Desperate Kitchen Makeover: Retro-Modern Kitchen & Bar

Kitchen Cousins John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino update a tiny galley kitchen, transforming it into a large entertaining space with a custom bar and a sleek, midcentury feel. 

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Photo By: Martin Klimek/Getty Images

Retro Mod Kitchen

Anthony and John took a dated kitchen with a narrow, cramped layout and opened it up to the adjacent living room to create this contemporary space that's ideally suited to cooking, serving, dining and entertaining.

Retro Mod Kitchen

The home, in the Woodlake community just outside Sacramento, Calif., was built in the 1950s and originally belonged to the grandfather of one of the current owners. Prior to this transformation, the home's small galley-style kitchen was awkwardly configured and isolated from the rest of the house.

Retro Mod Kitchen

Modern appliances, updated lighting and cabinetry and a massive new island are just some of the dramatic improvements that John and Anthony brought to this fully remodeled space.

Meet the Homeowners

Hosts John and Anthony pose for a group shot with homeowners Bobby (center left) Hyatt (center right) in the finished kitchen. Bobby and Hyatt have owned the house for about a year. They had made a few upgrades but didn't feel comfortable taking on a major kitchen remodel themselves. Their wish list included: a modern aesthetic and contemporary design, a relatively neutral palette and an open floor plan that's well suited for entertaining guests.

Kitchen, BEFORE

Though the house was built in the 1950s, various subsequent remodels had left the kitchen with traces of the '70s, '80s and '90s. The wood cabinets were pure '90s vintage and super-basic. The countertops had the look of old floor tiles, and a raised lip around their edges was becoming detached. The aging range was – like the worn laminate floor seen here – avocado green. And could there be any a greater cliche for a dated kitchen than avocado green appliances? (Editor's note: Beware rushing to judgment. Ironic or not, avocado appliances are likely to make a comeback back any day now.)

Kitchen, AFTER

The remodeled kitchen features new ceiling-height cabinets, white quartz countertops and the largest kitchen island yet installed by John and Anthony. The new island is 12 feet long with an overall 4-foot depth. The island's large serving space essentially allows it to function as an informal dining-room table thereby eliminating the need for the old dining room – which could then be modified and incorporated into the kitchen's expanded footprint.

Kitchen, BEFORE

At one end of the kitchen was a dining area too small to be of much use, a pass-through that was serving no real purpose and, butted up to the avocado floor, still more laminate flooring – this time in a mottled multicolor pattern that Hyatt termed "a clown explosion." The closed off space offered no opportunity for interaction between hosts in the kitchen and guests in the main living area.

Kitchen, AFTER

By opening up the floorplan, Anthony and John not only connected the kitchen visually with the adjacent living room, but made room to add a massive island with integrated range and a generous amount of serving space. The former pass-through window was closed off to convert the former dining area into a new bar area with additional storage and some specialized features and accessories.

Retro Mod Kitchen

At the opposite end of the kitchen, a former coat closet was converted into a pantry with a unique sliding door. The kitchen sink remains in the same location as before, but the old one is replaced with an apron-front model in contemporary design with brushed stainless front. The sturdy pro-grade faucet features a flexible design and pull-out sprayer.

Kitchen, AFTER

A new refrigerator and dishwasher are added, also in brushed stainless finish, and a floating architectural hood is suspended directly over the center island. Open cantilevered shelving behind the sink provides functional storage and easy access for dishware.

Kitchen and Living Room, AFTER

Seating at the island, and an open sight-line to the living room, allows the hosts to be prepping food in the kitchen while still conversing and interacting with guests. The living room also gets a full makeover as part of the renovation.

Living Room, AFTER

The contemporary design, as well as the blue and gray color scheme, extends to the newly redecorated living room. New furniture additions include a large sectional sofa, matching coffee-table ottoman, patterned area rug and contemporary end table and credenza.

Kitchen, AFTER

For the kitchen's signature touch, John and Anthony used large hex tiles in a striking black, gray and white pattern for the ceiling-height backsplash. That same pattern extends to the floor tile, following the same palette, and then connecting in an interlocking pattern into hex wood cutouts – thus creating a transition into the wood flooring in the redesigned living room.

Kitchen, Detail

To achieve the transition effect, tile outlines were cut in the hardwood floor. "This is what is making this kitchen," John said, "We really want to make sure that it looks perfect and that we blur the lines between the kitchen and living room."

Kitchen, Detail

Upholstered bar chairs in blue-gray heather provide comfortable seating for four at the expansive kitchen island.

