"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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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.
Shades of blue will continue to be popular in the new year—as evidenced by Pantone's pick for 2020 Color of the Year. And it's no wonder this friendly, approachable hue is great for kitchens. "The blue color family is extremely versatile," says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. "Its varying shades—from light to denim to navy—have calming qualities that induce a sense of comfort at home and feel almost neutral."
Are you planning a major kitchen overhaul or a budget kitchen remodel? It can help to have an idea of the depth of your project before you dive in. You may be able to keep costs at minimum if you’re able to do some of the work yourself and don’t need high-end finishes or appliances. However, you’ll need to plan a sizable budget if your project is a gut job or you have expensive tastes.

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. 

Installing new appliances costs between $100 to $300 per appliance on average. By installing higher quality appliances, you can instantly improve your home's value. If you’ve been thinking of keeping your older appliances, keep in mind that most kitchen appliances only last 10-12 years and can cost $250-$500 to repair; and you might end up saving more money by replacing them with warrantied, newer models now. Newer stainless steel appliances are smudge free, and there are many options available, including:
Keep in mind, however, that some personal loan companies let you borrow only up to $35,000 or $40,000, which means you may need to consider another option if your borrowing needs are greater. Also note that while personal loans can offer fixed interest rates as low as 4 percent, the best rates and terms tend to go to borrowers with good or excellent credit.
If a total kitchen transformation is what you’re after, it’s time to redo your flooring. Many choices are available nowadays. And if you’re looking for a durable, easy-to-clean option and love the traditional appeal of hardwood, consider a wood-look alternative such as vinyl or this glazed ceramic tile, which you can also use on the wall as a rustic backsplash.
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.
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.
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