"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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Shades of blue will continue to be popular in the new year—as evidenced by Pantone's pick for 2020 Color of the Year. And it's no wonder this friendly, approachable hue is great for kitchens. "The blue color family is extremely versatile," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "Its varying shades—from light to denim to navy—have calming qualities that induce a sense of comfort at home and feel almost neutral."
Before any remodel, everyone has a rough idea of what they want the final product to be. Sadly, we can’t always see an exact replica of what we have on our mind. Therefore, when you see a kitchen design, appliance or layout you like, take a picture, save a pin or do whatever you can to not lose that image. If you’re meeting with a kitchen designer, show them everything you saved. It will undoubtedly make the process much easier.
When you're working with $15,000 to $30,000, you can leave more work to the professionals instead of doing it yourself. This might include refinishing or refacing your cabinets, painting the walls and ceilings, installing new lighting and rewiring some electrical work. You can also focus on replacing your flooring, if it's particularly worn, and look at more high-grade countertop material like stone (granite, Corian, Formica). You might be able to invest in custom cabinets, move some plumbing, or have an island installed in this price range, but you might have to compromise on other upgrades in the process.
Professional kitchen designers charge $100 to $200 per hour. Though the NKBA suggests four percent of your budget will go to design fees, this shoots up to closer to 10 percent when you hire a certified professional on-site. If you get advice or an in-home consultation from a materials and design store, it will certainly stay in the range of a $100 to $800 flat fee. However, homeowners report paying $3,500 to $18,500 for certified professionals and independent services. At this rate, you might expect such services as:
When you think about how much time you spend in your kitchen, a calming color is a clear winner. We especially love the deep moody blues and rich blue-greens that pair so beautifully with many other kitchen trends, like brass hardware and natural wood accents. Wadden suggests Charcoal Blue SW 2739, a smoky slate blue, as a color that complements light countertops and warm wood tones.
In a well-designed kitchen, lighting serves various functions. For example, an overhead fixture brightens up the overall space, while sconces illuminate specific tasks. "For kitchens, there’s definitely been an uptick in pendants for use over islands," says Ashley Fothergill, creative director at Mitzi and Hudson Valley Lighting. "Sconces are in demand, too, for lighting the washing of dishes in the sink or as an accent along a backsplash behind the stove."

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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