It Doesn’t Matter How Much Money You Have, Everyone Is On A Budget. I’ve Found Clients With Multi-Million-Dollar Properties Are Just As Eager As Those In Small Apartments To Save A Few Bucks.

But what do you cut back on when it comes to your kitchen? I’m going to tell you the bits and pieces I like to skimp on when I work with my design clients – and I suggest you do the same. Because mixing the cheap with the chic is what I’m all about.


The days of expensive cutlery sets are over. Sorry Vera Wang! With a move toward more informal dinner parties and celebrations, the need to spend more than $300 on cutlery is an outdated concept.

And when it comes to gold, matte black or copper cutlery, I’ve found one commonality: They are fab. So embrace the idea of affordable, easy-to-replace cutlery and put your money into something more worthwhile, like food.


While I’m all for forking out on a sublime oven and stove top, there are some areas you can easily cut back on, and a microwave is one of them. You’re using this dream machine to blast popcorn and bring last night’s pizza back to life, but it’s not worth investing hundreds of dollars on.

With so many kitchen designs hiding the microwave out of sight in a cupboard or butler’s pantry, I advise you pull back on spending much money here. As long as if functions well, don’t worry too much about appearances.


Kitchens are often made up of hard materials and can easily feel cold and clinical. Many people counteract this by bringing in some upholstered bar stools. Word of warning from me to you though; think before you buy.

Forking out $500 on a bar stool in a soft fabric that you’re going to spill all sorts of sauces and drinks over is a flawed idea. I suggest going with a hard-wearing leather or timber option here, and advise against investing anything more than around $250 on each one.

Cabinetry handles

Sure, there are loads of trends for kitchens landing all the time, and unique cabinetry handles are one of them. Leather and timber options are becoming popular, but I can’t go past a simple silver or black handle if you need to keep costs down.

They clean easily and and don’t dominate your space (meaning they won’t date quickly either). And the added bonus is that you can pop into places like Bunnings and get them for a steal.

Pendant lights

You have to cut back somewhere, and in a kitchen, the pendants are a good place to do it. By all means, invest in pieces like your bench top, splashback, oven and fridge. But there’s no need to go crazy with pendant lights.

In fact, if you make your splashback or bench top the focal point in the space, your pendant lights can still work in with the kitchen design, but they don’t need to steal the show. Opt for a simple style that speaks to the other elements in the room and save yourself some money in the process.

The finishing touches

There’s no need to style your kitchen like you would a living room. It’s a functional zone and the clutter will only annoy you day-to-day. Definitely pop in a fruit bowl, stack some cookbooks in a corner, and lean a few serving boards against a wall. But don’t overcomplicate it, and don’t spend too much money on each piece either.



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