Tonya and Keith's kitchen, before

Tonya and Keith love their Spanish-style home—except the kitchen. Nate's take? "It looks like a bad Mexican restaurant from a long time ago."

Keith, who is 6'8", especially hates the low cabinetry hanging from the ceiling. Tonya's biggest complaint is the cupboards. "They're really shallow because they didn't make dishes that big years ago."

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Tonya and Keith's kitchen, after

Nate brings this 1960s eyesore into the 21st century with a Moroccan-inspired masterpiece. The laminate floor is replaced by dark wood flooring. New cabinets are tall and deep with plenty of room for modern dishes.  

An island adds personality while providing room to cook and do homework. "I didn't want them to build in another island to match the cabinets," Nate says. "You don't always have to have everything match."

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Nate knocks down a kitchen wall to create more space.

To open up the space, Nate replaced the wall to the dining room with a wide archway. "I used that as part of the kitchen and had the floor continue all the way through," Nate says. "They didn't need two eating areas, so now it's just a huge, long galley, and it feels enormous."

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Nate Berkus makes the most of a small space with kitchen organization systems.

To keep things organized, Nate adds sliding shelves to accommodate all of Tonya and Keith's cookware with ease. His favorite part? A rolling Tupperware system.

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Nate Berkus says zinc countertops will always be in style.

Before, grooved tile counters served as nothing but irritating crumb catchers.

Now, Nate's new zinc counters—often found in old French and Tuscan kitchens—will always be in style. "As this countertop ages, it's going to get this beautiful, beautiful [coloring] and it will look like it's been here since the 1920s," he says.

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The laundry room pantry

The laundry rooms is a great place to wash, fold and iron clothes. Cooking? Not so much. Before every meal, Tonya and Keith made multiple trips back and forth to get ingredients from a makeshift pantry.

Nate's enhances the Moroccan flavor of the new kitchen with final touches like an antique chest that brings the pantry back into the kitchen and a wood-latticed door that now leads to the laundry room. "Here's the best part: You don't have to use that door anymore," he says.

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FROM: Nate's Time Warp Decorating Rescue
Published on August 19, 2009

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