"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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Professional kitchen designers charge $100 to $200 per hour. Though the NKBA suggests four percent of your budget will go to design fees, this shoots up to closer to 10 percent when you hire a certified professional on-site. If you get advice or an in-home consultation from a materials and design store, it will certainly stay in the range of a $100 to $800 flat fee. However, homeowners report paying $3,500 to $18,500 for certified professionals and independent services. At this rate, you might expect such services as:
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the countertops might be called the heart of the kitchen. Therefore, as you can tell above, it’s one of the most popular kitchen remodeling projects. The average cost of having new countertops installed is $3,401, but it's important to realize how much this can vary from project to project. The price will depend on the size of your kitchen, the simplicity of the layout and the materials used.

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.
Before you start planning, consider the market and decide whether a low-, medium-, or high-end kitchen remodel makes the most sense. Costs can run the gamut from $2,000 for a simple paint-and-hardware upgrade to $50,000 if you’re installing expensive countertops and luxury appliances. Knowing your neighborhood will help keep from overspending – you may not get your investment back installing travertine in your tiny starter – or worse, underspending. Let’s face it, you’ll never see Formica in a high-end home, and in fact, it may become a barrier to your sale.
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.

If you’re thinking about updating appliances or adding new ones, a kitchen remodel is the perfect time to do so, as your cabinet design will be built around your appliance specs. New appliances can give your kitchen a fresh look, but it’s important to choose the right appliances for your needs. If you don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, standard appliances might be sufficient. If you enjoy cooking, baking and entertaining, top-of-the-line appliances may be essential.
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