About Design excellence, attention to detail, quality materials and thoughtful space planning are the hallmarks of a kitchen designed by Heidi Piron. Whether grand scale or modest renovation, the goal is to provide form and function for each kitchen. The designer reaches beyond a singular style to create a kitchen that reflects a client’s personality and lifestyle. Piron aims to create the kitchen of their dreams, even if it is coaxed out of clients who only have vague ideas as to what they want. “If it can be imagined, it can be done,” she says. Piron’s dream team of top-notch design partners and master craftsmen go above and beyond to bring the vision to life. They are united with Piron in their integrity and passion for impeccable design. Passion is what set her on this path. Destiny also played a hand. Ever since she can remember, she has loved architecture and design. She attributes this to her father, Anton Gartner, who at 19 came to the United States from Germany with dreams of owning his own business. When Piron was a child, Anton worked as a tool and die maker for various airplane companies, such as Boeing. “I remember marveling at the tiny engineering parts he made,” Piron fondly recalls. In 1975, at the age of 38, Anton started Gartner’s Custom Homes, a Design-Build company in San Diego, California. The first home he designed and built was for his family. Throughout high school, Piron worked for her father’s company, and cherishes the memory of watching him drafting a home and assisting him at job sites. “In a very hands-on way, I learned about the architecture, structural and mechanical components of how a house was designed and built,” says Piron. “More importantly, I grasped the value of great design and the importance of working with skilled craftsmen.” Growing up, the kitchen was central to Piron’s family life. With its big wooden bowls of fresh fruits and vegetables and well-used chopping block, the kitchen reflected her mother, Ursula, who believed in unprocessed, home-cooked food made from locally grown ingredients long before it was a movement. Ursula’s parents owned a bakery in Germany, where she learned how to bake breads and European pastries. “My mother baked whole wheat bread weekly for our family so we wouldn’t acquire a taste for American Wonder Bread.” Adds Piron, “Cooking is such a nurturing, loving gesture and the kitchen is associated with so many memories from childhood that it’s natural for me to have such a deep affection for its design.” It wasn’t, however, until she married and renovated the kitchen in the couple’s first home in San Francisco that the stirrings of a new career direction began. “It was the first time that I started to become aware that I loved the design and construction process,” recalls Piron. “It takes a mix of creative talent and technical skills to create an exceptional kitchen.” At that time, she had been applying those skills in a very different arena. Since graduating from UCLA with a B.A. in Economics and International Area Studies, Piron had spent more than a decade as a senior marketing manager with several high-tech firms in Silicon Valley, including a start-up with Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft. “I learned invaluable lessons on running a business and project management,” says Piron. No sooner had they finished renovating their first home, Piron’s husband Chris accepted a job offer in New York and the couple and infant daughter moved to Summit, New Jersey. To accommodate their growing family – the couple now has three daughters – they once again renovated a kitchen. “I didn’t design either kitchen but this second renovation, I had no doubt that I wanted to be a kitchen designer.” Piron is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) where she completed her formal training. Today, her business thrives through continued client referrals and allied professionals. For several existing clients, Piron has designed the kitchens in their second homes on the New Jersey Shore and The Hamptons. Since establishing her business in 2004, her work has appeared in shelter magazines, house tours and has won design acclaim. Piron was recently named a regional winner of the KDC 2010-2012: Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest. Held every three years, the internationally renowned competition honors designers, architects, and builders who are advancing the field of kitchen design. Gratifying as the accolades and achievements are to the designer, the thrill for Piron is always in the present moment. The discovery of a new countertop material, creating an innovative storage solution or drafting a small detail that takes a kitchen from good to great.