If you don’t know already, Drew of Lone Fox Home is an incredible DIY content creator whose work is extremely inspiring and entertaining (you must check out his youtube channel!). So, when he reached out wanting to write about his recent kitchen makeover that he renovated alone, we of course said YES PLEASE. So please enjoy and make sure to follow him here if you don’t already.
When I purchased my 1929 Spanish Revival stacked duplex, I opened the two units together which left me with two kitchens. The bottom kitchen was untouched with original tile and the top had undergone a recent renovation and no original character remained. Since I wanted to use the top floor as living space (the bottom is more of a workspace) that is the kitchen I decided to renovate first.
This was the first project I undertook with an extensive demo, and I loved the creativity that it offered me. I decided to open the wall from the dining room into the butler’s pantry with a large arch. I also decided to convert the butler’s pantry into a coffee bar by removing the doors on the upper cabinets and lining the back with marble remnants from my countertops.
The cabinets were brand new with inset doors, so I opted to keep them. I knew I wanted the countertops to be the main focal point, so choosing my marble was a priority. I browsed a few stone yards until I found a Calacatta Monet slab that I loved. The marble had a really interesting grain pattern that would scare a lot of people, but I had a vision and fell in love! I asked my countertop fabricator if I could place all the templates with him so I knew my vision was being executed perfectly. He even suggested we create a sink with some of the offcuts and I thought that was just a marvelous idea. I didn’t even know an integrated marble sink was something you could do… let alone with a garbage disposal.
I knew I wanted to go dark on the cabinetry for a more unexpected moody vibe for my kitchen. I went with Van Buren Brown from Benjamin Moore which I pulled directly from some of the marble’s veining. For the hardware, I chose unlacquered brass handles from Rejuvenation, which I thought tied in well into the Spanish style of the home. When I first shared the cabinetry the response was actually not as positive as I thought! A majority of the Lone Fox fam was preferring the white cabinets over the brown as it let the marble shine. However, I had a vision and knew a lighter plaster on the upper halves would brighten it up whilst adding some subtle movement.
Before applying the plaster I built a range hood from some 2x4s and a vent hood insert that I purchased on Amazon. The fireplaces in the home are what inspired the initial shape which then was tweaked a little to something I felt was more current. This was a different DIY for me as I’ve never really built something into a home that serves a function. Those types of projects always scare me a little and I almost just purchased a prefabricated range hood but felt making my own would be so much more rewarding. It 10000000% was and the range hood was finished in the same plaster that I used on the walls. I wanted a stone-like finish across the walls and ceiling and opted for Meoded’s Tonachino Firenze, which was tinted to a color you can now request as “Drew’s White”. Meoded actually named the color after me, haha! I couldn’t believe it when they mentioned it.
The application of plaster on the walls is pretty simple and very satisfying, however, the ceiling is a whole other story. I used a metal trowel and burnished the plaster onto the walls and under all the archways as well. When it came time to do the ceiling, the plaster was falling and dripping over EVERYTHING. It was getting pretty messy and half the product ended up on the floor, but once everything had a second coat it was perfect. I had some paint matched to the same color as the plaster and painted the can light inserts for a seamless finish.
I actually opted to do the tile floor last and the only reason was that it took about 2 months for the tile to arrive. I ordered from Cle tile and these are the pantry paver tiles. I laid them in a traditional offset brick pattern but the square shape of the tile creates more of a cobblestone look. This was also my first time ever tiling anything in my life but it wasn’t hard at all! I actually found the range hood to be trickier than the tile work in this space. We got a tile saw from Home Depot and I cut all the edge pieces whilst my friend Justin laid out and measured the cut pieces. After 3 days of constant cutting and mortaring, we let the floor fully harden for another 24 hours before piping every joint with grout. Piping in the grout is something you see more in masonry work, but I wanted the floors to have that aged authentic look to them, and giving the grout a “hand-done look” adds to that effect.
After three months of work in the kitchen, it was starting to take shape. I had this exact kitchen in my head since day one and it was becoming a reality! I hung two antique sconces that I sourced from an antique shop in Pasadena. I’ve been extremely into more gothic-style Spanish pieces and love to juxtapose them with a softer material like marble. I mixed metals throughout and knew copper would be a big element in the kitchen. I just love the warmth copper gives a space. After gathering everything I’d been collecting for this space it was time to style. In the coffee bar, I set up the new espresso machine which ties a bit of the stainless steel you can see in the fridge and range. I almost forgot to mention how incredibly stunning the range I got for this kitchen. She was found on Wayfair and I got the range in just a month after seeing ship times of over a year at other stores.
The open shelving was stacked with glassware, copper pots, and antique treasures collected from flea markets around Los Angeles. In the main kitchen space, I added more of your quintessential kitchen items like a mixer, bowls, and canisters along with some of your not-so-usual kitchen finds like a gothic spike hanging candlestick holder! You can also find a lamp on one of the counters. The kitchen is one of two complete rooms in my home and I must say it’s currently my favorite. The brown cabinets were such a great choice and every day I see this kitchen in a new light that makes me fall in love with it even more. It’s been about a month since it’s been completed and I’ve noticed myself cooking more, making coffee of course, and enjoying the early morning sunshine. When I shared this space on my Instagram the response was just incredible. I’ve never had so many kind comments and messages about a project I’ve done! The breakfast nook is a work in progress, but I plan for the design to accompany the kitchen. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the house turns out!
*Design and photos by Drew Michael Scott of Lone Fox Home