Kitchen, Detail

The blender, in deep blue custom finish, is color-matched to coordinate with the new cabinetry in the bar area.

Kitchen, Detail

 

Kitchen, Detail

 

Kitchen, Detail

 

The Wet Bar

The newly added bar features a contemporary design with dark gray countertops, bar sink, drawer storage and floating wood shelves for dishes and barware. A deep blue color for the bar cabinetry creates a visual separation between the kitchen and bar spaces.The backsplash is in bright white with a three-dimensional tile. The two long shelves over the bar were installed using metal cleats that are anchored to the walls. The shelves slip over the cleats so no mounting hardware or support is visible. "We have amazing backsplash tile," says John, "We didn't want to cover it up."

Wet Bar, Detail

 

Wet Bar, Detail

The bar area incorporates a variety of deluxe features including a built-in wine refrigerator and this high-end coffee brewer.

Statement Piece

A custom metal door, with an abstract design that evokes '60s era modern art, is mounted over the shelving using sliding barn-door hardware. The metal inlays for the sliding doors were custom created by John and Anthony with help and guidance from metal artist Terrence Martin of Jagged Edge — a custom metalwork shop in West Sacramento. They were fashioned using a random assortment of scrap metal pieces — some rusted, some shiny or painted — for a look that's both abstract and industrial.

Statement Piece

A matching metal door in similar design is mounted to serve as a pantry door at the far end of the kitchen. The track mounting uses old mechanical parts that are deliberately left rusty, adding to the overall industrial effect of the piece. "Adding the sliding door to what was a coat closet, now creating a pantry, creates a much more usable space" says Anthony. "When the door is open, it stays flush against the wall."

Statement Piece

The designed metal inserts were covered with a clear-coat protective finish. Anthony then created wide picture-frame mountings using square joints, rather than miter joints, to mimic the rustic look of an actual barn door. The corners were fastened, and the metal inlay secured within the frame, using 8-inch lag bolts and screws. 

Kitchen, AFTER

The shelves, as well as the frames for the custom barn doors, are stained in a tone to match the wood cabinets and island base – a clear base with a hint of charcoal to coordinate visually with the white and gray tones of the countertops and backsplash tiles. "The shelves have the same semi-opaque finish as all the kitchen cabinets," says Anthony, "so we tied the design from the cabinets to the shelves. Everything has a cohesive look."

Kitchen, Detail

 

Kitchen, Detail

 

Kitchen, AFTER

Engineered quartz countertops in bright white are used for the kitchen island and back counter, while a dark gray surface with silver undertones is used for the bar countertop.

BEFORE

The rear wall seen here is the one that was removed to merge the living room and kitchen.

AFTER

 

The Living Room

With the wall removed, the living room fireplace becomes a visual focal point.

Living Room, Detail

For the fireplace, John and Anthony retained the original brick to maintain the mid-century look, but painted it in a neutral gray. They also modified the dated wood surround, removing scalloped trim and replacing it with flat trim to create cleaner lines. The wood mantel and built-in bookshelves are painted in a rich medium blue; the color scheme matches that of the cabinetry and countertops in the new bar area.

Living Room, BEFORE

Like the galley kitchen, the living room layout prior to the renovation was oblong, narrow and not very inviting.

Living Room, AFTER

With walls removed, the living space now pulls in more light and has a whole new sense of space.

Living Room, BEFORE

Living Room, AFTER

 

Living Room, Detail

The modern-styled gray sectional sofa is accented with throw pillows in white, gray and shades of blue.

Living Room, Detail

 

Living Room, Detail

A coffee-table ottoman has removable cushions and accent trays so it can also do double duty for serving drinks and snacks.

Living Room, Detail

 

Living Room, Detail

A glass-top end table with gray metal frame coordinates well with the living room's patterned area rug.

Living Room, Detail

For additional functional storage, a wooden credenza was selected in a wood finish that ties in with the hardwood flooring as well as the custom wood cabinetry and shelving in the kitchen.

Living Room, Detail

The clean lines and flush hardware tie in well with the generally contemporary feel of the new space.

Living Room, Detail

The rustic wood credenza is paired with a generous sized leather chair with modern design.

Retro Mod Kitchen

 

HGTV's Kitchen Heroes are Back!

Kitchen Cousins John and Anthony are back for a second season of America's Most Desperate Kitchens. If you enjoyed this kitchen makeover, you might also enjoy this gallery from season one: Desperate Kitchen No More: Extravagant Pub-Style Kitchen