This Los Angeles renovation was inspired by traditional English kitchens, but Celestin McGlynn and Lisa Nakamura of Spec + Sage ensured it had an eclectic and modern twist. The Craftsman-style house is in the vibrant Silverlake neighborhood—an area known for a mix of traditional and modernized home. Their goal was to honor the original architecture, history, and bones of the space while infusing it with a fresh feel. The pair tells us more. 

 First, what can you tell us about the clients? What were their goals for this home renovation?
The clients are a young couple with two small children. The wife is an Emmy nominated film and television producer, and her husband, a high school sweetheart, is the Senior VP at a commercial real estate agency. They wanted to update most of the downstairs level for their growing family. Specifically in the kitchen, they dreamt of an area where they could easily feed their children without having to formally set up the separate dining room space. Because there is only one bathroom downstairs, they wanted to make the powder room a showstopper for guests to enjoy. 

What was your scope of work? We’d love to start in the kitchen. 
For the kitchen, we wanted to keep the original casework as it was a custom built-in and in great condition. However, the rest of the kitchen needed some major love and attention. We painted the cabinets in Benjamin Moore’s Oxblood to make a bold statement and paired it with more neutral countertop, tiles, and walls to let the color really shine. Brown, linoleum flooring was ripped up, and the colors and pattern of the custom mosaic floor tiles were created by us as a nod to the era of the house. 

Galley layouts can be tough. How did you make the most of the space?
It was important to visually declutter and make the space feel bigger without compromising too much storage. Thus, the upper cabinets on either side of the hood were removed, and we wrapped the hood to hide the modernized stainless steel that looked out of place in this traditional kitchen. Playing to the Craftsman style of the house, custom board-and-batten wall details were added to the newly built-in breakfast nook. The bench cushions were upholstered in a gold Dedar velvet to bring out the gold detail in the mosaic flooring. One of our favorite details from this project are the unlacquered brass fixtures (from Rohl) and hardware (from Rejuvenation) against the oxblood red cabinetry in the kitchen. 

How did you accommodate their request for that the “showstopper” powder room?
The goal of the powder was to make a dynamic impression without having to gut the space. The whole bathroom was white before the project started, and during renovations, it was revealed that the Benjamin Moore Newt Green paint color chosen for the beadboard paneling happened to be nearly identical to the original paint underneath the layers of white. The client chose the wallpaper based on a favorited restaurant she frequents, and the sconce is from one of our favorite LA-based lighting designers, Entler.

Did the dining room see any major changes?
The clients wanted to keep the room light and white as it does not get a lot of sun. The dining chairs were reupholstered in Dedar blue velvet to bring some color into the space. The gorgeous Hector & Finch light fixture was a worthy splurge.

Did this project have any challenges?
As part of the scope of work, the hardwood floors on the lower level had to be replaced due to uneven foundation and water damage. The main challenge was to find hardwood floors that fit the era of the house and was the correct thickness to even out the foundation. Another challenge was getting the right colors for the custom mosaic tiles in the kitchen as many of the colors we liked were out of stock or discontinued. Otherwise, we were lucky enough to work with amazing clients who trusted our vision and had similar styles to us. 

Take a tour in the slideshow.