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Steal This Look: A Los Angeles Architect’s Low Key but Elegant Kitchen

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Steal This Look: A Los Angeles Architect’s Low Key but Elegant Kitchen

November 17, 2020

We are fervent admirers of Reath Design, the LA-based interior design studio founded by Frances Merrill. This past September, we shared their latest completed project, a Mediterranean-style 1920s manse transformed into an elegant but warm home for architect Sherry McKuin and her young family. We took particular note of the traditional-with-an-edge kitchen.

Let’s take a tour of the space, then scroll down to learn how to recreate the look.

Photography by Laure Joliet, courtesy of Reath Design.

“The kitchen was a total gut,” says McKuin. “In keeping with the period of the house, it had been set off on its own with a pantry and a formal dining room off it. We wanted a bigger, more open plan with an island and eating area.”
Above: “The kitchen was a total gut,” says McKuin. “In keeping with the period of the house, it had been set off on its own with a pantry and a formal dining room off it. We wanted a bigger, more open plan with an island and eating area.”
Merrill and McKuin like the way the avocado-hued stove works with the slight greenish hue of the cabinets and the handmade backsplash tiles.
Above: Merrill and McKuin like the way the avocado-hued stove works with the slight greenish hue of the cabinets and the handmade backsplash tiles.
  The cabinets are all custom. The counter is Namibia White, a milky marble sourced from a stone yard in the San Fernando Valley. (Note how the kitchen counter on the left drops down a step. Go here to learn why.)
Above:  The cabinets are all custom. The counter is Namibia White, a milky marble sourced from a stone yard in the San Fernando Valley. (Note how the kitchen counter on the left drops down a step. Go here to learn why.)
Next to the door, in lieu of a mud room, Merrill created a “mud cabinet” with places for coats, backpacks, schoolwork, and lunchboxes.
Above: Next to the door, in lieu of a mud room, Merrill created a “mud cabinet” with places for coats, backpacks, schoolwork, and lunchboxes.
The bar/coffee station is next to a built-in dining alcove.
Above: The bar/coffee station is next to a built-in dining alcove.
Three things to love here: the one-handle brass faucet by Watermark, the bullnose-edge counter, and the skirt of pleated plum handkerchief linen from Gray Line Linen of NYC, a notable affordable fabric source.
Above: Three things to love here: the one-handle brass faucet by Watermark, the bullnose-edge counter, and the skirt of pleated plum handkerchief linen from Gray Line Linen of NYC, a notable affordable fabric source.

Here’s what you need to steal the look.

Lighting

A single porcelain and brass Surface Light from Current Collection hovers over the kitchen sink.
Above: A single porcelain and brass Surface Light from Current Collection hovers over the kitchen sink.
A trio of O&#8
Above: A trio of O’Lampia’s Arch Picture Lights illuminates the kitchen’s main wall; available in multiple finishes.
Pinch&#8
Above: Pinch’s Beata Light features a woven straw shade, available in nutmeg (shown) and white and in two sizes; from £595.

Neutrals

The custom cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore&#8
Above: The custom cabinets are painted Benjamin Moore’s Laurel Canyon Beige; the walls are painted White PM-2.
Merrill sourced the custom matchstick blinds from Valley Drapery, but you can find something similar at many well-known retailers, including Ikea and Home Depot, which sells this 48-inch-wide Natural Cordless Light Filtering Bamboo Roll-up Shade by Radiance; $.loading=
Above: Merrill sourced the custom matchstick blinds from Valley Drapery, but you can find something similar at many well-known retailers, including Ikea and Home Depot, which sells this 48-inch-wide Natural Cordless Light Filtering Bamboo Roll-up Shade by Radiance; $24.12.
Smink Things&#8
Above: Smink Things’ tiles from the After Lowry Collection in Cream (AL10) make up the backsplash. For more on Smink Things, see Subtle Imperfections: Screen-Printed Ceramic Tiles from a Small-Batch London Company.

Brass

The kitchen drawer handles are the Gilby Drawer Pulls in Antiqued Brass from Jim Lawrence;  £loading=
Above: The kitchen drawer handles are the Gilby Drawer Pulls in Antiqued Brass from Jim Lawrence; £12.
Above: Merrill discovered Futagami’s brass hardware via Remodelista. She bought both their Brass Shelf Brackets ($165 for a pair) and their Brass S-Hooks ($24 for two) at Dar Gitane. Futagami is also sold at Nalata Nalata.
Futagami&#8
Above: Futagami’s Brass Towel Bars are available in two sizes; from $100 each at Dar Gitane.
Newport Brass&#8
Above: Newport Brass’s Chesterfield Bridge Faucet is available in a slew of finishes; from $1,090. (See 10 Easy Pieces: Traditional Bridge Faucets.)

Appliances

Bluestar&#8
Above: Bluestar’s Free-Standing 48-Inch Gas Range with Griddle (RNB486GV2) is available in more than 1,000 colors, including the avocado hue in McKuin’s kitchen; from $10,495.
The Espresso Giotto Timer Evoluzione R by Rocket is $
Above: The Espresso Giotto Timer Evoluzione R by Rocket is $2,600 at Seattle Coffee Gear. (Another of Rocket’s machines made our 10 Best Espresso Machines list.)

Accessories

Reath Design likes the ceramics on offer at Los Angeles-based Lawson Fenning. For a similar, more affordable look, try this Black Pedestal Bowl from CB
Above: Reath Design likes the ceramics on offer at Los Angeles-based Lawson Fenning. For a similar, more affordable look, try this Black Pedestal Bowl from CB2; $59.95.
For a similar rust-colored kitchen towel, try Linge Particulier&#8
Above: For a similar rust-colored kitchen towel, try Linge Particulier’s Linen Dish Towel in Sienna; $26 at Nannie Inez.
This Vintage Brass Bud Vase is just $.50 on Etsy.
Above: This Vintage Brass Bud Vase is just $24.50 on Etsy.
The Wide Weave Leather Basket is $8 at Terrain.
Above: The Wide Weave Leather Basket is $178 at Terrain.

For more kitchens we love, see:

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