In Sherman Oaks in LA, a traditional Spanish colonial home was in dire need of a makeover – it had been transformed in the early 2000s with cheesy Tuscan villa features, characterized by a blend of browns and terracottas that weren’t flattering. The new homeowners, a recently married couple with a child on the way, had recently moved to LA and were looking to give it a completely new look. Their kitchen was in particular need of a facelift, serving as the hub of the home and a large part of the great room. The homeowners brought on interior designer Jessica Nicastro to take on the project.

“Our clients did not want ‘another white kitchen’,” Jessica said. “After looking for houses for awhile they wanted something that felt uniquely theirs and timeless. They wanted to play up the Spanish bones of the home but give it a modern timeless feel.” The modern shaker style of the space was given a twist through small yet impactful details.

“So often we see projects that become thematic so we did not want to go with the obvious choice of a Spanish tile backsplash, instead we brought in matte oil rubbed bronze hardware to complement the greige custom cabinetry,” she explained. However, there was some trickiness in finding all of the right pieces necessary for the kitchen. “Our clients fell in love with the oil rubbed bronze hardware collection with the oval knobs,” Jessica began. “This collection did not come with appliance pulls and we were insistent on making sure that the appliances were panel-ready. We searched high and low to find appliance pulls that looked like they were from the same collection and I have to say, they are perfect!”

The cabinets, made custom in a Farrow & Ball greige, goes perfectly with the porcelain stone countertops that mimic marble (the right choice for those who want something low-maintenance. “We worked tirelessly with our fabricator to make sure that the veining in the countertops perfectly matched up to the veining in the backsplash,” she added. The backsplash goes high up the wall reaching the hand-made plaster hood that mimics the curves of the fireplace in the living room.

Although the brief from Jessica’s clients was straightforward, one request did present a bit of a challenge for the designer and her team: “Our clients wanted open shelving on either side of their gorgeous window in front of the sink,” she said. “We always strive for symmetry in our designs which posed a challenge with this space. In order to give our clients symmetrical floating shelves, we had to give up the functionality of an upper cabinet opening. To not lose any precious space in the kitchen, we kept that cabinet door as a dummy but allowed for the inner portion of the cabinet to be open to the one next to it to serve as storage for larger platters and serve-ware.”

As avid entertainers, Jessica ensured that she installed high-quality appliances such as the double oven, large refrigerator, and freezer from Thermador, all panel ready, into the kitchen. Six months after they first began, the space was ready to be enjoyed by the couple. “They are due with their first child in the next few months and know that it is the perfect place to start a family and have friends over (post- COVID, obviously),” the designer said.