You want to renovate and upgrade your property or just enjoy your kitchen more...Following are a few shortcuts, which will not break your budget.
Just give in already...There is no better upscale finish and hasn't been for almost a decade. Sure, Viking produces lemonade yellow. Other companies have their graphites, etc...but nobody buys it. Stainless is still an upgrade from black, white and almond.
Shallow Depth Refrigerator
More expensive, but aesthetically much better than looking at sides protruding in your kitchen. Shallow depth is almost a requirement in a kitchen with an island
This is a similar argument as the shallow depth. A slide in stove has no backguard and thus allows a much cleaner look throughout your kitchen.
An undermount keeps the sink out of sight, and is much easier to clean without the edges of a regular sink.
So much easier than a faucet with a separate spray and so much better looking.
Budget $200-400 on decorative lighting. It will personalize your kitchen and is a relatively small part of your budget.
If you have a normal ceiling height buy 4 inch, 5 inch or low voltage housings. Do NOT buy a large diameter recessed light. It looks dated and unattractive.