Before and After: You Won't Believe This Modern Marble Kitchen Transformation
Marble countertops, open shelving, custom walnut cabinets, banquette seating, and a giant marble island—need we say more? There’s kitchen envy, and then there’s major kitchen envy. And as far as we’re concerned, the latest project from Los Angeles–based Veneer Designs definitely falls into the latter category. In fact, the only thing more stunning than the final design is seeing the striking before-and-after transformation.
The kitchen is widely recognized as the heart of the homes, so that makes it an ideal spot to showcase a little bit of soul as well. That’s exactly what Veneer Designs principal designer Natalie Myers did for her client, a British ex-pat who Myers describes as “eccentric in a fun, infectious way.” Myers’s modern organic style was a perfect fit to make the client’s dream kitchen come to life, but, perhaps more important, so too was her approach to incorporating the client’s vision into the final design. “The previous kitchen was quite impersonal, so this was his chance to make it his own and let his true personality shine,” she explains. “I knew that the only way to nail the design was to really listen.”
The kitchen is a perfect example of warmth with cool factor, mixing eclectic raw materials to give the clean, modern lines of the space an inviting throwback to the midcentury era. In the end, we’ve never seen a kitchen quite like this before, which gives the space the ultimate wow factor and underscores the importance of dreaming big to create spaces you love at home.
Scroll for a before-and-after look inside the striking transformation of this one-of-a-kind kitchen space.
THE MARBLE COUNTERTOPS
One of the most stunning features of this kitchen is the large space, so it was important to make bold raw material selections for each surface. Where some might have opted for an all-white approach, Myers created contrast by juxtaposing the cool touch of the marble and stone surfaces with the warmth of walnut wood throughout that built on her client’s vision for the space. “He was very clear that the goal for the kitchen was to surround himself with walls of wood and natural materials to create a feeling of warmth and nurturing,” she remembers. The final design has a unique balance of simplicity and grandeur, with clean lines that are offset by streaks and striations in the marble and wood surfaces that give the space an organic edge.
THE CUSTOM WALNUT CABINETS
The walnut cabinetry adds just the right amount of warmth to give the kitchen a friendly, approachable feeling. The palette of medium browns, bright white, and pops of orange evokes just the right amount of midcentury charm, with minimal hardware to keep the space feeling distinctly modern. From there, the cabinets and functional features of the kitchen were outfitted to suit the client’s lifestyle, including marble counters (“for beauty and feel, not practicality,” according to Myers), integrated appliances with custom wood fronts (“minimal count of appliances since he doesn't cook too often”), lack of upper cabinetry (“wall space to display his impressive rotating collection of art”), and fun elements for entertaining and relaxing (“an under-counter wine fridge, a wall mounted TV hidden behind retractable cabinet doors, built-in seating”).
THE OPEN SHELVING
Open shelving has become something of a kitchen design signature for Veneer Designs to give a space more room to breathe. “Kitchens feel more open, brighter, and airy with this one simple move,” Myers explains. “It feels of the moment to forego upper cabinets to make the lower cabinets be the workhorse of the kitchen.” It’s also a great way to showcase chic glassware and other entertaining accessories.
Knowing that the kitchen would be a social space for her client, Myers worked to incorporate comfortable built-in seating at the dining table. The vertical slatted white oak accent wall was just the right complementary touch for the banquette and also doubled as a backdrop for the client’s carefully curated art collection. “My inner design voice knew the wall above the bench was boring and needed a textural, dimensional element that was subtle,” Myers remarks. The abstract art and striking sconces set a creative, inspired tone for table conversation, and well-placed pops of orange add just the right shot of energy for entertaining.
THE MARBLE ISLAND
The large size of the kitchen paved way for Myers’s favorite part of the final design: a dramatic marble island that is the cherry on top of the entire room. “With so much space to play with and no lack of storage, I was able to seize the opportunity to create the monolithic marble island that most clients would balk at,” Myers shares. Because sometimes, when you’re designing a dream space, you just have to forgo a little practicality in favor of jaw-dropping chic factor.
Knoll Saarinen Executive Side Chair with Wood Legs ($1392)
What are the key ingredients to your dream kitchen?