Lisa, her husband and two children live in my neighborhood. When I moved into the area, she and her friends immediately adopted me as one of their own. That included an invite to the monthly “Meeting of the Moms” where we all get together to chat, catch up and drink copious amounts of coffee. We rotate homes for these casual gatherings but every time it was Lisa’s turn, I sensed equal parts anxiety and panic. The reason being that her lovely mid-century house had a kitchen that was stuck in a 1960’s time warp… and I’m not talking in the good Mad Men 60’s kind of way! She was beyond mortified by its avocado cabinetry, peeling laminate counters, fluorescent lights and the most bizarre spaghetti-esque acoustic tile ceiling.

The neighborhood women (led by Lisa of course!) all took a vote and decided that Lisa’s kitchen was, hands down the ugliest and most dated on the block; and having won this distinction was the most in need of a marvelous modern makeover. Lisa, who I know first-hand is a great cook, was itching for something more stylish and functional, but she also dreamed of a kitchen where she could really flex her culinary muscles. I gathered my crew together and set out to create a contemporary kitchen that would be the hub for kids, family – and a multitude of Moms like me in need of caffeine!

Aside from its outdated nature, the kitchen had functional issues aplenty, with one wall cutting it off from the living room and another dividing the large kitchen space completely in half. Down came the walls, out came the old cabinetry and obsolete appliances, and in their place was born a big beautiful blank canvas of an open-concept kitchen.

Today’s culinary enthusiasts, like Lisa, want the heart of their home to be more than a beautiful space where they cook – they want and need the kitchen to reflect how they cook and how they entertain: in the number of appliances, the layout of the space and the overall design aesthetic. With Lisa’s unique cooking and entertaining style in mind, we had a lot of fun creating the new space.

To contrast the new dark maple flooring that spanned the kitchen and entire main floor, we installed crisp white shaker style cabinets – timeless cabinetry that bridges both traditional and contemporary styles.

The tempered, UV-protective glass door on the Thermador Freedom® Collection Wine Preservation Column is uber practical—safeguarding wines while offering a beautiful way to display them—and a welcome visual relief from the monotony of solid cabinetry doors.

Sitting front and center in the new kitchen is the large island where everyone gathers when Lisa holds culinary court. There, a sleek Thermador Masterpiece® Series Induction Cooktop and Masterpiece® Series Downdraft offer a more integrated design, allowing for uninterrupted, clean sightlines when not in use and state-of-the-art cooking technology the moment it’s called upon.

Now, anyone with kids knows that they consider the fridge to be “their domain” and as such, opened and closed countless times in search of relief from their ever present hunger – you also know that this happens right after they’ve just finished a meal!  When it comes to fresh food and freezer storage, a practical and convenient configuration is the Thermador Built-in French Door Bottom-Freezer. Lisa always loved the model in my own kitchen, so we ordered and installed the same in stainless steel with Professional® Series handles to coordinate with the adjacent Thermador dishwasher, and other Thermador appliances.

Because this kitchen was to be all about cooking, coffee and socializing, the seating at the bar was complemented by a large window seat nestled into an alcove created by flanking an upholstered storage bench, with the bar and Thermador Freedom® Collection Wine Preservation Column on the right, and Thermador Masterpiece® Series Triple Oven (oven, convection microwave, and warming drawer) on the left. By providing luxury appliances with flexibility in design and function, Thermador kitchens are built for a complete culinary experience.

A multi-hued glass backsplash tile unifies both the white of the cabinetry and the charcoal quartz counters while its high contrast palette and pattern animates the neutral space. Upholstery and drapery fabrics pick up on those colors and their texture helps soften the inherently hard surfaces found in kitchens.

By opening up the space, keeping the lines of the kitchen sleek and refined, and integrating state-of the art Thermador appliances that support ultimate kitchen personalization and the contemporary nature of this design, Lisa’s kitchen got the modern-day makeover it needed.