pittsburgh, pennsylvania

The owners of a quaint English Cottage home from the 1920s on a prominent street in West Shadyside wanted to significantly renovate the interior, as it was nearly untouched for over fifty years. The home had a significant expansion in the 1950s when a two story addition to the rear of the home provided a living area below and bedroom above; however, the small kitchen - which had a minor update in the 1970s -- and enfilade breakfast and "plant" rooms adjacent were untouched.

A priority was to combine the first floor's compartmentalized, outdated and undersized rooms into one large kitchen area as well as to open this central space to the adjoining dining and living areas providing a continuous flow of spaces and views. In addition to this significant undertaking, every room in the house was updated to varying extents, including wall finishes and lighting fixtures throughout; every bath was renovated or expanded; in the finished attic "apartment" an inefficient kitchenette and practically un-useable bathroom were combined to provide a generous full bath; and the antiquated heating system was updated to a high velocity system with a whole house air conditioning system replacing multiple window units.

Given the homeowner's interest in gourmet cooking, the kitchen's arrangement, cabinetry and equipment were a focus of the design solution - and in fact, became the spatial armature clarifying the circulation path through the home's main level. The client's interest in the custom furniture company specializing in kitchens, Henrybuilt, resulted in a collaborative effort to design a unique element as the transition between the dining and kitchen areas that provides buffet, storage, and open shelving / display uses and yet allows for views through the kitchen into the living area beyond. As a design theme throughout the renovation, the collaboration with Henrybuilt also resulted in all the vanities for the baths as well, thus extending the material and detail continuity to the balance of the home's custom casework.