Viewers of the “Rachael Ray” show got a look at the TV host’s updated kitchen set this week, with a stainless steel island, a retro-style fridge, new lighting and living-plant walls.
It’s the handiwork of Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, the cousins who run a family-owned, New Jersey-based construction company and who host the HGTV series “Kitchen Cousins.”
The cousins will be in Raleigh this weekend at the Downtown Raleigh Home Show.
The Rachael Ray project – revealed Monday in Ray’s Season 12 premiere – isn’t the only celebrity kitchen on the cousins’ resume. They’ve worked with actor Chris Williams, whose redesign was a surprise from his big sister; actress Vanessa Williams; Alfonso Ribiera, best known as Carlton on “Fresh Prince of Bel Air;” and TV personality Jeannie Mai and her husband, actor Freddy Harteis.
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The Williams kitchen is one of their favorites.
“He lives in L.A.,” says Carrino. “Great weather. He had an internal courtyard – and we put a garage door into his kitchen. Everyone who has ever seen that episode kind of freaks out about that. Maybe not for everybody, but for him – for his specific case – it worked out perfect because he had the view, he had the courtyard that was attached to his kitchen and he entertained a lot. And now he had this huge bay that would open up and go right into a nice big island. It pretty much doubled the size of his kitchen and entertaining space.
“It’s been four years and still to this day, he sends us messages and pictures saying it’s the best thing that ever happened.”
The door they’re describing is the type of glass-and-steel garage door you sometimes see in restaurants, not the solid doors typical in home garages.
“We get a lot of design inspiration from restaurants and bars, because sometimes restaurants and bars are a little out of the box,” says Colaneri.
Out of the box works for some clients, but mostly Carrino and Colaneri say their goal is to educate people on how to best use their kitchen space and maximize it for their lifestyle. So their designs depend on the specific needs of the homeowner – whether they cook a lot or maybe just want the kitchen as a showplace.
“The most important is keeping within that budget,” says Carrino. “Doing everything you wanted to accomplish in all those tasks but doing it within a certain price range.”
If you can’t renovate, update
If your budget is limited and you can’t do a complete renovation all at once, but you want to make a few changes at a time, they have advice for that, too.
If your layout works, you can do things here and there. If not, they suggest saving up and waiting to do it all at once.
“Assuming the layout does work for you, there’s not really a specific order that you need to do things in, other than I would definitely replace the countertops before putting in a new backsplash,” said Colaneri.
That’s the approach they took with the Rachael Ray kitchen. It’s an in-studio space with a layout that couldn’t really be changed. So they updated it.
“When you look at the kitchens side-by-side, you’re like ‘Whoa, wow,’ ” says Carrino. “And it’s a renovation that can be done in a couple of days. It’s not something that would take months – it’s even some stuff that DIYers can do themselves, if they’re handy. But by doing those couple of items, it’s a really big impact to the kitchen. It’s a much more contemporary space that’s in today’s style.”
A hot kitchen trend
The Ray kitchen also has an element that the cousins say is one of the hottest trends right now: colored appliances.
“I think stainless steel will be around forever,” says Colaneri. “But you see people starting to migrate to the colored appliances for an extra ‘wow factor,’ and it makes your kitchen very unique. And you can play off that color to other aspects. Since we had this beautiful gray-blue color for the fridge, we played off that – we had granite tile, we had some of that color that wrapped around the island and we had it in the wallpaper. So it’s a great way to kind of pull that throughout the kitchen and have a cohesive look.”
Downtown Raleigh Home Show
▪ Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri will appear at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, on the Fresh Ideas Design Stage. They ask for guests to come armed with plenty of questions.
▪ John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, the duo behind the High Point- and New York-based interior design firm Madcap Cottage, will appear at 2 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 15; 1 to 9 p.m. Sept. 16; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 17
Where: Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh
Cost: $7-$10 ($5 for ages 60 and older, free for 12 and younger)
There is a $5 discount if you use the discount code TRIANGLE.