"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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Personal loans tend to be a good option for kitchen remodeling projects because you may have a good idea how much cash you need before you start demolition. This is especially true if you’re using a contractor for your kitchen renovation. Once they assess your project and draw up a proposal, you can use that information to compare loan options for the amount of capital you need.
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.

Plan ahead and determine whether you need to upgrade your electrical board to accommodate a new refrigerator or oven -- which can be $1,000. You may also need to move outlets and fixtures to accommodate a new layout. Plus, you may have outdated outlets that need replacement -- adding $175 to your total. Have an electrician on hand to guide you through the process and be ready to spend about 5 percent of your total on electrical work. 
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
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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