"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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Expect to pay $3,500 to $6,000 for installation alone. Professional labor typically factors into the total in a range from 15 to 25 percent. The NKBA suggests 17 percent as the median. This percentage will vary depending on the size of the space and the features you install. Hiring a kitchen remodeling contractor is the best way to get the most out of your project and budget.
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. 
The light wood tones and metallic pendant warm up the otherwise cool space in this kitchen designed by Hecker Guthrie. This space also proves that a bistro round bistro table situated over the island makes a classic kitchen layout so much more interesting. And it's even fresher when you paint your bar stools a buoyant shade of mint green hue and hang a copper pendant light overhead.
Then there's the cost of flooring, which is between $1,400 to $5,000 and highly dependent on the material selected and the overall square footage. While vinyl is an excellent option in terms of affordability, it does not add much value to a home. In comparison, granite and hardwood flooring will increase value, but at a higher cost. While wood floors are popular, most remodelers don’t recommend having them in your kitchen because they are so susceptible to moisture.
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.

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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