Dishy kitchen helpers
This American duo make over disastrous kitchens with dazzling results in new TV series
Home makeover shows are a dime a dozen.
But for New Jersey cousins John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino, better known as The Cousins (they helm a successful series of HGTV shows including Cousins Undercover, Kitchen Cousins and Cousins On Call), no room is more important than the kitchen.
On the handsome duo's new series America's Most Desperate Kitchens, Colaneri, 35, and Carrino, 37, who both have a background in construction, rescue desperate homeowners in need of a major kitchen overhaul, with stunning transformations.
The series premieres on April 26 at 9pm on HGTV (StarHub TV Ch 437).
In town last week to promote the show, Colaneri told M: "The kitchen is the most functional, it's the largest design that you can do within the home. It's the one room in the house you can change and do so much with and make so personal to each homeowner."
Added Carrino: "It's so much more than a place for cooking, it's a piece of functional art.
"In the States, it's really a gathering place. Whether you've made the food yourself or you've ordered it and put it on the countertops, everyone seems to gravitate to the kitchen, whether you're making drinks or having conversation.
"It's the most challenging room to work with in the house and we're always up for a good challenge."
HANDS-ON: A pub-style kitchen which John Colaneri (left ) and and Anthony Carrino designed.PHOTO: HGTV
How do the kitchens in your own houses look like?
Carrino: My (kitchen) island is black steel and the back cabinets are old reclaimed wood.
Colaneri: My home is a contemporary barn. It's definitely a mixture of my wife's and my style. I lean more to that contemporary modern style while she's more rustic and loves barns.
I have an island that is 13 feet (3.9m) wide with two sinks, two dishwashers inside of it and it's got a waterfall countertop. We have lacquer cabinets and a huge seating area.
My big standout piece is a red built-in oven, while all my other appliances are pretty much hidden. I wanted a clean and sleek Italian kitchen. We both imported our kitchens from Italy.
Do you spend a lot of time in your kitchens?
Carrino: Yes, we do. I probably cook two to three meals a week. My girlfriend and I love to cook together and we entertain quite a bit.
Are you guys good cooks?
Carrino: You don't want to eat John's food. (Laughs.)
Colaneri: I like cooking. I'm decent but I'm not chef status. I'm pretty good. Look, we're Italian. If we can't cook, then there's something wrong here.
Carrino: My mother's lemon rosemary chicken cutlets are one of my favourite things to make, and I make a nice carbonara pasta as well.
What is the hardest part of the kitchen to make over?
Colaneri:The totality of it makes it hard as it's such a complex space. You have the most electrical, the most plumbing, the appliances and on top of that, you add all the different materials - countertops, cabinets, lighting, flooring.
This is what makes America's Most Desperate Kitchens such a great show. It's because no one ever wants to touch the kitchen because it's too hard and too expensive.
So which has been the worst kitchen you've seen?
Colaneri: They're all horrible. We keep thinking that they can't get worse, but they keep getting worse and worse and worse.
Carrino: The kitchens aren't bad in a way that's dirty. People aren't gross. But it's like the cabinets are really old or the light fixtures look like they've come out of a hospital or something very sterile.
We've helped people who have tried to start a renovation and just left an open wall with electrical wires hanging out.
We worked in one house where a guy had a clog in his drain upstairs so he took a clothes hanger to try to unclog the drain and ended up crumbling the entire drain, which burst through the ceiling and flooded the entire kitchen.
The stuff we see is really crazy.