A devastating accident leads to a happy ending and a new bathroom design
On February 8, 2010, Pittsburgh was crushed by a continuous winter storm that would leave behind a mountain of snow on an unsuspecting city. Before it was finished, it would suspend travel, close businesses, and knock the power out to thousands of homes.
Rose Anna and Joe Covelli left that morning, to board a plane headed to California for what they thought would be a getaway from wintry weather. “It was snowing like crazy here in Pittsburgh, and by the time we landed we heard there were 20 inches of snow and that power was out everywhere,” Rose Anna tells. “We didn’t think anything of it, but started to get concerned by Monday night because we hadn’t turned our water off.”
A Gut Feeling
As a precaution, they sent someone over to check on their Jefferson Hills home. A short time later, the couple received a phone call, telling them that it was too late and not to come home right away. Their friend had walked into a disaster in progress which had left their beautiful home in ruins. Ceilings were collapsed on floors below, and water was gushing all around him.
A disaster restoration company was brought in to do the clean up. “They just went at it, and started tearing out the ceilings and walls,” tells Rose Anna. “Everything was soaking wet, and they had blowers going everywhere.” Within three days it was all cleared out, including the master bedroom ceiling which had collapsed onto the bed.
During most of the renovation, the couple had to live elsewhere for 6 months, and only toward the end were able to live in a small area on the opposite end of the house which hadn’t been damaged. In essence, they would need to start over, and had to rethink their whole living arrangement. “We wanted a master bathroom with a spa theme,” says Rose Anna. “We also wanted it to be serene, and peaceful.”
On the recommendation of their contractor, the couple brought in Kathy Cvetkovich, of Willowbrook Design, to design the space. She had to take into consideration the amount of damage, and couple it with the space that they had, (the new bathroom was originally the closet) in her redesign. In the end, they ended up reframing and customizing everything to create a knockout master suite.
“The architecture of the space really screamed to be the bathroom, because it had a peaked roof and a nice big window,” the designer points out. “The window was the focal point, and the most logical place to position the tub.”
Meant To Be
To achieve the soft and tranquil setting that the couple wanted, she used a color scheme of sea foam blue/green, taupe and clear white.
“Working with Kathy was fantastic because she listens to what you want, and then she designs it,” points out Rose Anna. “It was always fun, we never stopped laughing, and we became very good friends through the ordeal.” Cvetkovich blended a contrast of both contemporary and traditional design in her blueprint of the spa-like bathroom.
The tub is framed in glass mosaic tile and features a softly curved front deck. Sitting under a high cathedral ceiling, and in front of a large scenic window, the tub is the focal point of the room. A jumbo sized shower is enclosed with cast glass walls, and spawns an outdoorsy feeling. The floor of the shower was crowned in the middle, and trough drains were added front and back, to keep water running in both directions. A Grohe Amera Shower System offers the couple a control panel, and an assortment of body sprays and shower heads. Cherry wood vanities, with pillow edge doors were wall hung, and support two inlaid mother of pearl sinks. Rose Anna is delighted to have her own vanity. “I can actually sit down and put on my makeup, rather than standing,” she points out. “I never had that, so it was important to me that we both have our own sides.”
Joe added features for year round comfort. “The bathroom has its own air-conditioning unit so that the space would be comfortable when one of us is showering and the other is getting ready,” he explains. “Same with the winter, we have radiant heated floors because marble can be cold on the feet.” Cvetkovich describes the commode area as “sexy,” because of the iridescent glass listellos that glow under the halogen lights.
The couple doesn’t look back at what happened. At first they were devastated, but in retrospect the overall experience has turned out to be a positive one. “Over the past year there have been times where we cried, we laughed, or we were completely frustrated,” shares Rose Anna. “But, it happened, we dealt with it, and we knew eventually it would be okay and there would be an end.”
Designer: Kathy Cvetkovich, Willowbrook Design, LLC; Disaster service: Steamatic of Pittsburgh; Contractor: Basic Contracting; Cabinetry: Pennville Custom Cabinetry; Flooring: Thassos and Ming green marble, supplied by ProSource; glass tile supplied by The Tile Collection; Tile installation: Ken Bucci; Wall shower system: Grohe Amera, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery; Bathtub: Kohler Purist airbath, Ferguson; Custom glass: Rex Glass & Mirror; Countertops: Thassos marble, Dente; Countertop fabrication: Ultimate Granite; Sinks: Linkasink, Crescent Supply; Faucets: Brizo, Ferguson; Lighting: Kichler Raindrops sconces; Minka Air paddle fan, Cardello; Hardware: Top Knobs, Badaracco & Associates; Window treatments: Cathy Davin Interiors