Chalet-inspired Paradise at Home
Chalet-inspired abode at home in Peters Township
By Joan Pearlstein Dunn | Photos by Craig Thompson
There is no end to spectacular in this spacious, but comfortable, home in Peters Township. When Greg went to look at the 11 acres of land that his friend was selling, he bought it on the spot. “I fell in love with the property because of the old trees,” says Greg. “I knew this was where I wanted to build my home, and called Lori to come see it.” With the help of the fire department, the couple burned down an old farmhouse on the property, then drew a new house and built it.
Over 200 tons of stone were brought in for the exterior and took masons a year to chisel each stone, in a perfect mosaic pattern. All of the beams framing the portico were brought in from Canada. Keeping with the concept of casual and comfortable, the home has seven fireplaces, and also includes six porches where the homeowners can kick back and unwind.
Inside, an expansive and architecturally stunning entry sweeps 360 degrees around and shoots three stories high. “We didn’t want something typical, and preferred an entry where everything would open up as soon as you walk in the front door,” explains Greg. “Our architect studied in Italy and the design he used is rooted to his studies there.”
The living room flows seamlessly into the dining room, with immaculate furnishings unifying the two rooms. The couple worked with Brad Halstead, owner of Bradley Michaels Furniture, on the interior design and ornamentation. “Due to the fact that there is a grand piano, this room is a little more formal than the rest of the house,” explains Halstead. “But we still needed it to blend in, so we used a Tuscan, but elegant type of look.” A French lace sofa and barrel wing chairs frame the exquisite room.
Looking out to the gorgeous view of the landscape and governor’s drive, the formal dining room has majestic eminence. An inset tray ceiling has a faux-leather finish, and anchors a generously proportioned wrought iron chandelier. During the holidays, the couple extends their dining table through the archway to the living room, eliminating the need for a kids’ table. “We like to keep everyone together,” says Lori.
Strategically positioned in the center of the home, the kitchen is a multi-purpose, multi-sectioned room that gets a good workout from family and friends. Not just for eating, the room is a magnet for homework, socializing or just hanging out. “Typically when we come together for a holiday or function, we’ll easily have 25 people gathering in here,” says Greg. “We put a premium on comfort verses big.”
White oak floors were hand-selected from a sawmill in Pennsylvania. “It was actually an interesting day because they were doing it all by hand and they allowed us to determine how much we wanted it distressed,” tells Lori.
As in most homes, the family room gets the most use. “It is the grandest scale of all the sitting rooms, and has an Alpine chalet feel to it,” says Halstead. Easily seating a dozen people, the sofa is a popular gathering spot for the family. A coffered, beamed ceiling and walnut floors keep this sprawling room warm and cozy.
Equally grand is the billiard room. In spite of its size, Greg and Lori feel it is the coziest room of them all. “More important than the pool table, we put a ping pong cover over it and have intense games with the whole family,” says Greg. The room has three flat-panel televisions, opens up to a full-scale bar and is in full view of the swimming pool outside. “One of the reasons we have three TV’s in this room is so when we all get together, we can watch multiple sporting events at the same time,” explains Greg. “We can have large groups in here. After my son won the state championship for soccer, we were able to entertain one hundred people in this room.”
Set apart from the rest of the décor, when entering the master bedroom, everything goes to white. It has a softer and more relaxed color palette than the rich warm tones beyond. They intentionally lightened things up to keep it tranquil and set it apart from the rest of the house. Directly off the bedroom is a spa-like oasis with a crystal clear floating shower centered in the space. Sparse, but spectacular, the white cabinets, tile floors, and a gorgeous view of the front lawn are all that this master bathroom needs.
Fun in the sun
The outside of the home has the same melody as the inside; everything has been planned around family. The meticulously maintained yard offers a park-like setting with separate cozy seating areas, making it easy to have multiple gatherings in one large space. Similar to a wading pool, there is a water patio where people can sit when they don’t want to get totally wet. “It is much like when we go to the beach,” says Lori, who credits Bruce Evanovich and Mike Hodak with creating their outdoor living space. “We love sitting at the edge of the ocean reading a book.”
While some of the family enjoys the peace and quiet of the water patio, other members prefer spending time under the steady stream of the pool’s waterfall. “This house is all about family,” says Greg with a smile. With the glorious scenery and array of activities that the home has to offer, it would seem that when this family wants to vacation, they needn’t look further than their own back yard.
Architect: David J. McLean, AIA. McLean Architects; Builder: Warren Fein, Fein Carpentry; Flooring: Allegheny Mountain Hardwood Flooring; Flooring sanding and refinishing: Steve Kuhn; Interior lighting: Cardello’s; Exterior lighting: Darin Linhart, Litescaping; Draperies, furniture and accessories: Bradley Michaels Furniture; Pool design and construction: Pools & Waterfalls by Mike Hodak; Pool maintenance: John Menzer, Menzer’s Pool Service; Stone mason: Bruce Long; Landscaping: Bruce Evanovich Landscaping; HVAC: Climatech; Plumbing: Makrinos Plumbing; Roofing: Holzer Jesko Quality Exteriors; Pool table: Custom built Olhausen, West Penn Billiards & Barstools