Facts About Kitchen Cousins That May Surprise You

In 2011, first cousins and best friends Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri launched their HGTV show Kitchen Cousins. The duo, who work together at their family's Brunulleschi Construction company in New Jersey, focus on conceptualizing and constructing dream kitchens. However, there's more to these two than just designing bigger and better places for their clients to eat. Here are a few potentially surprising facts about the Kitchen Cousins that you probably didn't know.

John's fantasy customer is JFK

If the cousins could design a kitchen for anyone, living or dead, who would they work with? Colaneri told Shoptalkhe'd pick late President John F. Kennedy; Carrino chose Filippo Brunelleschi, the Italian Renaissance designer and engineer their company is named after.

Anthony fell for fellow HGTV host Genevieve Gorder

Carrino met Genevieve Gorder, an interior designer and host of HGTV shows Genevieve's Renovation, White House Christmas, and Dear Genevieve, while filming promos for their shows. "We didn't like each other at all," Gorder told Hudson Mod, but the two quickly realized each was the counterpart the other needed. "Strong needs strong," Gorder said. "That's really what both of us were missing in our lives. I want a successful, confident man." Gorder claims an astrologer predicted Carrino would come into her life.

Sued for shoddy work

The cousins were sued by two customers for shoddy work. According to NJ.com, Robert and Peng Avery sued Colaneri, Carrino, and their company in 2013 for consumer fraud, breach of contract, fraud, and negligence. The plaintiffs alleged the cousins lied about their house passing inspections and abandoned the job after being paid a total of $211,000 for their work. The Averys won the lawsuit in arbitration and were awarded $857,894.

Filing for bankruptcy

Colaneri and Carrino were forced to file for bankruptcy in August 2015 as a result of the Averys' lawsuit. Their attorney told NJ.com that filing for bankruptcy "prevents the Averys from moving ahead with liens against his clients." The Averys reportedly bought their home, which was once owned by New York Yankees baseball legend Don Mattingly, in 2012 for $1.3 million, but weren't able to move in until the summer of 2015 after hiring another contractor to finish the renovation, their attorney told the news site.

They never intended to make a show

Colaneri and Carrino never imagined they'd have their own TV show. According to the Jersey City Independent, Carrino and his dad decided to start a business together after remodeling a brownstone in Hoboken, N.J., and then Colaneri joined in.

The cousins were later asked by a friend if she could film a "day in the life" of the cousins as they were remodeling homes throughout the area. "I told her she was crazy," Colaneri told the Jersey City Independent. That tape was submitted to a local production company who shopped it around, eventually landing with HGTV. "We did trip into it," Carrino said. "It's nothing we ever expected nor were we working towards."

Working with Khloe and Lamar

The Kitchen Cousins designed and renovated reality star couple Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's entertainment/movie theater room. "The room is purple and gold, but they want to do away with that," Colaneri told The Huffington Post in 2013. "So we're putting our twist on the space with something warmer and cozy that feels more contemporary, like a second living room."

Being generous with DeGeneres

The cousins have partnered with the queen of daytime TV, Ellen DeGeneres, on two occasions to do some serious good. According to The Huffington Post, they teamed up with DeGeneres in 2012 to surprise a family in Pittsburgh, Pa. with a new kitchen, but once the brothers learned about the family's financial struggles, they decided to transform the entire home. Later that year, they rebuilt a home for a family that lost their house in Hurricane Sandy.


Anthony started in construction when he was 10

It's never too early to start working toward your dreams. For Carrino, "early" was 10 years old, when he first helped his dad build an extension on their house, reported Yahoo News. Fourteen years later, father and son founded their construction company.

Carrino did experience a time in his life where he wasn't on the path to becoming a famous contractor and home designer. Post-college, he worked as a software salesman. "If I got stuck in that rut, I would have never dug deep," Carrino told Babson College. "I saw the money as a graduating senior and was impressed. But you have to measure your quality-of-life decisions as much as the money."