Desperate Kitchen Makeover: A Bright and Modern Kitchen

John and Anthony tackle a truly desperate kitchen with garish yellow walls, duct-taped plumbing (literally!) and linoleum lined cabinets (!), then expand and enhance it to create an all-new open space space with clean, modern lines that's custom made for entertaining.

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Photo By: Tomas Ovalle/ AP Photos

Bright and Modern Kitchen

Kitchen Cousins John and Anthony transformed a certifiably dreadful kitchen in Sacramento, CA into this sleek and modern space that's part of a new, open and entertainment-friendly floor plan.

Bright and Modern Kitchen

This section of the kitchen receives a clean and simple monochromatic treatment with black quartz countertop and carefully color-matched horizontal tiles.

Bright and Modern Kitchen

Visual juxtaposition of wood and stone is a dominant theme in this reno -- which is actually more than just a simple kitchen redo. In the end, walls come down and the kitchen gets expanded into two adjacent spaces. 

Kitchen, BEFORE

Prior to the renovation, the Cousins dubbed this sadly dated kitchen "Brown on Brown on Brown" -- with its dark brown upper and lower cabinets topped off with mud brown laminate countertops. The lemon yellow walls and ceilings, and the damaged black and white floor tiles, also weren't doing the space any favors. Oh, and the drain line beneath the sink had been patched with duct tape. No kidding.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Two rooms adjacent to the kitchen -- the living and dining rooms -- were fine and functional on their own, but to really make the whole space come alive, John and Anthony had some drastic changes in mind. Cue the demo segment...

Demo Day

Expanding beyond the kitchen, the Cousins characterized this reno as a major first-floor facelift. A brick wall separating the kitchen and dining room was removed as well as a double-sided brick fireplace.

Demo Day

If you're gonna remake a kitchen, your gonna have to break some tiles.

Demo Day

Once the wall was removed, a 24-foot LVL header beam would be added as structural support in place of the load-bearing wall. In keeping with the clean, modern design the homeowners wanted, the new support beam gets concealed. In some cases, header beams may be left visible to provide a visual accent.

Kitchen, AFTER

In the renovated kitchen, new walnut cabinets in plain, unadorned finish are paired with a black quartz countertop for the back row of cabinets. The damaged tile floor has been removed and wood floors installed throughout the renovated space.

Kitchen, AFTER

The new kitchen island gets an expansive white-quartz countertop with waterfall effect on both ends, but the real statement feature is the custom-made suspended range-hood in a brass finish.

Dining Room, BEFORE

Dining Room, BEFORE

Dining Room, AFTER

For the new dining room, the Cousins custom built a dining table made from reclaimed wood. The tabletop is assembled using biscuit joinery, and the surface was treated with a burning technique that gives an ombre effect to the wood, highlighting the grain and blending together light and dark tones.

Dining Room, Detail

The table was constructed with a modular design so that sections can be removed and moved around when needed. Custom inlaid accents include a blue strip along one edge and two triangles creating a chevron pattern. For visual continuity, the blue stripe extends across the main table as well as the two smaller, removable units.

Living Room, BEFORE

Living Room, BEFORE

Living Room, AFTER

A new brown leather sofa in a modern design is paired with accent pillows in varied designs and colors to dress up the new living room.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

A mid-century inspired coffee table, round cocktail ottomans and black-and-white area rug were chosen in keeping with the living room's modern motif.

Living Room, Detail

Living Room, Detail

The homeowners are wine enthusiasts and love throwing parties, so John and Anthony created a custom bar for the living room. The bar is mounted on casters for added versatility and mobility, and for a funky, fun touch, a row of vintage school lockers were wall-mounted above for cabinet storage.

Kitchen, Detail

In the kitchen, floating wood shelves installed at the end of the upper cabinets offer easy access and attractive storage for dishes and glassware.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

The backsplash is a glossy black tile that's a natural extension off of the quartz countertop. 

Kitchen, Detail

"We're basically continuing what's on the flat surface of the countertop up the back wall," says Anthony. "The idea here is for the backsplash to just fade away and disappear into the countertop."

Kitchen, Detail

Even the outlet covers are camouflaged in matching quartz tile, and the outlet plugs are dark gray plastic, to further unify the appearance of the backsplash.

Kitchen, Detail

One side of the island is equipped with a walnut cutting board in a waterfall configuration to match the waterfall edge of the countertop. 

Bright and Modern Kitchen

The dark walnut of the cutting board provides visual contrast against the white quartz surface. The cutting board and countertop are outfitted with a built-in trash chute as a handy kitchen-prep aid.

Kitchen, Detail

The front of the new island is covered in concrete tiles in a bold black and white pattern with matte finish. The tiles are handmade and contain imperfections that add to the unique character of the design. "Not every piece of the pattern is going to match up perfectly," says Anthony, "which allows for those natural imperfections and makes this really good for a first-time DIY project."

Kitchen, Detail

The black and white design is highlighted with under-mount rope lighting. The completed tile accent wall creates a visual focal point for the room while the the dark gray and brright white in the pattern picks up on the contrasting quartz countertops. 

Kitchen, Detail

The white quartz countertop for the island is in a special finish that emulates the look of Carrera marble.

Kitchen, Detail

Leather-loop cabinet pulls are a distinctive touch for white cabinet doors at the back side of the kitchen island.

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Kitchen, Detail

Light Hors d'oeuvres are now being served.

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For a crowning touch, John and Anthony created a feature wall for the living room using an actual back-lit theater-style marquis as decorative wall art -- or, conversely, as the world's largest family message board.