Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent Design an Era-Spanning L.A. Kitchen

Inserting a hyperfunctional, modern kitchen—with all the bells and whistles that homeowners crave—into a historic house requires a bit of finesse. Just ask Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent. When the couple were renovating a 1920s Tudor in Los Angeles for a family of five, they knew that the existing kitchen—dark and isolated from the rest of the home—was completely out of sync with their clients’ lifestyle. “Their day starts and ends in the kitchen, so it had to feel more connected to their rituals,” Berkus explains. To achieve that, the designers demolished the old space, reorienting it to open onto a new breakfast area and the backyard, via a wall of glass-and-iron doors. “We’ve been obsessed with old kitchens in Portugal and the way they straddle different eras,” Brent adds. “We anchored the new kitchen with a 17th-century limestone  replace hearth, repurposed as a hood for the Viking range, to add texture and a sense of history. It was a real engineering feat. We had to beef up the plaster wall and insert metal piers for support.” A backsplash of antique Belgian bricks, laid in a herringbone pattern, along with a wall and counter of highly figured Prunella marble adds more rich character, while stools in the style of Jean Royère keep the mix fresh. “The family is young, and they gravitate to modern, so we didn’t want the kitchen to feel too heavy-handed,” Berkus notes. “It’s all a balancing act.”

The duo at home in New York. 

Nicole Franzen 

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