Designing An Organic Modern Kitchen on a Budget

Beautiful marble layered with natural wood and modern accessories are the building blocks of an organic modern kitchen design. Unfortunately, those high end finishes aren’t within budget for most people, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get that same high end look for less. I’ll recreate a stunning inspiration kitchen using all affordable materials to prove it! 

The Inspiration

Design by Diaz + Alexander Studio Photography by Todd Goodman

This organic modern kitchen designed by Diaz + Alexander Studio is the ultimate in high-end, luxury design. The gorgeous marble countertops continue up the backsplash and function as a shelf before flowing into a white zellige tile up to the ceiling. Using the zellige tile on the custom vent hood creates a seamless look, a feature you definitely won’t see in 99% of budget kitchens. Modern white globe sconces and custom flat panel light wood cabinets add to the modern aesthetic, and the black metal stools with pipe style faucet give an industrial flair. The space is completed with a natural wood floor, complementing the organic style and flowing with the rest of the home. 

Design by Diaz + Alexander Studio Photography by Todd Goodman

Creating the Look for Less

Faux Marble Counters and Backsplash:

Let me first say, if you have the budget for real stone (whether it’s quartz, granite, or marble) I highly recommend going with that. It’s timeless and beautiful, but can also cost upwards of $100/sqft, which is very pricey. For those who want a similar look for a lot less, laminate countertops could be the best option. I know what you’re thinking, those dated laminate countertops that look really cheap?? And I’d agree about Formica from 20 years ago, but you’d be surprised by how much the product has improved in recent years! They have some beautiful options that look convincingly like real marble. 

The Formica Countertop in Calacatta Marble can be seen in the below kitchen by Shayna from The Wood Grain Cottage. Notice how the edges look seamless like a stone countertop would, nothing like the laminate of the past! She created an elevated look by also running the laminate slab up the wall as a backsplash and as a waterfall edge.

Both marble look options from Wilsonart and Formica would be beautiful choices to emulate the organic modern inspiration kitchen, and at roughly $100 per 8’x4′ slab, you can’t beat the price! 

Formica Laminate Countertop in Calacatta Marble
Wilsonart Laminate Countertop in Calcutta Marble

Another option for a modern marble look backsplash is the below large format porcelain tile.  Measuring 24″x48″, it will cover a large area with minimal grout lines. With proper installation they can also be used as a countertop as well! Zero maintenance porcelain tile is also great for a worry free kitchen, unlike marble which is porous. 

Polished Porcelain Marble Look Tile 24"x48"

Flat Panel, Wood-look Cabinets:

Sleek slab front kitchen cabinets are a must for any modern kitchen, and the below options from Home Depot’s Thomasville line look just as impressive as custom cabinets (for much less). The price of cabinets has gone up exponentially in the past few years, so saving as much as possible in this area is crucial. Purchasing cabinets through places like Home Depot can also be an easier process for a first time renovator. What you give up in customization you make up for in simplicity and savings! 

Thomasville BLYTHE Door in Maple Natural
Thomasville FAULKNER Door in Specialty Laminate Wishbone
Thomasville FAULKNER Door in Specialty Laminate Wool

Textured Glossy Tile:

Zellige tile is everywhere lately, for good reason. It’s earthy, classic, and modern all at the same time. But it’s handmade nature also makes it very expensive. For a small space, maybe it’s worth it to allocate some of your budget to real zellige, but for most people it’s just too much. The below tiles give a similar vibe with the variation in color and texture, for a fraction of the price (around $10/sqft vs $30/sqft for Zellige). They all give that organic modern vibe and add some shine to your kitchen, we love some bling! 

Like the inspiration kitchen, use this tile for the upper portion of the backsplash and along the vent hood if possible. I’ve seen so many tutorials on creating an easy custom vent hood cover, so try it out! This one from A Beautiful Mess would work great. You’ll essentially just need to frame out a box shape and attach it over a vent hood insert. Then you can cover it with the below tiles for a super high end look.

