"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.
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 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.

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.
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. 
When estimating the cost of a kitchen remodel, there are various factors to keep in mind. The most important include budget, longevity, and what other homeowners in the neighborhood are doing with their spaces. By planning around these factors, it's possible to come out with results that meet expectations, last for a long time and recoup most of their original cost in the resale.

Once you have an idea of your kitchen remodel budget, play around with a loan calculator to figure out your next move. Determine how much your monthly payment may be considering your credit score, how much you borrow and how long you are willing to pay your loan. Also consider how your new monthly payment will affect your monthly cash flow and personal finances overall.


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.
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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.


When buying new fridges, ranges, and dishwashers, stick with the same brand. Fortunately appliance manufactures have begun to create good-looking, low-priced lines that include matching sets. With a little research and some smart shopping, you can find affordable appliances that look very high-end – and when they all match, you get a designer look for much less.
The price of new countertops differs widely based on materials. Stone surfaces, like quartz and granite, are the most durable, but also the most expensive. Solid surface and laminate are less costly but require more maintenance. Ceramic tiles are generally an affordable backsplash alternative, depending on their brand and the complexity of the tiling layout.

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. 
As is the case with many of the appliances below, your overall price will largely depend on the product you buy. We have seen refrigerator installation go as low as $200, but as high as $5,000. Nonetheless, according to Homewyse, the average price to install a new refrigerator is roughly $1,200. This price includes labor, site preparation, delivery and clean up. 

Before you apply for a loan, price out every component of your kitchen remodel cost including materials and labor. If you’re working with a contractor, they may take care of this task on your behalf. Keep in mind that you may also want to factor in another 10 percent in costs for any construction overages, new kitchen decor or any related expenses that pop up.

As you increase the size of your project in regards to the square footage, you can expect to pay more. For example, a medium-sized space is typically defined as an area that is between 75 and 100+ square feet, costing between $15,000 and $30,000. For 12' x 12' kitchens between 150 and 175 square feet, which is around the average size, renovations range from $20,000 to $45,000.
Older homes might need the whole home’s plumbing replaced due to narrow or rotting pipes, but hopefully your kitchen remodel only requires a minimal amount of plumbing work. Plumbing services include sink installation costs, faucet installation costs, new piping, and often make up less than 5% of your expenses. Each of these services will be billed individually unless you work out a project cost with your plumber.
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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