"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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Sadly, most home remodeling projects do not return 100% of your investment. In fact, according to Remodeling’s 2017 Cost Vs. Value report, only one project will return a positive investment (attic insulation). Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should skip all remodeling projects. After all, if you plan to live in your house for another 10 years, you will enjoy those long overdue upgrades. You’ll get a higher sale price down the line and a higher quality of life living with a remodeled kitchen.

If you do have the budget to rearrange appliances, make sure to keep your floor plan in mind. Does it follow the natural triangular traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove, and oven? Is the dishwasher next to the sink? It should be, because otherwise, you create a mess every time you walk across the room with a dripping dish in your hand. To save money, I once put a dishwasher in the counter opposite the sink – and as a result, I cleaned up drips on the floor for years.
Once you get beyond $20,000, your wish list is almost endless (without going crazy). After replacing all counters and refacing or installing new cabinets, focus on the flooring, backsplash and island. If you don’t have a kitchen island, go out and find a kitchen pro to add one right away. They are becoming a staple in kitchens across the country. They not only add a new and improved design feature, but also improves your storage and expands your seating.

Hardware Updates: Hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of the cabinetry. Luckily, certain styles and types of hardware are cheap, but can still transform the look and feel of any kitchen. Just know that a typical kitchen can have anywhere between 20-40 knobs and pulls. Remember, the cheaper items will not last as long as the more expensive purchases.

You can begin planning for your kitchen remodel by knowing a rough estimate of where your money will be spent. For a full kitchen renovation, 1/3 of your budget will go to cabinetry, 1/3 will be spent on installation, and the remaining 1/3 is allocated to finishing touches. Finishing touches could be appliances, lighting, faucets, sinks, plumbing, backsplash, countertops, or flooring. Keeping these in mind, you’ll be able to balance your budget and more easily plan your project. For additional details on the cost of remodeling a kitchen, please visit our cost guide.

If you’re thinking about updating appliances or adding new ones, a kitchen remodel is the perfect time to do so, as your cabinet design will be built around your appliance specs. New appliances can give your kitchen a fresh look, but it’s important to choose the right appliances for your needs. If you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, standard appliances might be sufficient. If you enjoy cooking, baking and entertaining, top-of-the-line appliances may be essential.
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