"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.

Think about how you can function without a working kitchen. Utilize small appliances and keep your pantry stocked with nonperishable grab-and-go items. Use biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils since you won’t have a working dishwasher. Take advantage of a grill or outdoor cooking area if you have one. You may also want to consider eating out with family or friends more often. Being prepared ahead of time will greatly alleviate any stress you may have without a functioning kitchen during the remodel.
Try not to stay in your home while the work is going on unless you have a second kitchen in the house. You will not be able to cook or eat in there for 3–8 weeks if the remodel is a big one. If you have no choice but to stay, talk to the contractor about isolating the work area and controlling the airflow. Remodeling dust can damage the lungs and cause short- and long-term health problems. Verify the contractor stop and start times, walk-through dates, vacation days, etc.
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.
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.
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.
Installing kitchen appliances costs $100 to $300 per appliance on average. Investing in higher quality stoves, dishwashers or refrigerators will certainly drive up your total price. However, if you want to improve your home’s value, it will pay to install higher quality products. There are various options to choose from, including EnergyStar-certified, custom built-in, high-end store bought and budget outlet products. If longevity is important to you, look for products with longer life expectancies.
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. 
Try not to stay in your home while the work is going on unless you have a second kitchen in the house. You will not be able to cook or eat in there for 3–8 weeks if the remodel is a big one. If you have no choice but to stay, talk to the contractor about isolating the work area and controlling the airflow. Remodeling dust can damage the lungs and cause short- and long-term health problems. Verify the contractor stop and start times, walk-through dates, vacation days, etc.
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Homeowners use kitchens in different ways. For those of you who eat out a lot, don’t have children or prefer to go to other housewarming parties may not have use for an open layout or large kitchen island. In essence, if you don’t use the kitchen that often, it may make more sense to invest your money elsewhere in the home (that is, unless you’re selling soon).

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. 

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