Meet the Kitchen Cousins
Anthony Carrino and his cousin John Colaneri scour the streets of New Jersey with their family-based construction company looking to breathe life into old, dismal kitchens. Whether it's creating a vibrant contemporary design or a classic look, the Kitchen Cousins are always up for a challenge. Browse some of their most striking kitchen remodels.
Before: Laundry in the Kitchen?
A badly-placed staircase and a washing machine take up much of the usable area in homeowner Michele's Hoboken, N.J. kitchen. And that's not all: dated flooring, cabinetry and appliances mean this space is desperate for a Kitchen Cousins makeover.
After: A Total Transformation
Michele requested a modern space that still felt connected to the century-old architecture in the rest of the house. Bold, contemporary cabinets and stainless steel details juxtapose nicely with the original pine flooring (discovered under the tired linoleum!).
After: Open for Entertaining
By removing a wall between the kitchen and dining room, John and Anthony turned two small, unusable spaces into one larger spot perfect for parties.
After: Ode to History
A tin tile ceiling visually separates the kitchen and dining spaces and pays homage to the townhouse's past.
Before: Dated and Disjointed
Not much has changed in Nalini Singh's Jersey City home since her parents bought it back in 1989 — especially not her dingy, outdated kitchen. With a major lack of counter space and no cohesive design, Nalini's kitchen has certainly seen better days.
After: Streamlined and Bright
John and Anthony convinced Nalini to get rid of an old built-in hutch to make way for brand-new cabinets and appliances, but had part of the piece repurposed into a stylish bar cabinet. Purple walls and porcelain floor tiles made to look like light wood liven up the space.
After: New Again
Nalini couldn't believe this sleek, black table was the same wooden one from her old kitchen. The crew had it sanded, primed and spray-painted with a high-gloss lacquer to give it a fresh new look.
After: Room to Work
A crushed-glass mosaic backsplash against engineered stone countertops adds warmth and creates visual interest. The update more than doubled the amount of countertop space in Nalini's kitchen, giving her plenty of room to prepare food for friends and family.
Before: Cookie-Cutter Kitchen
The Orlandos, an Italian-American family living in a New Jersey condo, have outgrown their small, cookie-cutter kitchen. What's worse is that with an oven and a dishwasher that opens all the way to the floor, the kitchen is no place for the couple's three small children. Though several contractors have told Claudia and her husband Anthony if they wanted a bigger kitchen they'd have to move, the cousins think they can overcome the obstacles.
After: Efficient and Open
With a little help from the family, John and Anthony didn't just open up the Orlandos' kitchen, but the entire dining and living area as well. Running the cabinets along one wall creates more storage and countertop space, while ripping out the tile and continuing the flooring throughout makes the room appear larger. Claudia's father also helped the cousins move the family's modern chandelier over a few feet, centering the room.
After: Magic Corner
Claudia often struggled with keeping her corner cabinet organized, so John and Anthony added Italian-style pullout shelves. Italian cabinets in white keep the space clean, while orange, chosen by Claudia's mother as an accent color, adds brightness.
After: Office Nook
When the cousins first arrived, Claudia introduced the boys to her home office: her pantry. John and Anthony created a built-in worktop, making it easier for Claudia to work and meet with clients from home.
Before: Unfit for a Chef
Though Anthony Pino serves up delicious meals at Anthony David's and Bin 14, his kitchen at home doesn’t do the head chef justice. A makeover for this cramped space was way overdue.
After: Clean and Traditional
John and Anthony slid the island over to make a peninsula and closed off a rarely used basement door to create more space. Even though John was dying to add some color, his wife, Liz, always dreamed of having an all-white, traditional kitchen. White cabinets, a hidden dishwasher panel and honed Carrera marble countertops keep this kitchen pristine.
After: A Bit of History
Honed marble is prone to stains, so the cousins created a custom wood chopping block out of 100-year-old flooring salvaged from homes around the area. A custom cousins touch: a burned-on Kitchen Cousins logo.
Before: A Remodel That Can’t Wait
Iliana Martinez has remodeled her entire home — except for this boring kitchen. John and Anthony are ready to make her dreams come true when she gives the cousins a shocking surprise — she's already ordered custom, top-of-the-line appliances and cabinets from Italy, leaving them to abandon their initial ideas and work around hers!
After: Full of Light
For the Pinos' backsplash, John chose a neutral-toned glass tile with white grout to keep the white theme consistent. The tiles allow plenty of light to reflect off the surface and into the kitchen.
After: Big, Bold and Beautiful
After a scramble to design around Iliana's cabinets and appliances, which included dual dishwashers, a double oven, a built-in espresso machine and a full-sized custom fridge, John and Anthony were able to pull together a bold, bright kitchen. A splash of red in a breakfast nook and a broken-glass backsplash tiled all the way up the wall give this space a unique look.
After: A Custom Enclosure
For her huge double ovens, John and Anthony built a dark wenge cabinet, an elegant contrast to the white lacquer throughout the rest of the kitchen. The cousins outfitted Iliana's espresso bar area with a shining stainless steel backsplash.
