"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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Take time to think about how your cooking space functions and how different types of light—ambient, layer, and task—can best meet your needs. Then consider varying the style between fixtures, like pairing midcentury pendants with French-country sconces. As you mix and match, choose at least one element, such as the finish or shape, and keep it consistent between fixtures to maintain a cohesive look. Utilizing an artful mix of lighting will not only give your kitchen a stylish appearance but also make it a more livable space.


Homeowners use kitchens in different ways. For those of you who eat out a lot, don’t have children or prefer to go to other housewarming parties may not have use for an open layout or large kitchen island. In essence, if you don’t use the kitchen that often, it may make more sense to invest your money elsewhere in the home (that is, unless you’re selling soon).
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.

More often than not, we keep food cold until it comes time to cook. In order to make that famous lasagna or spaghetti and meatballs, you need a reliable oven/stove combo. Like many other kitchen appliances, the oven and stove have come a long way. While stainless steel is undoubtedly preferred materials nowadays, appliance manufacturers are creating updated versions every single day.
While home equity loans and HELOCs can come with low interest rates and fair terms, it’s important to understand that not everyone qualifies. According to the FTC, you can typically borrow only up to 85 percent of your home’s value with a first mortgage and second loan, for example. This makes home equity products a poor option for anyone who has been a homeowner for a short time and doesn’t have a lot of equity built up.
"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. 
Hardware Updates: Hardware is often referred to as the jewelry of the cabinetry. Luckily, certain styles and types of hardware are cheap, but can still transform the look and feel of any kitchen. Just know that a typical kitchen can have anywhere between 20-40 knobs and pulls. Remember, the cheaper items will not last as long as the more expensive purchases.

When you're working with $15,000 to $30,000, you can leave more work to the professionals instead of doing it yourself. This might include refinishing or refacing your cabinets, painting the walls and ceilings, installing new lighting and rewiring some electrical work. You can also focus on replacing your flooring, if it's particularly worn, and look at more high-grade countertop material like stone (granite, Corian, Formica). You might be able to invest in custom cabinets, move some plumbing, or have an island installed in this price range, but you might have to compromise on other upgrades in the process.
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.
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.
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. 
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