Cucina Can Keep Up in Looks, Utility

Find out how the experts rework a counter-less kitchen to make it functional.

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Stainless-steel appliances and warm tones give this kitchen a contemporary style.

Most families try to keep their kitchens as clean as possible, with countertops and floors so sparkling one could eat on them. But since Diana and Anthony Pingicer don't have countertops, they have no choice but to keep their floors clean enough to cook on and serve meals. Not only is there no counter space, but there is also very little storage space. The Pingicers are fed up and ready for a change.

Designer Lauren Lake and carpenters Jeff Devlin and Mark McGraw focus on making this kitchen work like it should. With a budget of $30,000 to $40,000, the designer presents two options for a design plan.

Option 1 includes opening up the floor space for a seating area and then installing all-new cherry cabinets, stainless-steel appliances, natural stone countertops and a porcelain tile floor.

Option 2 keeps the same basic layout but includes a baking station with marble countertop, maple cabinets, stainless-steel appliances, money-saving laminate countertops and beautiful new hardwood floors. The Pingicers select Option 1.

Now the kitchen has a classic contemporary feel. Gone is all that floral wallpaper and in its place is a warm neutral color. A new stainless-steel-topped table and chairs area are in place of the old sink, and a new matching stove is on an adjacent wall.

There's also a new refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher, all in stainless. Multiple cherry cabinets provide ample storage, and the new granite countertops are not only sleek and stylish, but they also make for a wonderful, spacious work area. The laminate flooring is scrapped for a more practical porcelain tile floor that adds a perfect finishing touch.

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