"Brass offers a classic and timeless look while still feeling bold and contemporary," says Amy Biller Switzer, marketing manager at Emtek and Schaub. "We will see that continue into 2020." The finish blends nicely with most kitchen design styles, but we especially love the look of brass hardware against dark, moody cabinetry or a polished brass faucet that acts as a shiny focal point in a neutral kitchen. 
When the goal is rustic simplicity, there's no need to spend tons on custom cabinetry and granite counters. Paint transformed oak cabinets, bought off the rack at Lowe's and topped with Ikea's birch slabs, while the same white semigloss brightened stools from Walmart. An old tablecloth was used as a skirt for the farmhouse sink, and classic glass cannisters, also Walmart finds, were used for storage instead of upper cabinets.
You can remove walls and cabinetry if you have the space and the budget to do it. You can even combine this space with the dining room for one large, unified area, instead of having a bar or tall wall separate the two. If you live in a condo, check building codes to make sure you can knock out walls. Also, consult with a contractor, as they could recognize that the wall is connected to a supporting beam.
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Remodeling your kitchen is the perfect opportunity to create a design that’s based on your individual needs. Focus on who will be using the kitchen most and how many people will be working in the space at one time. You’ll want to ensure you have room to work and move around as needed, so consider the work triangle in your new layout. You’ll also want to think about a dining area, how often you entertain, and what a kitchen with guests would look like. Our team of kitchen designers can develop a variety of options to ensure your new kitchen perfectly fits your lifestyle.
Speaking of sale price, your expected date of sale has an effect on your total cost. Like I said above, if you plan on living in the home for a long time, don’t be afraid to splurge. After all, this is your kitchen, one of the most trafficked rooms in any house. However, if you plan on selling your house in the near future, say less than three years after the remodel, don’t go crazy with your kitchen renovation.
Plan ahead and determine whether you need to upgrade your electrical board to accommodate a new refrigerator or oven -- which can be $1,000. You may also need to move outlets and fixtures to accommodate a new layout. Plus, you may have outdated outlets that need replacement -- adding $175 to your total. Have an electrician on hand to guide you through the process and be ready to spend about 5 percent of your total on electrical work. 
The time it takes to remodel your kitchen depends on the size of your project, the amount of work needed, and product lead times. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, averaging 2-3 weeks for a small project and 4-12 weeks for a larger, more complex project. These time estimates include the ordering and delivery of your custom products. During your site verification, ask our qualified kitchen contractor how long your project should take.
Task Lighting: Under-cabinet lighting should be on your must-do list, since cabinets create such dark work areas. And since you’re remodeling, there won’t be a better time to hard-wire your lights. (Here’s more about under-cabinet lights.) Plan for at least two fixtures per task area to eliminate shadows. Pendant lights are good for islands and other counters without low cabinets. Recessed lights and track lights work well over sinks and general prep areas with no cabinets overhead.

Energy Star-rated Appliances – Are certified as energy-efficient. Although they often cost more upfront, homeowners benefit from lower utility bills, longer lifespans, and many states offer residential rebates and incentives to help make your home more resourceful. Look for this certification when purchasing your dishwasher, freezer, fridge, and even lights. Average cost: $300 to $3,000.
Plan ahead and determine whether you need to upgrade your electrical board to accommodate a new refrigerator or oven -- which can be $1,000. You may also need to move outlets and fixtures to accommodate a new layout. Plus, you may have outdated outlets that need replacement -- adding $175 to your total. Have an electrician on hand to guide you through the process and be ready to spend about 5 percent of your total on electrical work. 
Case in point: Photographer and designer Erin Kestenbaum transformed her kitchen as part of this fall’s One Room Challenge and thoughtfully included enhanced storage space. Kestenbaum’s creative solutions included vertical tray storage above the fridge, a narrow drawer for oils and spices by the range, and a coffee bar built into a full-height cabinet. "I love designing upfront ways to hide the clutter and appliances that, without a home, will inevitably end up on your countertop occupying space," she says. 
If you decide to go with a major remodel and spend upwards of $50,000, you should consider consulting a kitchen designer. A professional designer has the experience, connections and examples to suggest what fits with your plan. He or she can also help you save where possible, so you don't spend needlessly while still getting the final product you want.
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