Like a well-tailored shirt, a traditional white kitchen will never fall out of fashion — but not all white kitchens are created equal. “There’s an inherent richness to the room when you use the right materials and finishes,” kitchen designer Laura O’Brien says. “And you have to pay attention to the details.” This Chicago-area kitchen sets a shining example. Owned by Nicholle and Dave Braun, it’s the airy nexus of a new home with traditional styling. Beautiful millwork and swaths of Calacatta Gold marble establish the tone, offsetting hand- scraped walnut floors that extend into a sitting room and a breakfast bay. The custom cabinetry features lofty crowns, full-inset doors with beaded accents, and rich walnut interiors that complement the floor. “It’s a pleasure just opening a drawer,” Nicholle says. Builder Karl Strassburger set the stage with an arched window, 11-foot ceilings, and a footprint roughly 16 ½ x 18 ½ feet. O’Brien detailed the cabinetry, which was hand-painted on-site in two shades: white for the perimeter and gray-blue for the island. The kitchen’s statement piece is a curved zinc hood nearly 8 ½ feet wide. Unlike stainless steel, “zinc has a softness and a feeling of age,” O’Brien says. Polished-zinc accents visually unite the hood with the room’s polished-nickel fixtures and hardware, which Nicholle chose with help from Interior designers Mary Ann Holzl and Nancy Samuelson. Paired with a 60-inch range, the curved hood is proportioned to the space, but its position by a door required some architectural finesse. “I didn’t want the hood just ending in midair beside that doorway,” O’Brien says. Her solution was a short wing wall, which creates a shallow niche for the hood and a deep, beautifully cased passage to the butler’s pantry.