Zoe Saldaña's kitchen is a masterclass in luxe chic — designers reveal how to get the look on a budget

Zoe Saldaña's newly made-over kitchen is stunning. Our designers' budget-friendly tips will help you channel her style

A piece of gray veined white marble next to a photo of Zoe Saldaña in a pastel green caped dress on a peach background
(Image credit: Getty Images/Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for The Red Sea International Film Festiva)

Zoe Saldaña's new kitchen "turns tea into a divine experience," she has revealed, whilst show casing the luxe look. No wonder she’s enjoying it so much, it’s giving us a boost just looking at it.

The actor's newly designed space is equipped with slabs of marble, brass appliances, and touches of gold, adding up to an altogether elegant affair. Since we wouldn't mind a divine experience of our own, we asked interior designers how to achieve the same level of sophistication on a budget.

If you're playing around with small kitchen ideas in 2024, the Avatar star can offer a some inspiration.

The Hollywood star took to Instagram to show off the fabulous work Officine Gullo achieved with the bespoke design, and whether she knows it or not, Zoe is delivering endless inspiration for us when figuring out how to make a small kitchen look luxe

"Zoe’s new kitchen is as chic as she is," says designer Nicole Cullum. "This kitchen is all about the details. The mix of white and brass keeps it looking light and airy with a sophisticated look."

At first glance, achieving the elevated aesthetic might seem challenging, so we’ll break it all down. Like Nicole says, it's all in the details, and we’re delving into textures. 

"The brushed brass texture compliments the warm coloring in the marble countertop and backsplash, and that helps marry the wood floor stain for an overall cohesive design," she adds. 

If you're working with a rental but have your heart set on modernizing your small kitchen, opt for brass cabinet hardware from The Home Depot to zhuzh things up. This small detail goes a long way, offers a renter-friendly solution to upgrades, and can be taken with you when your lease expires. 

Prices run the gamut, starting at $2, so there are budget-friendly options to work with. If you want to get a little more creative, you don't have to stick to the work surface.

"There are also opportunities to add brass inlay accents on your floor around thresholds or use it for baseboards [or] shoe molding," says Alexis Elley, founder of Textures Interior Design.

Then, there's the marble, which could very well intimidate anyone looking to spruce up their space with the latest small kitchen trends. But don't worry that marble luxe is out of reach.  

"If marble isn’t in your budget, or if you want something that is a little more user- friendly, opt for Carrara or Calcutta style quartz and porcelain slabs," Alexis adds. 

We are also partial to DIY countertop projects, such as using marble parchment paper from Wayfair, to achieve a similar look. With some options start at $4 per square foot, we're all in. 

Lastly, you'll want to pay attention to creating that "airy" vibe — using neutral colors, keeping utensils and appliances uniform, and staying neat — a key outcome of learning how to declutter a small kitchen  well. 

Evelina Juzėnaitė, a principal interior designer at Planner 5D, suggests pulling it all together with an accent. "Add a little decor in the kitchen, such as a vase, a painting, or a plant pot that will match your marble and brass and will unite the finishing materials and furniture in a single interior," she recommends. 

Nicole Cullum
Nicole Cullum

Nicole Cullum is an interior designer, color expert, and professional organizer in Taos, New Mexico. She is the creative founder of Color Caravan, a charming hand-painted line of wallpaper, textiles, and home decor.

Alexis Elley
Alexis Elley

Alexis founded Textures Design in 2016 in order to pursue her passion for design. Her career began in publishing with stints at Condé Nast, including time at House & Garden, followed by a transition into beauty at Estée Lauder. All of these experiences have given her a "unique perspective on functional yet beautiful design and style."

Evelina Juzėnaitė
Evelina Juzėnaitė

Evelina is a principal interior designer at Planner 5D and head of the company's design council. 

What to shop

Zoe's culinary look is in, but what's out? Designers have dished on outdated small space interior trends that are worth nixing in 2024. Bye-bye bad looks and unfunctional pieces, it’s time for an upgrade.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.