'Do It Once, Do It Right' — Nate Berkus Has the Best Advice on Where to Splurge vs Save in a Kitchen Remodel

The design expert breaks down what kitchen essentials are worth investing in, and where you can save your money

Nate Berkus poses in front of a fridge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If there's anyone we trust to help us design a good home, it's Nate Berkus. The interior designer regularly shares snaps of his own dreamy home on Instagram, his page is a haven for all of us who dream of organized closets and elevated neutrals, and his kitchen is nothing less than dreamy.

This week, Nate took to Instagram to share his expert tips on where to put your money in your kitchen, and where to save it — and with his stunning, Calacatta marble-clad modern kitchen as the backdrop, we're inclined to follow his advice.

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Where to spend in a kitchen, according to Nate

The kitchen is known to be the heart of the home, it's where you host, socialize, and spend time with your family and friends, so it makes sense that it's an investment for your home, even if, like Nate Berkus, you're not much of a chef. But it's important to decide where it's worth investing your money, and where you can get by on a budget.

Nate suggests saving the splurges for the long-lasting items you won't be wanting to replace any time soon. 'You can do it once and if you do it right, then you'll always have it' the designer explained on Instagram.

This includes the major kitchen appliances, like your oven, as well as your kitchen countertops. Nate points to his freestanding Viking oven as an example of a kitchen appliance that was undoubtedly worth the amount of money spent on it. Although he admits he does not know how to use it, he appreciates the multiple color options, which allowed for a seamless blending between the light cabinetry and the stove.

Nates Berkus' other major kitchen splurge was the on his beautiful marble countertops. Investing in a high quality marble, or other natural stone, to use on your counter should last for upwards of twenty years. Just make sure you don't choose something you will tire of.

Where it's smarter to save

So, what is it we should be saving on? 'Everything else' recommends Nate Berkus.

All the finishing touches, and extra decor, can easily be found on a budget. These are items like vases, salt and pepper shakers, and crockery. Once you have invested in those staple pieces, these smaller items only need to be the cherry on top, as opposed to the main attraction.

Nate's tip for finding affordable accessories that still add the aesthetic flair you desire is taking a trip to the antique stores. You can find plenty of hidden gems, and authentically unique items if you spend some time hunting through vintage markets and thrift stores, and usually for a fraction of the cost of what you'd pay for it firsthand.

If vintage is not your style, or you can't find the time to sift through buckets of homeware, Nate suggests going back to the basics. Shops like Target, and H&M Home are constantly releasing new designs that look straight out of a designer store. These budget-friendly shops are the perfect solution to adding a bit more personality to a room without breaking the bank. Here are some of our top picks for affordable kitchen accessories.

Maya Glantz
Trainee writer

Maya is a freelance writer and Magazine Journalism master's student at City, University of London. Her undergraduate degree in History of Art at the University of Bristol helped form her interest in interior design and architecture. Maya is a lover of curved arches, green kitchens, and all things mid-century modern and can often be found scouring the web for vintage finds.