From Bland to Spicy: Dramatic Kitchen Makeovers

The Spice Up My Kitchen experts turn kitchen nightmares into well-designed dreams come true.

  • Before

    This kitchen is located in a historic home that was designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's students. Unfortunately, Wright was never known for designing big kitchens, and his student obviously followed suit. To make matters worse, many of the appliances are original to the house and barely work.

  • After

    Starting from the bottom up, hardwood floors are laid to match the floors in the adjacent rooms and then are refinished to create a cohesive look. Natural cherry cabinets form an L-shape layout that extends into the dining room. Sitting center stage is a 13-1/2-foot cherry-topped island that houses a cooktop, built-in oven and prep sink. Soapstone countertops cover the rest of the cabinets and the backsplash is lined with biscuit-colored, porcelain subway tile.

  • Before

    This kitchen looks like it belongs in a 1980s sci-fi movie. Everything is black and white laminate, and the overhead lights are blaring, obnoxious and hazardous.

  • After

    This design combines clean lines, warm tones and eclectic accessories. Oak cabinets in a tawny finish are paired with dark granite countertops and a white farmhouse sink. Coordinating porcelain tile is used for the backsplash and floor. Bamboo butcher block covers the new island, making it a great space with an attractive, natural look.

  • Before

    These homeowners love all the charming details of their older home, but their kitchen's features are archaic. The majority of the appliances are ancient: The dishwasher is from 1968, and the 1947 stove requires pliers to get it to work.

  • After

    This kitchen uses traditional style with modern flair, functionality and gorgeous cultural accessories. Maple-wood cabinets with a vanilla finish contrast with the chocolate-finish cabinets on the island. All are topped with a granite surface and integrated with stainless-steel appliances. Best of all, the home's charming architectural details are kept intact.

  • Before

    Talk about a fixer-upper. These brave homeowners liked everything about the house except the kitchen, but they bought it anyway. They freely admit that it is the worst kitchen they've ever seen.

  • After

    Knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room gives the home a better floor plan. Rope lighting installed inside the cherry, glass-front cabinets highlight the homeowners' keepsakes. Concrete countertops, black tile backsplash and gray porcelain-tile floors add an urban, contemporary feel.

  • Before

    Vegetable-motif wallpaper with clashing window treatments and poorly painted green cabinets are just a few of this kitchen's problems. There is also the yellow-and-black bathroom tile and the lack of a counter space, a dishwasher and adequate lighting.

  • After

    Cherry-wood cabinets in a cinnamon tone bring warm energy to the space. The glass-tile backsplash adds depth with a touch of sparkle. A freestanding island in the middle of the room can be used as a prep area or a dining space.

  • Before

    These homeowners are so fed up with their lack of counter space and storage. They've come up with an unconventional way to cook: They do it on the floor. The countertop fills up quickly, so they resort to sitting on the floor to do their prep work.

  • After

    The homeowners no longer have to cook off the floor because of a lack of space. Granite countertops, a stainless-steel table and a new six-burner stove allow ample space for cooking and food prep. Cherry-wood cabinets extended to the ceiling provide plenty of storage and style.

  • Before

    Believe or not, the carpeting is not the worst feature in this kitchen. The gas lines are dangerously exposed and always being knocked into. The electric outlets on the backsplash sit level with the countertop. The homeowners can't tell if the speckles on the countertop are part of the design or 40 years of accumulated dirt.

  • After

    The materials in this kitchen may look rich, but the bulk of the budget actually went toward stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops. Ceramic tile flooring provides a natural and earthy feel. The new butcher-block island is illuminated with two pendant lights, and a set of stools makes it the perfect spot for food prep, entertaining or a casual meal.

  • Before

    This cramped kitchen is riddled with problems. In addition to the main work area being outdated and broken, what should be the breakfast nook is oddly shaped and haphazardly thrown together.

  • After

    New storage, a functional prep space and a dining area are created with floor-to-ceiling cabinets and a peninsula-shaped tabletop. The three horizontal garage-style doors are great for hiding appliances. Behind each door is an electrical outlet, so the homeowners can slide appliances onto the countertop and use them without very little effort.

  • Before

    This choppy kitchen with its broken-up layout features a peeling linoleum floor, mismatched appliances and unattractive tile. The 1950s cabinets (some of which are nailed shut) desperately need a makeover.

  • After

    Two-tone cabinets, a Venetian plaster backsplash, quartz countertops, Brazilian cherry floors and state-of-the-art appliances create a refined Old World style that will stand the test of time. There now is plenty of room for the entire family to cook together and gather around their custom-built banquette.

  • Before

    This kitchen is cramped and cornered. The faux-brick vinyl floor is unsightly as is the wallpaper and three types of cabinets. The workspace is so tight; there is no room for the dishwasher. It has to be wheeled from the other room and hooked up to the sink.

  • After

    Maple cabinets combined with a mosaic tile backsplash give the space a warm Tuscan style. The white appliances provide a modern take on vintage style and brighten the room. The bling comes in with a shiny copper sink and copper tile ceiling.

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