"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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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.
Are you planning a major kitchen overhaul or a budget kitchen remodel? It can help to have an idea of the depth of your project before you dive in. You may be able to keep costs at minimum if you’re able to do some of the work yourself and don’t need high-end finishes or appliances. However, you’ll need to plan a sizable budget if your project is a gut job or you have expensive tastes.
The homeowners replaced the awkward upper cabinets with shelving that makes the most of the kitchen's pitched ceiling. They also ditched the lower cabinets for freestanding components, including a stainless steel rolling island and a mango-wood Crate & Barrel console fitted with a marble top. A red Aga gas stove offers a serious upgrade over the old electric model.

If you decide to do a major change and rearrange your appliances, you will have to relocate the pipes. This often involves getting new pipes – installing additional pipes costs about $1,100 – and connecting them to the main line. This also means spending more on labor and, in some cases, hiring a plumber. Plus, you might have to get a permit from the city. These building permits could cost up to $800 if your contractor gets it for you.


There are several elements in your kitchen with storage capabilities. Most homeowners start with their cabinets. If you need new cabinets, now is the time to update storage capacity with drawer inserts, roll-out trays or more shelves. You can also choose a closed cabinet design, a glass face to display the items in the cabinets, or even have open shelving.
If they’re quality wood and still in good working order, you’re in luck. This is one of the first things I check when sizing up a pre-remodel kitchen, since cabinet frames are the most expensive component of the entire space.  It’s quite simple to give salvageable cabinets a face lift. Three common ways to repurpose and save thousands include: adding new doors and drawer fronts, re-laminating fronts and sides, or repainting – which leads us to......Don’t Just Paint – Spray Paint. Have all the cabinets cleaned and lightly sanded, then have a painter come in to spray them. Don’t try to DIY this one; a couple of cans of spray paint from the hardware store just won’t do the trick. A professional spray job can make ugly cabinets look factory-new. And you can’t get the same look by painting or rolling the cabinets yourself.
Similarly, you can update your kitchen by changing the color of your cabinets. You don’t need a complete remodel to update the look. You can paint your cabinets and make them look like new again! While you can likely complete the painting in an afternoon, it may take a day or two to dry completely. Remember this as you’re planning your paint project. See our tutorial on the Best Way To Paint Kitchen Cabinets. 

There are several elements in your kitchen with storage capabilities. Most homeowners start with their cabinets. If you need new cabinets, now is the time to update storage capacity with drawer inserts, roll-out trays or more shelves. You can also choose a closed cabinet design, a glass face to display the items in the cabinets, or even have open shelving.


Before you start planning, consider the market and decide whether a low-, medium-, or high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Costs can run the gamut from $2,000 for a simple paint-and-hardware upgrade to $50,000 if you’re installing expensive countertops and luxury appliances. Knowing your neighborhood will help keep from overspending – you may not get your investment back installing travertine in your tiny starter – or worse, underspending. Let’s face it, you’ll never see Formica in a high-end home, and in fact, it may become a barrier to your sale.
With $10,000 and $15,000, you'll need to do some work yourself and hire a professional for the specialty work. If possible, purchase some of the materials before calling in the professionals. While contractors can get some materials for wholesale prices, it’s customary for them to charge extra for the purchase and labor. Save time and money by getting materials in advance and then paying for installation.
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.
Before you start planning, consider the market and decide whether a low-, medium-, or high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Costs can run the gamut from $2,000 for a simple paint-and-hardware upgrade to $50,000 if you’re installing expensive countertops and luxury appliances. Knowing your neighborhood will help keep from overspending – you may not get your investment back installing travertine in your tiny starter – or worse, underspending. Let’s face it, you’ll never see Formica in a high-end home, and in fact, it may become a barrier to your sale.
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.
There are a few ways to go when you’re hiring a kitchen remodel contractor. You can do it all yourself, you can coordinate and hire the contractors and subcontractors, or you can hire a company that will do it all for you. Option 1 is not an option (we are the least handy people EVER). Option 2 wasn’t very appealing to me because I barely have time to clean my house let alone be a project manager. We went with option 3: we hired a company to do it all for us.
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