doesn’t fill us with dread at the mere sight of it and can easily collapse and be tucked away. Umbra Stack Dish Rack, $, available at West Elm
Calypso Basics Enamel Colander To match your salt and pepper set, naturally — when this speckled enamelware colander isn’t straining pasta water, fill it with fruit and use it as a chic countertop statement piece. Calypso Basics 3 Quart Enamel Colander, Black Marble, $, available at Amazon
Rhino Ceramic Storage Canister Because we all deserve a little useful whimsy in our sad-kitchen lives — keep everything from overflowing tea-bag collections to tasty treats inside this delightful ceramic-rhino canister. Opalhouse Rhino Ceramic Cookie Jar, $, available at Target
Akaza Plastic Bag Holders While reusable shopping bags are best, sometimes we wind up stuck with plastic — and this chic hanging storage system is here to help contain the unwanted excess in style. Akaza Plastic Bag Holder (Set of 2), $, available at Amazon
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