Design Star Dish: The Kitchen Cousins Cook up Some Scoop!

Damian Holbrook
TV Guide
Anthony Carrino, John Colaneri | Photo Credits: HGTV/Scripps Networks

Design Star's remaining finalists get served Tuesday (9/8c, HGTV) when they are tasked with taking on a kitchen renovation...and it seems like some of them can't stand the heat. So we asked the episode's guest judges, Kitchen Cousins hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri, for their take on tonight's challenge, and grilled them about being named two of TV Guide Magazine's hottest handymen.

TV Guide Magazine: OK, how tough is this week's task?
Anthony Carrino:
We build our kitchens for Kitchen Cousins in approximately three weeks...these contestants had just two days! I'd say it was a pretty tall order.
John Colaneri:
This week's challenge, in our opinion, is one of the hardest the show has to offer. The kitchen has so many moving pieces that a designer has to consider — form and function go hand in hand — and they have to be respected to create an extraordinary kitchen.

TV Guide Magazine: Could you guys have done as well under the same time and budget constraints?
arrino: Wow, that's a loaded question! We only got to see the finished product...the first time we see what they went through will be right along with everyone else at 9pm. From our experience in construction and design, we know enough to know that things change and you can run into unexpected problems. I'd like to think John and I would have it planned down to a T...that is how we always do it and it's served us well.
Colaneri: This is a challenge that would push any designer to their limits.

TV Guide Magazine: So be honest, are there any designs we see in the episode that you just hated?
We don't want to single anyone out, but there were some choices that just didn't make any sense to us. Again, form and function weren't respected, and that created serious issues in the overall design.
I will say this: I've been watching this season of Design Star and the element I hated most is by one of my favorite constants. That's just the nature of the competition I guess.

TV Guide Magazine: What's the No. 1 mistake people make when redoing the kitchen?
Trying to follow what other people have done. A kitchen is a very personal and unique space...some people are really into cooking, while others aren't. Some have kids, some entertain and some just like it to look good. All in all, the space has to be designed for that specific person.
You always need to remember the golden rule: Form follows function. The kitchen needs to be the most functional room in your home. Space planning is key, then wrap your design around your layout.

TV Guide Magazine: What is your fastest, most affordable fix for a kitchen that needs a new look?
A new backsplash.
By far. It will give you the biggest bang for your buck! You can bring in some great colors and make a big statement in your kitchen. This can also be a DIY project for the homeowner to do themselves.

TV Guide Magazine: You both made our "Home is Where the Hot Is" list of TV's sexiest handymen. Did that totally change your lives?
As much as we loved seeing the article and made us smile, we are still getting up at 6am and going to work everyday. The world of TV has certainly changed our lives. The list? Well, I got a few text messages from friends. [Laughs]
We did have a lot of family and friends call us up when that article came out!

TV Guide Magazine: If you didn't specialize in kitchens, what other part of the house would you want to work on?
Our company, Brunelleschi Construction, has been in business for 10 years now, and we build everything from custom homes to condo projects. So we can tackle anything that's thrown in front of us.
We do it all. John and I have been restoring old brownstones and warehouses in Jersey City and Hoboken [all this time]. We work from the inside out and from the top to the bottom. Haven't met a challenge yet that we turned down.

TV Guide Magazine: Did any of the Design Star finalists teach you any new tricks that you plan to steal?
Nothing that jumps out at me.

TV Guide Magazine: Vern Yip, Genevieve Gorder and David Bromstad — which of the judges would you want evaluating your work?
Tough question! I'd be honored — and probably humbled, too — to have any of them judge my work. They are where they are because of the skills and knowledge they possess. To have a trained eye look at what you do and critique it does nothing but make you better at what you do. I hope both John and I were able to do the same for the contestants this season.
I would want David, since he loves his color and I know I would score huge points with him on that design aspect.

TV Guide Magazine: What would you say is the next big thing in kitchen designs?
Just wait until January and you will find out! John and I have something big in the works.

TV Guide Magazine: What is the biggest fight you two have had over a project? How did it get resolved?
It sounds cheesy and maybe untrue, but I'm telling you, we really don't fight. It's always pretty clear whose idea is better on a particular project. Once that's established, we both just build off of it. We don't design with ego, we design with our client in mind, so long as we are accomplishing great design it doesn't matter whose idea it is. Teamwork, baby!
We tend to agree on most things. But if we do get into a disagreement, we just throw down and have a cage match to see who wins. [Laughs]

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