Kitchen Renovation During a Pandemic

After 30 years of hating their kitchen, designer Heather Cleveland’s California-based clients were ready to renovate. Eager for change, they demo-ed the kitchen. 

Then, the pandemic hit, bringing with it restrictions, delays and plenty of frustration for a family that was all about cooking and entertaining.

“They were without a kitchen for almost a year,” says Heather, of Heather Cleveland Design Studio, says of her Bay Area clients. “It just dragged on. I hated to tell them about a 10-week delay on this or that, but they met my honesty with such grace. We were all in it together.”

Heather kept the clients updated throughout and kept everyone on focused on getting to the best end result – a bigger, updated kitchen that would allow them to get back to hosting football parties and big holiday gatherings.  “I love that their older kitchen wasn’t keeping them from entertaining,” says Heather. “But there were several limitations that kept them from enjoying it fully. My goal was to tackle their specific need for space and seating.”

Steven J Magner Photography

By taking out a wall, the square footage problem was solved. Aesthetically, however, some updates took a little coaxing. In their otherwise conventional home, Heather aimed to stretch her clients toward a blend of traditional and mid-century style.

“My goal is always to please, but sometimes it’s also my job to challenge my clients with new ideas,” says Heather. “Redesign is always about expanding our aesthetic to enhance and modernize a space.”

Heather and her clients collaborated on every detail, including a gorgeous custom hood and a show-stopping live-edge, redwood island. Appliances were carefully selected to not only enhance the design, but to upgrade her clients’ entertainment game. 

Steven J Magner Photography

“Of course, I knew Monogram’s Statement Collection would fit the bill aesthetically,” says Heather. “But with two cooks in the house, it didn’t take long to sell them on performance – specifically, the Monogram induction cooktop.”

Heather’s affection for the induction cooktop runs deep. She even selected one for her own upcoming kitchen renovation.

“Induction performs like a gas range, with the sleekness of electric,” says Heather. “And Monogram’s induction cooktop is one of the few on the market that actually looks beautiful. So, to me, it’s an easy sell.”

Steven J Magner Photography

Time spent at the Monogram Design Center in Chicago is what sold her. Now, Heather knows first-hand which appliances to recommend for her clients’ individual needs. 

“Training at the Monogram Design Center was a game changer,” says Heather. “It’s one thing to understand what looks good, but now I know what works. With a brand known for its high performance, hands-on experience was key.”

Unsurprisingly, she’s received rave reviews from her clients on their new appliances and updated kitchen. Though it was a long, grueling process, it was well worth the wait.

“To be able to host a crowd in a beautiful space and feed them well is a long-awaited and wonderful thing,” says Heather. 

Steven J Magner Photography

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