"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. 
Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most effective ways to raise the overall value of a home before selling or give your home a face-lift. The cost of remodeling a kitchen can vary widely depending on the size and scope of your project, with the national average coming in around $17,000, with most homeowners spending between $12,000 and $21,000. This guide can help estimate your costs and give you a starting point for various upgrades and services.
The homeowners replaced the awkward upper cabinets with shelving that makes the most of the kitchen's pitched ceiling. They also ditched the lower cabinets for freestanding components, including a stainless steel rolling island and a mango-wood Crate & Barrel console fitted with a marble top. A red Aga gas stove offers a serious upgrade over the old electric model.

Remodeling your kitchen is a great investment for any homeowner. In addition to creating a beautiful, functional place to cook delicious meals, entertain guests, and spend family time, a kitchen remodel offers a high return rate in the real estate market. Such a large project does require careful planning to ensure its affordability, since certain factors like the amount of labor, the kitchen's size and the chosen materials can greatly affect the overall cost.
Minor remodels aim to preserve the kitchen’s existing footprint while refreshing its overall appearance and usability. The significant changes are usually budget-friendly fixes like painting the walls, adding new flooring and buying energy-efficient appliances, since the customer isn’t selecting top-of-the-line materials or products. Cabinetry is often a lofty expense, but minor remodels opt for money-saving measures like refacing the existing cabinets or selecting entry-level cabinets, which are mass-produced and ready-to-install.
If you decide to go with a major remodel and spend upwards of $50,000, you should consider consulting a kitchen designer. A professional designer has the experience, connections and examples to suggest what fits with your plan. He or she can also help you save where possible, so you don't spend needlessly while still getting the final product you want.
Keeping your existing kitchen appliances can save you money in the short-term. If your stove, oven, dishwasher or fridge isn't Energy Star-certified, however, you should consider upgrading them. Energy-efficient appliances pay for themselves over time by lowering your utility bills, and they help to preserve the environment, too. Additional electrical rewiring may be required to accommodate Energy Star appliances.
When buying new fridges, ranges, and dishwashers, stick with the same brand. Fortunately appliance manufactures have begun to create good-looking, low-priced lines that include matching sets. With a little research and some smart shopping, you can find affordable appliances that look very high-end – and when they all match, you get a designer look for much less.
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."
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.
The average cost of kitchen fixtures, appliances, and labor differs by U.S. region. Remodeling projects in the Southern United States are generally cheaper than identical projects completed in Northern and Western areas. For instance, a major kitchen overhaul with midrange materials could cost $56,639 in Titusville, FL and rise to $77,460 if completed in San Francisco, CA.
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.
As is the case with many of the appliances below, your overall price will largely depend on the product you buy. We have seen refrigerator installation go as low as $200, but as high as $5,000. Nonetheless, according to Homewyse, the average price to install a new refrigerator is roughly $1,200. This price includes labor, site preparation, delivery and clean up. 
If they’re quality wood and still in good working order, you’re in luck. This is one of the first things I check when sizing up a pre-remodel kitchen, since cabinet frames are the most expensive component of the entire space.  It’s quite simple to give salvageable cabinets a face lift. Three common ways to repurpose and save thousands include: adding new doors and drawer fronts, re-laminating fronts and sides, or repainting – which leads us to......Don’t Just Paint – Spray Paint. Have all the cabinets cleaned and lightly sanded, then have a painter come in to spray them. Don’t try to DIY this one; a couple of cans of spray paint from the hardware store just won’t do the trick. A professional spray job can make ugly cabinets look factory-new. And you can’t get the same look by painting or rolling the cabinets yourself.
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.
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.
When estimating the cost of a kitchen remodel, there are various factors to keep in mind. The most important include budget, longevity, and what other homeowners in the neighborhood are doing with their spaces. By planning around these factors, it's possible to come out with results that meet expectations, last for a long time and recoup most of their original cost in the resale.
I had countertops installed the Saturday before Christmas. They arrived at 5:00 in the evening. The top was two sections of cabinets. The one section arrived with a small chip on the edge. The other section had a small chip at the seem which they just filled with epoxy. They dropped glue on my newly installed floor as well as outside. The product they used to clean when done splashed on my newly painted wall and won’t come off. Now the wall has to be repainted which means buying more expensive paint. There was a long rust colored line on the edge of the countertop that won’t come off. Nowhere else does that color appear. There is a caulk joint of about a 1/4 inch between the top of the cabinet and underside of top. Cabinet was level so don’t understand the need for the caulk. We like our choice of color and the looks of our tops. Our issue is with the installation. Would not recommend. Read less 

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.
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