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Ahhh yes, the kitchen: great beating heart—and premier wad-sucking money pit of the home. Wompity womp. So where exactly are the best places to spend those reno dollars? We asked Fixer Upper star (and all-around she-ro) Joanna Gaines to share the three best investments for a designer look and a bump to your home’s resale value. Here’s what she had to say. 

RELATED: Chip & Joanna Gaines on How Real Parents Deal with Open Shelving 

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Investment 1: Hardware

In other words, the knobs, pulls, hinges and accessories that outfit your cabinets. “I think that hardware plays such a huge part in the style of a space,” says Gaines. (Where a chrome bar-style pull announces a kitchen as modern, a rounded nickel one suggests a more traditional, country vibe.) In addition to style factor, elevated hardware punctuates the kitchen and really makes the space feel custom.   

Get the look: Amerock pull in flat black ($2)

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Investment 2: Pendant Lights

Gaines’s professed love for these babies came as no great surprise to us: After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find a JG-designed kitchen without one or two eye-catching pendant lights hung above a gorgeous island. This room jewelry adds visual interest, extra function and, yup, lots of professional polish.  

Get the look: Dainolite Oversize Drum Pendant in black ($309)

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Investment 3: Cabinet Paint

Having breathed new life into countless old kitchen cabinets (and launching a dreamy line of paint with KILZ), Gaines knows the transformative magic of a simple paintbrush. For wow factor, she loves high-contrast combos (think: mixing and matching upper, lower and island colors) but suggests keeping things timeless rather than trendy by going for classic black and white tones as an anchor. (Totally gorg.)

Get the look: Magnolia Home in partnership with KILZ Chalk Style Paint in Aspen Leaf ($32)

RELATED: 10 Decor Lessons We Learned From Joanna Gaines

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