Modern Sophistication and Visual Appeal
Modern Sophistication and Visual Appeal
Windows and Wood
Modern sophistication & visual appeal
Yellow paint and surrounding décor brighten the look of these dark wood cabinets from MasterBrand Cabinets.
Every detail was meticulously selected, right down to the pristine cabinet pulls. While many of the pulls came in brass, some had to be re-plated in a brass finish to match. The entire tray ceiling has been lined with bead lighting, giving off a subtle but glamorous glow. Two gold pendants add a feeling of warmth and sunshine to this stunning kitchen. Six-inch molding was used to complement the space and give it a sleek feel, as opposed to using a traditional molding that would just go hand in hand with the rest of the home. “I wanted the bar stools to have some contrast against all the white, but didn’t want anything to read blue or black,” tells the owner. “We went through dozens of fabrics before finding the perfect shade of gray.”
Polarstone was used for the countertops and backsplash. It’s a type of quartz that has the look of white marble but is much more durable. “As soon as I saw this, it was a no-brainer,” says the owner. “It can handle everything from hot to red wine spills.” The floor is porcelain tile with a herringbone design.
Beautiful with brass
With a clean and modern look dominating the room, the owner chose an Ilve range with vintage charm to bring in a bit of an eclectic feel. “It’s a lot more stove than I’m capable of cooking,” she says with a laugh. The brass hood she first eyed in the infamous picture was the biggest challenge. “There’s not a manufacturer that makes anything like this,” explains the owner. “I went through a handful of local artists and metal workers before finding specialists that could duplicate it.” In the end, it would require several sets of expert hands, all working on various parts, to make the outstanding hood.
Creating just the right look
Tucked along one of Shadyside’s tree-lined streets, this grand old house was ready for a kitchen makeover. The owners, one being a designer, wanted a classic white kitchen. With design trends always shifting, designers know a white kitchen will never go out of style. “My vision was to have as much open space as possible, and to have an island large enough for everyone to comfortably gather and hang out,” she says. “It all began with a picture of a gold and white kitchen that I saw in
Amanda Johnson, a kitchen designer at Jacob Evans Kitchen and Bath, was brought on board to help them bring the inspirational picture to life. “Amanda and I worked well together and had a great time,” says the owner. “She knew from the beginning what I wanted, and helped me with the layout, the lighting plan and oversaw a lot of the construction details.”
During one of their first meetings, the two women realized that both had independently seen, admired and saved the same photo from Architectural Digest for future inspiration. “For me, the biggest challenge was finding a balance between the house’s traditional Georgian architecture and the contemporary design aesthetic that my clients wanted to incorporate,” points out Johnson. “When choosing the cabinetry details, moldings and door style, we deviated from what you might typically expect in a house like this, and at the same time, made sure that the kitchen wouldn’t seem out of place.”
Located in Pittsburgh’s East End, Shadyside is an area with plenty to see, and do. It is chocked-full of good eateries, exclusive shops, festivals, tree-lined streets, notable architecture and a very rich history. In the late 1860s, this prestigious area was farmland. As the story goes, a man by the name of David Aiken donated a portion of his land to the Pennsylvania Railroad, making it the first station in Pittsburgh’s East End. In turn, the railroad allowed Aiken to name the new station. His wife, Caroline, came up with the name Shadyside. The area became residential in the late 1800s, as Pittsburgh developed into one of the world’s dominant industrial cities. Shadyside and its neighboring areas were quickly emerging as home to some of the most affluent, prominent and influential men in this country.
Working with white
April says the kitchen is her favorite place in the house. “I’m Italian and love to cook, so I’m the designated chef of the family,” she says. “My family had an Italian restaurant for over 50 years and they were amazing cooks. That’s where I learned to make my specialty – homemade gnocchi.”
Cooking big Italian dinners for her family can get a bit messy, which April admits can be challenging with her white Quartz countertops and white tile backsplash. “I’m a little O.C.D. about cleaning, so that’s been a change for me … but it’s not as bad as I thought it might be.”
At the last minute, April and Todd decided to upgrade to the Thermador paneled refrigerator and ordered panels for their dishwasher, too. “I love the look,” she says.
April’s hobby of interior design is on full display in the family’s new home. So is her artwork. “I like eclectic pieces,” she says. That includes a piece by artist Rebecca Puig from Sugarboo & Co. in the dining room. “It’s nice and big,” April adds. “The reason we bought it was because it brightened up our space in our log home, so I was glad it worked in our new home, too.”
“They were very attentive to details,” Costa remembers about working with the Tilsons. “They were very particular about having a 100 percent functional floor plan so they could use every square foot of the space.
“They had photos and magazines of what they liked, mostly Craftsman or cottage styles,” Costa adds. “We took the couple’s ideas and created a budget and designed a look that they were going for.”
Costa explains he does not feel creatively hindered by homeowners with particular visions and ideas. “If somebody is skilled in interior design or construction, it’s just going to make their house even better. We have a selection process and a time frame,” he adds. “Whenever the homeowner has a good idea, they just get a better outcome. We help put their ideas to paper and then build them their dream home.”
The family also needed to stay in their current school district for their son. It was difficult for the Tilsons to find land, so they built in an older development where they found a lot they liked.
“Our son is very close to my mother,” April adds. “That’s one reason she decided to come and live with us. He’s been a great help to her and vice versa.”
Costa says the finished lower level is a wonderful option for multigenerational families living under one roof. “It’s not necessarily a new trend, but with the current building trend of fully finished lower levels, it works well if mom or dad wants to sell their house and move in with their children,” he says.
“People don’t want their mom or dad on the second floor. They like the idea of an apartment. Even if their family member isn’t living there, it’s great for guests. It gives guests some separation, like a hotel almost with a private entrance from a sidewalk off the driveway.”
Log Cabin. The architectural phrase evokes feelings of coziness and warmth… lots of natural materials, lots of wood. While these traits may be nice on a winter vacation, one family was ready to step out of the darkness after living in their log home for 17 years. The Tilson family enlisted the help of Jeffrey Costa, operating manager of Costa Homebuilders to design and build a bright space for their multigenerational family.
The kitchen is open with a breakfast nook in the corner, surrounded by wraparound windows. Kristy and the custom cabinet designers chose a unique trim for the raised panel doors. The large island in the middle of the kitchen does not have a sink nor a cooktop so that it can function traditionally as a large working surface.