Laminate Overload

See how a team of design pros reworks a languishing, laminate-overloaded kitchen.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe previous owners of the Costello house must have had a field day at the laminate store, judging by the amount of it in this kitchen. The blue laminate covers nearly every inch of the 40-year-old space.
Stay-at-home mom Michelle Costello is fed up with her small, dysfunctional kitchen. The 40-year-old space suffers from laminate overload. The laminate covers most of the cabinets and countertops, which are either falling apart or completely broken.

The cabinets, which are original to the house, area each framed out in metal with a blue laminate front. Metal is not exactly a safe material for one of the most-used rooms in a home. What's more, the oven doesn't work at all, and finding one to go in the same space is not an option because ovens are no longer made in that size. The sink is not centered beneath the window, and the hose has to remain hanging in the sink because it leaks. The dishwasher is newer, but it lifts off the ground, and the laminate countertop has a screw loose, which makes it bouncy. Topping it all off is peeling wallpaper.

Host and designer Lauren Lake and carpenters Jeff Devlin and Mark McGraw team up to revamp this repulsive room and create a traditional, functional space. Armed with a budget of $30,000 to $40,000 Lake presents two design plans, from which the Costellos will choose. The first one involves knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dining room and installing granite countertops, stainless appliances and a porcelain tile floor. The existing cabinetry would be kept but updated. The second includes the installation of new cherry wood cabinets, removing the bulky peninsula and hanging cabinets above it, and adding solid quartz countertops all around. The appliances would be upgraded to a standard black, and laminate wood flooring would be added. The Costellos opt for the second plan.