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How to create a luxury kitchen look for less


uth Lavender, kitchen design expert at Benchmarx Kitchens and Joinery, explains where to spend and where to save when creating a luxury kitchen look for less:


“Working to a budget does not mean you have to forgo the luxe look of a designer kitchen. By making clever choices in your selections of cabinetry, worktops, lighting, and appliances it’s still possible to create that premium feel without overstepping on costs.


Deciding where to spend


“When working to a budget, it is essential to get the experts involved early on as they can help you to decide which features will create the most impact and where compromises can be made.

“A team of expert kitchen designers is available at no extra cost at every Benchmarx branch. They’ll give you advice on finding shortcuts to a luxury look, update you on the latest trends, and suggest a range of options for cabinets, work surfaces, and appliances to create your desired look at various price points. 


"They’ll also pull your ideas together into a tangible design, making it easier for you to work out your must-haves and see where you can save. The great thing about tapping into experts in this way is that they can suggest new possibilities that you haven’t previously considered to help keep your project within budget.



“Many of the finishes currently being seen in top-end kitchens are readily available from more accessible kitchen suppliers so, no matter how extravagant the inspiration, it is worth sharing those aspirational images with your designer to see how you can recreate them at your own price point.


“For example, matt cabinetry is a popular, high-end look, and Benchmarx Kitchens has options such as its Soho forest green and midnight blue ranges, which feature this desirable finish at an affordable price tag, without compromising on quality.


“Shaker-style cabinetry is another gorgeous option to provide a luxe look that will stand the test of time. Practical, functional, and attractive, there are scalable price points for this style of kitchen. Solid timber options provide a natural woodgrain and offer real appeal. However, if you are working to a budget, there is a lot to be said for cost-effective alternatives with a durable wood-effect foil wrap. 



"Traditional joints and woodgrains make the difference here. To mimic that bespoke look,  choose cabinet doors that are formed using separate sections with V grooves to echo traditional joinery, along with foil finishes that reflect the individuality of wood grain.



“Opting for a more budget-friendly worktop material can help keep costs low, whilst still creating your desired look. Laminate surfaces, available in matt, satin, gloss, smooth, stone and wood grain finishes, are perfect for achieving a stunning, luxury look at an affordable price. Not only do they look great, but these types of surfaces are low maintenance, as they’re easy to clean, and incredibly durable.


“However, if your kitchen is going to experience heavy usage, you may wish to opt for a more premium surface. Although more expensive than laminate, granite is a popular choice thanks to its stain and heat resistance, long lifetime, and low-maintenance characteristics. If you need a truly hard-working kitchen, then spending a bit more here could be a good investment.


“If your budget can’t stretch to a solid work surface, compact laminate is a great alternative. A completely solid, laminate material, this type of surface is made from multiple sheets of paper which have been fused together for an incredibly durable finish. The joy of this material is that it can be extended as a splashback or waterfall island for a seamless, luxe look, as well as being suitable for use around sinks and in open shelving. It’s often these details that can take a design to the next level.




“The impact that lighting can have on a kitchen is often overlooked, but a well-designed lighting scheme can have a huge effect on the overall feel and functionality of a room.

“Start by thinking about the main lighting source in the space and how it can be maximised. If you’re opting for spotlights, consider the placement of each light to ensure they are best placed for task lighting.

“When working to a budget, many people would stop at spotlights but, even though including plinth, under counter, or cabinetry lighting may seem like an unnecessary investment, it is features like these which often make a design stand out. If you are able to free up budget elsewhere and invest in your lighting scheme, you can use it to highlight the design features that set your kitchen apart. These types of lighting can also make a huge difference when it comes to zoning open plan spaces. This is particularly important if you plan to use your kitchen for multiple purposes – such as cooking, working from home, entertaining, or spending time together as a family.


“There are many innovative lighting solutions available, such as those in our Sensio range, which allow you to truly customise a space and make it feel more luxurious, with the ability to personalise a scheme at the touch of a button or with voice activation.


“Further control can be created with correlated colour temperature settings, which provide the option to seamlessly transition from warm to cool temperature lighting, making it the ideal accessory to create the perfect ambience.


“Many high-end appliances have some exciting functions but, if what you want is to simply create delicious meals for your friends and family, you may not need something all-singing and all-dancing. Cost-effective alternatives can be just as stylish as high-end appliances and still provide you with every setting you need to develop those culinary masterpieces.
“It’s also worth bearing in mind that energy efficient options can help you continue to save money long after your new kitchen is fitted. There are a wide range of appliances, from dishwashers to fridge-freezers, with excellent energy ratings to help you minimise your energy consumption. For example, some appliances, such as the Candy heat pump tumble dryer, recirculate hot air to maximise energy efficiency, help heat your home, and reduce power usage.
“Your kitchen designer will be able to go through all the options available so you can pick the appliances that work best for your needs. They’ll take into consideration your lifestyle, the way you use your kitchen, and your aspirations, to ensure your appliances satisfy every desire.”
To order a brochure, book a free design consultation, or use Benchmarx’s handy kitchen visualiser tool, visit the Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery website.
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