"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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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.
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.
Trends come and go each year, but when designing a kitchen, you want a look that lasts. The average kitchen remodel costs about $20,000 and takes several weeks (or even months) to complete, so renovating every time an of-the-moment look becomes passé isn't realistic. That's why we talked with design and color experts across the kitchen industry to find the trends with staying power as well as perennial classics that will be everywhere in the new year. Here are the kitchen design trends we predict to dominate in the coming year. 
Shades of blue will continue to be popular in the new year—as evidenced by Pantone's pick for 2020 Color of the Year. And it's no wonder this friendly, approachable hue is great for kitchens. "The blue color family is extremely versatile," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "Its varying shades—from light to denim to navy—have calming qualities that induce a sense of comfort at home and feel almost neutral."

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.
While most people do not realize this, dishwashers are much more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand. Individuals use too much water and soap when washing their dishes by hand. Dishwashers have been proven to save about 5,000 gallons of water each year and up to $40 on utility bills. This equates to a savings of over $400 during the average life of a dishwasher. Because this easily falls within the average price range of purchasing a dishwasher, it is possible to break even on a dishwasher at the end of its life cycle. 
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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