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. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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.
Blue Azulejos Kitchen Tile Decal, $, available at
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Trash cans do not need to look like trash — so let this chic marble-printed wastebasket prove it.
Marble Print Wastebasket, $, available at
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-pink piece has a self-draining structure that keeps excess water (and swampy stuff) at bay.
Flow Silicone Soap Tray, Pink, $, available at
Turn your overflowing fruit collection into a sculptural statement with this coated iron banana-hanger basket and its sleek scalloped design.
Scalloped Banana Hook, $, available at
Pour your morning java with some pastel-color-blocked, French-pressed swagger.
Coffee Press, $, available at
Whether these trivets are working hard to hold hot pots or are off-duty hanging on countertops, they always put out that elevated vibe.
Silicone Trivets (Set of 7), $, available at
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
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.
Buddy Paper Towel Holder, $, available at
We may not be able to replace our crummy countertops with a sparkling terrazzo surface, but at least we can accent it with a sparkling terrazzo cheese board.
Cost Plus World Market
Terrazzo Cheese Trivet, $, available at
Cost Plus World Market More
For those with limited cabinet space inside their tiny apartment kitchens, opt for dishes that aren't eyesores when stacked in plain sight.
Porcelain Bowls (Set of 6), $, available at
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.
Jules Bath Mat, $, available at
Transfer your favorite seasonings from their unsightly bulk packaging to this sharply chic set of speckled enamelware.
Crow Canyon Home
Enamelware Salt & Pepper Shaker Set, $, available at
Thanks to this minimalist stand, we now have an expensive-looking solution for streamlining our cutting board and knife hoards that doesn't involve shoving them on top of the microwave.
Cutting Board & Knife Stand, $, available at
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.
Tawashi Dishcloth Scrubbers (Set of 2), $, available at
Finally, a dish-drying rack that doesn't fill us with dread at the mere sight of it.
Compact Dish Drying Rack, $, available at
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.
3 Quart Enamel Colander, Black Marble, $, available at
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-giraffe cannister.
Giraffe Ceramic Cookie Jar, $, available at
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.
Plastic Bag Holder (Set of 2), $, available at
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