"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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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.

Within each category of materials, price depends on quality. Seamless materials, such as Corian and granite, tend to be more durable, but are generally more expensive. Formica and concrete tend to be cheaper but add less value. Tile can be pretty, but you can expect quite a bit of maintenance down the road and regular grout cleaning. Countertop materials include:
Before any remodel, everyone has a rough idea of what they want the final product to be. Sadly, we can’t always see an exact replica of what we have on our mind. Therefore, when you see a kitchen design, appliance or layout you like, take a picture, save a pin or do whatever you can to not lose that image. If you’re meeting with a kitchen designer, show them everything you saved. It will undoubtedly make the process much easier.

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. 


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.

Then there's the cost of flooring, which is between $1,400 to $5,000 and highly dependent on the material selected and the overall square footage. While vinyl is an excellent option in terms of affordability, it does not add much value to a home. In comparison, granite and hardwood flooring will increase value, but at a higher cost. While wood floors are popular, most remodelers don’t recommend having them in your kitchen because they are so susceptible to moisture.
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.
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.
Be Smart About Countertops: Selecting and purchasing new countertops is a big project, but there are ways to simplify the process. If you want new counters, but are worried about how much they cost, then consider materials that look nice but don’t come with a high price tag. Installing ceramic tile is a great choice for a budget-friendly kitchen countertop.
A huge part of a kitchen remodel expense involves appliances. Can you keep any of your current appliances? Doing so will save you thousands of dollars, no joke. I’m sticking with stainless appliances, a new stainless sink, and my Delta faucet (which I love, and it’s fun to watch guests try and figure out how to turn on). All of my appliances work perfectly fine, but we are getting a new refrigerator and stove. Because of my job we really need two refrigerators and I splurged on a double oven range since I couldn’t fit double ovens anywhere without sacrificing cabinets.
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.
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.
When planning for this project, ask yourself how long you plan to live in your house from the time of the remodel. If you plan to sell shortly after, you shouldn't spend too much money on it. The rule of thumb is that you should spend between 5 and 15 percent of your property's total value. This is the optimum range for homeowners to spend and expect to recoup.

While home equity loans and HELOCs can come with low interest rates and fair terms, it’s important to understand that not everyone qualifies. According to the FTC, you can typically borrow only up to 85 percent of your home’s value with a first mortgage and second loan, for example. This makes home equity products a poor option for anyone who has been a homeowner for a short time and doesn’t have a lot of equity built up.


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.

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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