Mindful Makeover

In this 2022 Kitchen of the Year winner that's packed with winsome details, THERESA ORY’s newly renovated kitchen with a vastly improved layout is now the heart of the home

Designer Theresa Ory and her family moved into their home four years ago, but it wasn’t until the world came to a halt in March 2020 that she gave thought to transforming this personal space. “All of a sudden there were no more job site visits or showroom appointments. Work became really quiet, but that in turn allowed me the time to dream about the possibilities of my own home,” says Ory. 

As an avid cook and host, the kitchen’s existing layout often left her feeling stifled. So once renovations commenced later that year, the first order of business was to remove a divisional wall and awkward peninsula, instantly improving flow, a hallmark of Ory’s design principles. “Good flow is critical,” says the designer. “It’s like the backstage crew of design. It’s not the thing you see or understand while you’re experiencing it, but you can feel it.”

The layout now features a large island and an adjacent lounge area that Ory playfully dubs the “coffee and conversation corner.” Notably absent is a table. “I’ve always had a dream to have a house with a giant island and no table at all,” says Ory. “You can try to create this formal space but mostly people are going to end up loitering around an island, so for me, following that natural pattern and building it to suit where comfort naturally leans toward allows for you to fully enjoy the space.” 

The island is also the best spot to enjoy the sculptural beauty of the range wall, featuring an oversize bell-curve hood made of plaster; its graceful lines continuing with a light green quartzite backsplash. And Ory’s decision to forgo upper cabinets here allows the wall “to have its moment without any distractions,” she says. “Ultimately, I wanted the kitchen to be a warm and hospitable backdrop for shared moments, while also having my creative voice.” 

Design Details Kitchen Designer Theresa Ory Interiors Contractor Joe’s Contracting Services CABINETRY Luxury Cabinetry by The Glamour of the Stone QUARTZITE Levantina ISLAND PENDANTS Rejuvenation FAUCET Brizo Litze COUNTER STOOLS New Pacific Direct LEATHER CHAIRS RH COFFEE MACHINE Bosch HARDWARE Etsy 

See our other 2022 Kitchen of the Year winners: