From Cramped to Revamped

A family of five restricted by their home’s mid-century floor plan, turns to Thurston Kitchen+Bath for a kitchen remodel that packs a punch of space, function, and durability.

WORDS: Katie Grogan | IMAGES: Courtesy of Thurston Kitchen+Bath

When Jay and Kathy Lillien teamed up with designer Tamar Chang of Thurston Kitchen+Bath for their kitchen remodel, they had two needs: space and durability.
With teenage children and 4 dogs, the typical 1950s floor plan of their ranch-style home in Southmoor was not working for their family. The compartmentalized sitting and formal dining rooms and small, walled-off kitchen made for tight quarters for the modern family of five.
In order to create the space the family needed, the formal dining was absorbed into the kitchen and walls for the entry and living rooms were also removed. Once the open floor-plan was established, the kitchen could easily accommodate the 36” Sub Zero refrigerator, 36″ Sub Zero freezer, three Wolf ovens, and six trash cans that were on the Lillien’s wish list.
Having lost the formal dining room, the central island had to do double-duty, functioning both as a normal island with bar stools and as the eat-in kitchen table. To accommodate the two functions, part of the island was lowered to form the kitchen table, creating strong modern lines that are echoed in the overall aesthetic. The island also rounds out the appliance package with a Wolf Induction Cook Top.
The layout now updated to better fit the lifestyle of the Lilliens, Chang and the team turned their attention toward updating the look of the kitchen. Following the modern horizontal lines created by the island, Chang lined up the Wolf Convection Steam Oven, Built-in Single Oven, and Drop Door Microwave ovens. Then, as the three ovens were not all the same height, Chang matched the finish of the appliances with stainless steel drawer fronts on the cabinets to create a more even, balanced look.
In terms of color, everything was chosen to coordinate with a custom mink hue, a demure brownish-grey, with which the Lillien’s had fallen in love. A coordinating color was chosen for the floor and, for contrast, the countertops and wall cabinets were given a high gloss white. The cabinets, by Fina Fine Cabinetry, are also framed in the mink color for continuity and architectural interest.
Now completed, the Lilliens are thrilled with their new kitchen and the entire process. “Everything was taken care of,” says Jay Lillien, “working with Tamar and Thurston was an excellent experience and we are extremely happy with the result.”
Thurston Kitchen+Bath is a proud sponsor of this year’s Denver Design Week. To learn more about Thurston, visit