Ivy Hill 4x4 Satin Tile in Gin White
Mother of Pearl Shell Mosaic Tile
Amazon Peel and Stick Tile
Ivy Hill 4x4 Ceramic Tile in White

Matte Black knobs and Pulls:

A staple for a modern kitchen, the matte black pull and knobs. This is one area where it definitely makes sense to find a budget option, especially with black. There is pretty much no advantage to spending 20 dollars per knob, so going with one of the affordable options below is a great way to save money. They are sleek and will look so good on those wood slab cabinets. 

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Amazon Matte Black Knobs
Amazon Ravinte Matte Black Knobs
Wayfair Matte Black Mushroom Knobs
Amazon Ravinte Matte Black Pulls
Wayfair Matte Black Pulls

Metal Barstools:

Another area that is an easy money saver is the bar stools. A simple black metal stool is timeless and looks good in so many types of spaces. Finding one for less than $100 each is also possible, so why spend hundreds? The adjustable bar stools below look very similar to the ones in the inspiration photo and will complement the space perfectly. 

IKEA Dalfred Bar Stool
Amazon Atlas Industrial Bar Stools

Modern Light Fixtures:

Pendant Lights can really make or break a kitchen, but expensive doesn’t always mean better. There are endless affordable lighting options from places like Amazon, World Market, and Home Depot that look just as good as the more expensive lights from Rejuvination. I love the modern white globe pendants from the inspo kitchen, but the below options would give you the same feel. 

Target Matte White Pendant
Amazon Hanging Globe Pendant
Globe Electric Amelia 10" Wide Plug-In Pendant

Getting a simple bulb pendant hardwire kit and adding a large globe light bulb (like the CB2 one below) would be great for smaller areas or lower ceilings to prevent it from feeling too busy or closed in. 

CB2 Large Globe Light Bulb

There are a few options to get the look of the sconces in the designer kitchen, the easiest being the light fixture below from Etsy. It gives that same minimalist energy with the simple wood and white bulb, and it also comes in either a hardwired or plug in style.   

Etsy Wood Sconce

For the DIY lovers, you can create your own modern wood sconce dupe by following the steps in this tutorial from Domino but use a wood plate instead of ceramic. Or follow the steps below for a super easy and quick version:


Custom Wood Plate Hardwired Sconce

What you Need

Nuvo Lighting Single Light 5" Wide Bathroom Sconce
2 Pack 7.9 inch Round Wood Dish

Step 1

Drill a hole in the wood plate using a hole saw roughly the same size as part E in the image below.

Step 2

Insert the wiring and part E through part F and the back of the plate, then attach part G from the front

Step 3

Add a frosted white bulb and have an electrical install your new sconce (don’t mess with hardwiring yourself, leave that to a professional).

Industrial Brass Faucet:

A quality faucet is an important part of a kitchen’s function, but buying a mid-range option will give you similar performance for a lot less money. Leaning into the industrial style here works well and creates a statement moment. Of course brass also helps bring in some of that industrial glam, balancing the feminine and masculine elements of the space. I’m partial to the models with a sprayer function like the ones below, but anything that looks a little bit commercial would work. 

Kraus Faucet in Brushed Gold

Amazon Brass Kitchen Faucet


Last but not least, my favorite part of any space… the flooring! With luxury vinyl plank and laminate now looking almost indistinguishable from real wood, that’s really a no brainer choice for the kitchen. Some are 100% waterproof, and pretty much any laminate or vinyl will hold up better around water than wood. It’s also practically indestructible. A beautiful light wood shade is the key to pulling together the organic modern style. It’s airy, natural, and warm, balancing the high contrast black and white elements in the space. 

Pergo Sunbaked Sand Oak Waterproof Laminate
Malibu Wide Plank French Oak Del Prado LVP

If you are looking for a flooring just for the kitchen that doesn’t need to flow into the living spaces, tile is also a great option. It’s the most water resistant and durable choice for a kitchen, and the wood look patterns will trick most people into believing it’s real wood. And at $2.50/sqft it’s an amazing deal! 

MSI Benson Gray Porcelain Wood Look Tile

Putting it all together

I hope this post empowers you to seek out high end design even if you’re on a tiny budget! You are worthy of a beautiful space that makes you feel like a badass, and now you can see how easy it is to achieve that in your own home. Follow along for more designer rooms for less! 

Affordable finishes for an organic modern kitchen

(All items linked throughout post)

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