"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. 
Try not to stay in your home while the work is going on unless you have a second kitchen in the house. You will not be able to cook or eat in there for 3–8 weeks if the remodel is a big one. If you have no choice but to stay, talk to the contractor about isolating the work area and controlling the airflow. Remodeling dust can damage the lungs and cause short- and long-term health problems. Verify the contractor stop and start times, walk-through dates, vacation days, etc.
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.
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.

Before you apply for a loan, price out every component of your kitchen remodel cost including materials and labor. If you’re working with a contractor, they may take care of this task on your behalf. Keep in mind that you may also want to factor in another 10 percent in costs for any construction overages, new kitchen decor or any related expenses that pop up.


Energy Star-rated Appliances – Are certified as energy-efficient. Although they often cost more upfront, homeowners benefit from lower utility bills, longer lifespans, and many states offer residential rebates and incentives to help make your home more resourceful. Look for this certification when purchasing your dishwasher, freezer, fridge, and even lights. Average cost: $300 to $3,000.
Speaking of sale price, your expected date of sale has an effect on your total cost. Like I said above, if you plan on living in the home for a long time, don’t be afraid to splurge. After all, this is your kitchen, one of the most trafficked rooms in any house. However, if you plan on selling your house in the near future, say less than three years after the remodel, don’t go crazy with your kitchen renovation.
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.
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