After: Room for the Whole Family
For Iliana, the kitchen is a place for the family to get together. The cousins created a banquette so the Martinez family would have a place to eat together or help the kids with homework. John and Anthony upholstered the area using a bright red to match the broken-glass backsplash.
Before: Momma Needs a New Kitchen
John's mother was shocked to learn they were going to give her 20-year-old kitchen an overhaul. But with so much to do — including completely opening up the space, giving her blah kitchen some color and new appliances — and only a few weeks to do it, will the cousins have Aunt Denise's kitchen ready in time for Thanksgiving dinner?
After: Race to the Finish
John and Anthony were able to brave a snowstorm and power outage, a customs delay on their Italian cabinets and a race to find an oven the night before Thanksgiving. The new kitchen is warm, but still has a contemporary edge. The cousins closed off an unused door to create a galley kitchen with a massive 11-foot island — plenty of room to fit Aunt Denise's hungry family!
After: No More Matches
Before renovations, Aunt Denise had been lighting her aging gas stove with a match. The boys installed a brand-new hood and a 5-burner, 36-inch gas cooktop. They also included a pot filler over the stove — no more walking to the sink for pasta water!
After: A Bit of Culture
This handmade, Moroccan-style backsplash adds color and contrast to the tobacco-stained oak cabinetry while also giving Aunt Denise's kitchen an authentic feel. Stainless steel countertops are a sleek and durable addition.
Before: '70s Drab
Devin has been living in his Jersey City home for 10 years, and is preparing for his girlfriend, Avril, to move in with her two children. Devin and Avril want to celebrate this coming together of the two families and turn his old, inefficient kitchen into a modern space they can call their own.
After: Our Modern Kitchen
John and Anthony opened up Devin's small kitchen by tearing down a half wall and continuing the flooring into the dining room. White cabinets with splashes of color make what was once a dull space bright and full of light.
After: A Window in a Wall
To further open the small space, the cousins cut and installed a picture-frame window in a wall adjacent to the living room. The boys then put a countertop in the window to create a breakfast bar where Devin and Avril can look at the television while eating and where friends and family can glance into the kitchen from the living room.
After: Bursting With Color
Devin and Avril weren't afraid of John's idea to use bold Tuscan orange in their kitchen. He created a striped focal wall of orange and gray hues to define the dining space.
Before: Stuck in the '80s
Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, is stuck with a Los Angeles kitchen that's trapped in the same era as the beloved show.
After: The Fresh Kitchen of Los Angeles
John and Anthony opened up the kitchen by taking down a wall and creating one large island in the center of the space. Cabinets with clean lines and a brownish-gray hue make it contemporary, yet still warm and inviting.
Before: All Function, No Style
A pantry without a door, drab white cabinets and a utilitarian office space did their respective jobs, but with very little style.
After: Style and Function
A large island with a built-in cooktop provides stylish seating for five, while a 3-D wallcovering adds texture. A frosted glass door hides the visual clutter of pantry essentials.
Before: '70s Rustic
Fashionista Jeannie Mai of the Style Network and Freddy Harteis, Sportsman Channel's Hollywood Hunter, called in the Kitchen Cousins to help marry their two styles to create a \"rustic luxe\" space. The kitchen has good bones, but the update will bring the style into this century.
After: Rustic Luxe
The cousins kept the original cabinetry and lighting, adding textured white countertops and wallcoverings to brighten the space.
After: Vintage-Style Appliances
Chrome-and-powder-blue appliances from Big Chill add bursts of color and create a playful, vintage-inspired vibe.
After: Stylish Sportsman
The cousins used antlers from Freddy's collection and glossy white spray paint to create a DIY chandelier for the rustic dining room.
Before: No Party Pizzazz
Lisa Rivera loves to entertain, but her builder basic kitchen and its cramped galley-style layout are anything but festive. The cousins are here to help with ideas to make this condo kitchen modern and vibrant.
Knocking down a wall between Lisa's kitchen and living room opened up the space to make room for a bar and a table to entertain guests. Sleek and modern gray cabinets provide streamlined storage.
After: Color and Texture
A ceramic, 3-D wallcovering adds both bright color and interesting texture to the kitchen.
Before: Wasted Space
A massive, double-sided fireplace broke up the room and kept homeowners Rich and Shane Svorec from making the most of their space. They needed more storage options, a homework nook for their two children and some warm, rustic style.
After: Organized and Inviting
The cousins covered the white brick fireplace with fieldstone and added a mantel made from 100-year-old floor joists salvaged from a building in Hoboken, N.J. Wide plank, white oak floors complement the warm wood cabinets.
Before: DIY Disaster
Rich tore down a poorly-placed wall between the kitchen and living room to open up the space, but that's where the project stalled.
After: Chic and Polished
John and Anthony finished what Rich started, giving the kitchen designer finishing touches like solid wood cabinets, a hammered copper farmhouse sink and a vintage-inspired stove.