"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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Before you budget, you must decide what you want to remodel. Some homeowners don’t have the budget or time to completely remodel the entire kitchen. As such, you have to pick and choose your additions. Remember, the smallest details can sometimes make the biggest difference. Refacing your kitchen cabinets or replacing your kitchen hardware can oftentimes have as big an effect as large kitchen renovation projects.
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.
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. 
If you’re in the Sacramento area, you might recognize the name Kitchen Mart, Inc. They’ve been around for over 30 years and they handle everything on your remodel, from design to demolition to installation. I pretty much hired them and they handle it all. They have no subcontractors – everything is in house – so you know it’s going to get done on time and on budget. They do everything from cabinet refacing to custom cabinetry, full service countertop fabrication, and they work with you to find the design you want. (Pssst, they do bathrooms too!)
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. 
With $10,000 and $15,000, you'll need to do some work yourself and hire a professional for the specialty work. If possible, purchase some of the materials before calling in the professionals. While contractors can get some materials for wholesale prices, it’s customary for them to charge extra for the purchase and labor. Save time and money by getting materials in advance and then paying for installation.
Most homeowners spend between $12,800 and $21,200 for the average kitchen renovation. The lower end of this spectrum covers smaller projects, such as refacing cabinets, installing a backsplash, painting, etc. In comparison, renovations that cost $30,000+ typically involve the introduction of hardwood flooring, high-end appliances, and custom features.
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.

If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s planning for something. Since I’m not doing much for the actual remodel, all of my planning is going towards figuring out how to work, bake, and eat for 6 weeks without a kitchen. I’ve set up two staging areas: one for work/baking and one for everything else. My house is a disaster. Tomorrow we are going to grill an the contents of our local Costco to freeze for quick meals. I ordered a toaster oven for baking and our refrigerator is in the garage in it’s new (permanent) placement. I’ll keep you posted. Two dumpsters are sitting in my driveway and demo starts Monday. Wish me luck!! 🙂
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.
"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. 
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