"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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Update Your Cabinets & Paint: Not replacing, but updating, refacing or refinishing your kitchen cabinets are all projects that’ll make your kitchen look better without breaking the bank. As you know, your cabinets take up a lot of real estate in your kitchen and set the tone for the rest of the room. A fresh coat of paint, both on the cabinets and the surrounding walls will do the trick.


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.
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.
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:
In a well-designed kitchen, lighting serves various functions. For example, an overhead fixture brightens up the overall space, while sconces illuminate specific tasks. "For kitchens, there’s definitely been an uptick in pendants for use over islands," says Ashley Fothergill, creative director at Mitzi and Hudson Valley Lighting. "Sconces are in demand, too, for lighting the washing of dishes in the sink or as an accent along a backsplash behind the stove."

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.
The price of new countertops differs widely based on materials. Stone surfaces, like quartz and granite, are the most durable, but also the most expensive. Solid surface and laminate are less costly but require more maintenance. Ceramic tiles are generally an affordable backsplash alternative, depending on their brand and the complexity of the tiling layout.
Designed to fit flush and coordinate with kitchen cabinetry, integrated appliances, particularly refrigerators and dishwashers, are on the rise, according to industry experts. Today's options prevent utilitarian appliances from breaking up sightlines and seamlessly disappear into surrounding cabinetry to provide a more cohesive look and luxurious aesthetic. 
Remember that the above numbers are averages. Just because most homeowners spend nearly 30% of their budget on cabinetry and hardware, that doesn’t mean you have to as well. If you think your floors are in really bad shape, spend more there. Even if you’re completely renovating your kitchen, you must spend and distribute your budget wisely. To ensure you’re putting your money where it needs to be, continue reading below.
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.
"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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