Nest: Granite Bay Remodel

Designer Laura Neuman kept the traditional bones when she updated this home.
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granite bay remodel kitchen
The cabinetry is white oak, a material that “is having a moment,” according to Neuman. She chose the forged glass pendant lights by Hammerton Studio for their “chunky, masculine look.” Photo by Michelle Drewes.

Timeless appeal. That’s what designer Laura Neuman of PepperJack Interiors was going for in the remodel of a couple’s Granite Bay residence built in the 1990s. “We wanted to keep a traditional element throughout the home, but make it lighter and brighter and fresher,” says Neuman.

granite bay remodel wine
A custom arched door graces the entry to a small wine cellar adjacent to the kitchen. “The home had old-world bones, but details like these make it feel at home today,” says designer Laura Neuman. Photo by Michelle Drewes.

Foundational to the project was replacing the original travertine flooring and brightening up the kitchen and living spaces with a fresh coat of paint. In the family room, Neuman retained the pretty wood-beam ceilings and interior window shutters but completely redesigned the fireplace, which previously had a French chateau-like faux finish, to offer the room a simple yet elegant focal point. “I love that the new look has a contemporary Napa feel to it,” says Neuman.

granite bay kitchen remodel
Above the sink, an original landscape painting by artist Mya Louw sets the mood. Photo by Michelle Drewes.

Art was the starting point for the kitchen redesign. “I’m not someone who likes to play with funky tile or a motif,” explains Neuman. “I would rather bring art into a kitchen because it’s personal and it’s changeable.” She kept the cabinetry “very traditional,” opting for a narrow-banded style, sometimes referred to as a micro Shaker, in white oak. The layout of the tile backsplash takes its cue from centuries-old brick patterns—a signature move that lends the space a subtle sense of history.

granite bay remodel
By updating the outmoded fireplace with beautifully understated natural stone materials, Neuman transformed the entire look of the room. Photo by Michelle Drewes.

Small but meaningful details—the crystal knob on the mesh wine cellar door, the linen drapes with a beautifully tailored leading edge—are central to how Neuman conceives a space. “I often feel that it’s good to design from the inside out, thinking about all the fabrics and finishes first,” she explains. “I can’t imagine designing a space without thinking about these details. It all goes together for me.”