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The Zoë Saldaña Celebrity IOU episode this week had a reveal that absolutely blew our socks off! From a total gutting of the kitchen due to improper structural remodeling from years ago, to a surprise family appearance, to major tile artistry, every moment was captivating. With a renovation this large, of course some hiccups are to be expected, but Zoë, Drew, and Jonathan worked smart and got the job done just in time to reveal a beautiful chef’s kitchen for Zoë’s longtime friend, Vera.
Vera and Zoë met on the set of one of Zoë’s films 15 years ago. Vera was her makeup artist, and right when they met, they connected on their shared Latina heritage and their love for their families and their children. Zoë says “Where she ends, I begin, and vice versa. So I’m able to have a beautiful, professional relationship with her. But the moment we’re off the clock, boy, did we party hard. We were eating and drinking and dancing, but also bonding.” The relationship grew stronger and stronger over the years, and they’ve made many special memories together.
Vera’s family is originally from Argentina, and she found family in Zoë when they met. Vera says, “I think not having all my family here, just being with her and her whole family, reminds me when I was in Argentina and having all my cousins and my aunts and my uncles and everybody around me…I was a single mom at the time, so there was a lot on my plate.” Their bond is strong, and they’ve helped each other through some of life’s greatest challenges.
Vera has dreamed of a new kitchen since she moved into her house five years ago. When talking about her and Vera cooking together, Zoë says, “Every time we’re working, we’re just talking about her kitchen and what she would want to do with it. And I just always felt like…it’s not good for you to feel so unhappy in the space that you have to spend so much time in.” So she wanted to gift Vera with a kitchen she’d love having family and friends over to; one that she’s genuinely happy in.
Shop the Look
Check out the decor, furniture, and more seen in this episode–and get it for yourself!
Celebrity IOU: Zoe Saldana
|Product Code / Sku
|Disco-Catalina Caracas Beige 16x24 Chiseled Edge Marble Tile
|24 in. Built-In Smart Convection Microwave Drawer Oven
|SPECIALTY RANGE HOOD
|Style: PS-22 custom COLOR: Smoked Brass
|COUNTERS + BACKSPLASH + LEDGE
|Black Temple Quartz Natural finish, 3mm
|London Grey Quartzite 4” Raised Profile
|Azul Oceania, Dolomite, Light Leather
|RoughCut Casa Blanca
|Prosser Cabinet Knob, 1 1/8", Satin Brass US4
|Warwick T-Knob, Satin Brass US4
|PANTRY + TRASH PULL
|Keaton Cabinet Pull, 12", Satin Brass US4
A Rocky Start
Unfortunately, when Vera’s kitchen was first added onto the house, it wasn’t done properly. So when the Bros began demolition with Zoë, they found that there were no supports in the kitchen at all, which is why it began to sink. There were stress fractures along the wall and the subfloor was sagging due to the unsupported roof load. But when Drew and Jonathan brought an engineer in to examine the situation, they had great news! It was going to be a quick fix with just a couple concrete footings needed to remedy the issue.
Before and Afters
Natural Spanish Influence Meets Modern Builds
Taking influence from Vera’s Argentinian culture, they decided to incorporate lots of natural stone and raw materials. They used limestone flooring and natural stone and marble materials everywhere possible, like on the island block, the countertops, and backsplash. Utilizing natural materials in the lighting was a creative way to mix up textures and colors while keeping up with the raw material theme.
Banquette Seating and a Table for Family
The dining room became an entirely different space, and it’s now capable of so much more than mealtime. The long wooden table accompanied by the banquette bench allows for cozy conversation, not to mention much more seating for big family gatherings. And the gallery wall filled with beautiful photos and memories? That part is priceless.
Touches of Brass, Wicker, and Natural Stone
The gorgeous brass range hood complements the brass hardware and contrasts beautifully against the dark tile backsplash. It’s small details like these in the kitchen that really bring the space together and make it feel complete. Replacing the outdated cabinetry and adding open shelving brought the kitchen into the modern day while still keeping the design timeless.
A Beautiful, Functional Built-In Desk
The dolomite marble built-in desk is another gorgeous callback to Latin America, celebrating the natural raw beauty of earth’s materials. It fits the space seamlessly and isn’t as large and obtrusive as the previous desk setup that Vera was using before. Now, Vera can work in a place that feels calm and tranquil, and fits her style.
Breakfast Bar and Open-Air Entertainment
Breaking open the wall not only allowed for a long, gorgeous breakfast bar, but also completely opens the space for friends and family to gather together. It improves the flow of the kitchen and dining area tremendously. The hand-done stonework that wraps around the island is also a gorgeous detail that encapsulates the entire kitchen and grounds the room in its natural elements.