"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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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. 
"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. 
Sadly, most home remodeling projects do not return 100% of your investment. In fact, according to Remodeling’s 2017 Cost Vs. Value report, only one project will return a positive investment (attic insulation). Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you should skip all remodeling projects. After all, if you plan to live in your house for another 10 years, you will enjoy those long overdue upgrades. You’ll get a higher sale price down the line and a higher quality of life living with a remodeled kitchen.

Older homes typically don’t have enough amps to handle modern demand. Any new work will need to be wired with a new meter, paneling and piping, which can cost $1,000+ to bring it up from the older 60 amps to the modern 200 amps or more. If you move appliances to other parts of the kitchen or install new lighting anywhere no lights have been before, this cost will be factored in. You’ll probably also need new outlets at an average price of $150.


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.
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.

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.

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.

If you plan to remain in your house for years, then you should consider splurging on items like new countertops, appliances, cabinets and flooring. The fact you'll be living in the house for years to come means that you could save money on repair or replacement because they last longer. It also means that you continue to find value in their repeated use. If you plan to live in your house for years or decades after the renovation, there's no point in spending money and only making small changes.
The kitchen work triangle is the area where most tasks are performed in your kitchen. This usually involves the refrigerator, the stove, and the sink. The spacing of these items is essential, as you’ll spend a lot of time moving back and forth between these three focal points. Our kitchen designers will help you find the optimal location for your work triangle. We will design your kitchen to be functional to fit your specific needs.

In its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2019, Remodeling Magazine puts the national average for a midrange major kitchen remodel at $66,196 and an upscale major kitchen remodel at $131,510. In the Pacific region (Alaska, California, Washington and Oregon), according to Remodeling Magazine, that same midrange major kitchen remodel jumps to $72,513 and an upscale major kitchen remodel jumps up $11,823 from the national average, to $143,333. Compare those costs to the South Atlantic Region (Maryland, South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.) where a midrange major kitchen remodel prices out at $63,387 and an upscale major kitchen remodel is $126,307. The addition of luxury stone or marble countertops, high-end faucets and flooring, a commercial-grade range and luxury faucets can all significantly increase the cost of a renovation.

Hardware Updates: Hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of the cabinetry. Luckily, certain styles and types of hardware are cheap, but can still transform the look and feel of any kitchen. Just know that a typical kitchen can have anywhere between 20-40 knobs and pulls. Remember, the cheaper items will not last as long as the more expensive purchases.

After our initial consultation we got to go to the Kitchen Mart showroom and actually see what our finished kitchen will look like. That was the kicker for me – I’m a very visual person. Just seeing something written, or even sketched, makes it hard for me to visualize the finished product. I got to see what my kitchen is going to look like, and I fell in love instantly.
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