"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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Keeping your existing kitchen appliances can save you money in the short-term. If your stove, oven, dishwasher or fridge isn't Energy Star-certified, however, you should consider upgrading them. Energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bills, and they help to preserve the environment, too. Additional electrical rewiring may be required to accommodate Energy Star appliances.

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. 


During a kitchen remodel, you can also decide whether it makes sense to hide small appliances in cabinets or display them on the countertop. Another storage option is a new pantry, which can help you and your family stay organized. You may also want to consider having a kitchen island, with its own set of storage cabinets or shelves. Islands can also provide additional countertop and seating space.
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.
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.
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.
Therefore, if you’re planning a large kitchen remodeling project, prepare to eat out or even move out. It may sound scary and expensive to move out of your home, but believe it or not, you could end up saving money and reducing the overall completion time. You’re giving the contractor more freedom and space to complete the project faster. It eliminates a lot of cleaning they would have to do if you were occupying the home.
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.

As the heart of the home, kitchens tend to serve multiple purposes. That's why smart storage is essential for keeping kitchen clutter at bay and making the most of available space. Creative storage solutions continue to be popular add-ons in kitchen design, with 78% of homeowners renovating their kitchens planning to include specialty storage in their new cabinetry, according to a 2019 Houzz study.
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