The Heart of a Home

Photos by Nathan Harmon

Cooking and entertaining are passions for the Roger Shollmier family. So it’s no surprise that he and his daughter, Lesley, would create state of the art kitchens in their new homes.

Roger calls his new modern home in Jenks “a tree house by a creek,” complete with an outdoor kitchen. Lesley’s home in Tulsa’s Gillette Historical District honors the traditional Craftsman style, with a clean, updated, transitional look. Both Shollmiers savor the ease of working in their highly functional new kitchens.

Creating the perfect kitchen was of utmost importance to Roger and Lesley. Roger owns Kitchen Ideas, an innovative, 40-year-old Tulsa design firm involving family and a team of expert designers. Roger and Lesley used the newest kitchen equipment: Wolf induction cooktops and steam ovens, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Thermidor rangetops and pro-vent hoods. For Lesley, the steam oven almost eclipses her microwave.

“Our goal is to design kitchens based on how people live, work and entertain,” Lesley says. “In earlier decades, kitchen design was based on a work triangle. That style was created by architects who believed women were the only ones working in the kitchen.”

Not so today, she says. Even though her home and her father’s feature different architectural styles, their kitchens reveal the ultimate in efficiency while honoring their personal tastes in cooking, dining and entertaining.

Lesley loves the large, 10-foot island that anchors her kitchen with a 6-foot Galley Workstation, next to a double induction Wolf cooktop. Her father invented the Galley, which has re-invented kitchens across the nation. “At my island, I can do prep work and cook while visiting with family and guests,” she notes. Other zones are available: the clean-up sink for doing dishes and a gas rangetop for cooking that requires venilation.


Both of their homes have an open floor plan so guests can move easily from the living and dining areas to the kitchen, where everyone loves to gather. At both Roger and Lesley’s homes, family and sometimes guests help to cook.

Of course, there’s a television in both kitchens. Roger and Lesley know the interests of their friends and accommodate that love for watching sports or listening to music. “Part of what I enjoy about our work is that we are creating spaces where family and friends gather to make memories,” Lesley says. In both, the kitchen is truly the heart of the home.

Lesley’s kitchen also has a special meaning for her. Recently married to Dustin Taylor, she treasures the memory of walking into her new kitchen and having a sweet, private conversation with her father before he walked her out into her garden to exchange wedding vows. It is a kitchen memory that she will treasure for many years to come.