This Sleek Kitchen Was Once Dingy and Outdated—Here's How One Designer Completely Transformed It

Beautiful sleek white kitchen with marble backsplash.

Design: Jessica Nicastro; Photo: Madeline Tolle; Graphic: MyDomaine

If there’s something we never get tired of seeing, it’s a great makeover. Whether it’s transforming a retro bathroom into a modern oasis or giving a lackluster bedroom a fresh look, pros perform these design miracles all the time.

To give designers a chance to showcase their favorite makeovers—and to bring you plenty of inspiration for your own home—we’re sharing the best before and afters we’ve seen in our series, Makeover of the Week. Take notes for your next renovation.

“The kitchen in my clients’ fixer-upper home needed to be renovated—the space was disjointed with small rooms and very little natural light,” interior designer Jessica Nicastro says. “My goal was to create a sunny place where the family could relax and gather for years to come.”

Meet the Expert

Jessica Nicastro is the designer and founder of Jessica Nicastro Design in Los Angeles, California. She strives to bridge the gap between high-end custom design and fun—yet functional—spaces, creating looks that hold up to life’s challenges.

Before:

Dark and outdated kitchen with mint green walls.

Courtesy of Jessica Nicastro

“The previous owners gave the kitchen minimal facelifts over the years, but the end result was a chaotic mix of colors and textures—midcentury birch cabinets, florescent lighting, mint green walls, and multi-colored ceramic floor tiles,” Nicastro notes.

After:

Large white kitchen with marble backsplash.

Design: Jessica Nicastro; Photo: Madeline Tolle

“We began by tweaking the layout—the existing kitchen became the laundry room, while the dining room and family room became the kitchen,” Nicastro shares. “In doing so, we removed three walls to create a new, larger kitchen space. We then painted the remaining walls a bright white and chose a neutral-colored floor, backsplash, and countertop to give the room new energy.”

What Changed:

  • Color theme: A mix of warm greige, black, brass, and brown create a clean, neutral aesthetic. 
  • Cabinets: Shaker and flat cabinetry combine to give the appearance of a wider kitchen while brass oval knobs pop against the warmth of the greige hue. 
  • Countertop: A white porcelain countertop has the look of marble and the durability of quartz. 
  • Hood: A large white plaster hood blends seamlessly into the wall and fits snugly between the windows. 
  • Lights: Brass sconces provide ambient light and complement the warm tones in the backsplash.
  • Windows: Two thin-framed casement windows allow in lots of natural light. 
  • Backsplash: The porcelain countertop was extended up the wall, showcasing the slab’s heavy veining. 
  • Stools: Dark walnut stools have an antique look and add warmth to the space. 
  • Floor: The white oak floor planks add to the neutral palette and tie into the room’s warmer tones.
  • Appliances: Panel-ready appliances blend in with the cabinetry, producing a quiet consistency. 
  • Center island: A charcoal soapstone countertop creates contrast against the greige cabinets while a gooseneck faucet works with the room’s other brass features. 
  • Wall paint: The designer chose to repaint with Warm White by Dunn Edwards.

Shop the Look:

White sleek marble kitchen.

Design: Jessica Nicastro; Photo: Madeline Tolle

Elle Picture Light
Mullan Elle Picture Light $142
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“I think of a window as a piece of art, and I like to showcase it by adding a picture light over the top,” Nicastro notes.

Medium Oval Cabinet Knob
Rejuvenation Medium Oval Cabinet Knob $12
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“I love oval knobs because they give the illusion of something linear while still projecting a soft look,” Nicastro shares.

Randle Tractor Counter Stool
Rejuvenation Randle Tractor Counter Stool $619
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“The lip on these backless stools adds to their comfort,” Nicastro says.

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