Homes

Mid-Century MODERNIZED

The house was unremarkable, a single-story, three-bedroom structure built in 1952 and designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, though who and exactly where the architect studied is unknown. What was remarkable, even extraordinary, was the setting. It abuts the Schenley Golf Course, with a sweeping view of the greens and beyond, to the …

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A Second Chapter

When most people become empty-nesters, they think about downsizing, buying a vacation home, perhaps, or seeing the world with their newfound freedom. But one Fox Chapel couple decided to pursue a different dream — staying home and making the renovations to their 1965 Colonial that years spent traveling with two children active in sports had …

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Design Happy

As a child, Betsy Wentz had the best playroom — the carriage house her mother Kay Wiegand used as the office for her interior design firm. It was packed with color, wallpaper, fabrics and furniture, instilling in Wentz a passion that guided her years later when she decided to switch careers. She had been a …

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Putting on the Glitz

It takes restraint and an appreciation for the sculptural lines of modern architecture to let a house speak for itself. Jeff and Erica McIlroy have done just that in their hillside home overlooking a scenic valley in Fox Chapel. There is no clutter, no adornment, no need to gussy up the space with the accoutrements of …

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Passion and Purpose

Those who know Anne Dickson are at once astonished and not the least bit surprised by all she has accomplished in such a short time. With her husband, Andrew, she is raising three young boys and the evidence is everywhere in the Fox Chapel home the couple purchased seven years ago. They bought the house …

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Full of Flavor

Wanderlust quite literally means a lust for wandering, and Richard DeShantz has it big time. One moment he’s skiing out West, the next he’s exploring the food and culture in Turkey. Trying to catch up with the chef and owner of nine successful Pittsburgh restaurants can be a challenge, but it also explains the myriad …

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A Touch of Whimsy

Walk into the living room of Suzanne and Peter Friday’s historic home and the first thing you notice are the crows. Big black crows, perched on branches nestled into wall panels placed between the large windows. They inject a note of whimsy into the stately room, which is anchored by a large, cabbage rose-patterned Wilton …

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A Classic Colonial

Houses are like people in many ways. They tend to get better with age as they develop character and the rich patina that comes from living, and being lived in. Up to a point, that is. And then they start to require maintenance, and eventually, if they last long enough, more serious renovation. Such was …

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An Urban Farmhouse

Like many couples, the owners of this Shadyside residence decided to sell the sprawling home they had lived in since 1972 when their children were grown and gone. That was 20 years ago. “We were early with the downsizing,” the wife says with a laugh. But they retained an acre of prime property next to …

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Little Flower Blossoms

Little Flower stands with stately elegance where it has always stood, on a small bluff overlooking Woodland Road in Shadyside. Built in 1910 by Daniel Clemson, a steel executive who lived at Highmont on the corner of Fifth and Shady, it was a gift for his son, Ralph. With nine bedrooms and a large carriage …

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Light as Air

Leanne Ford is working from home these days, just like everyone else. But home for Ford means Pittsburgh, as in the entire city and its environs. The interior designer and star of HGTV’s “Restored by the Fords” is positioning her new season, “Home Again with the Fords,” as part of a national trend. People across …

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Eleven Mile Farm

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose, under heaven.” So says the book of Ecclesiastes, pirated by Pete Seeger for a song recorded by the Byrds. Those words come to mind when visiting Eleven Mile Farm, an old sheep farm in Indiana Township that has found new life with new …

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A Colorful Life

The Shadyside home interior designer Colleen Simonds created for her family seems to radiate with vibrancy and joy. A riot of color, light, pattern and design envelops the residence, which was formerly a traditional, 1911 Colonial. At once youthful and sophisticated, the home is unabashedly personal. “It’s kind of a family joke. When we bought …

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Welcome to Cherry Hill

In 1935, financier Jerome Hill and his second wife, Adelaide, commissioned famed architect Benno Janssen to design a home for them in Sewickley Heights. They named it Cherry Hill, perhaps a play on their name, and probably built it as a second home to escape from the smoky city. Sewickley historians classify the house as …

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Family First

Drive up into the heights above Edgeworth and the topography creates all sorts of geographic nooks and crannies. This house sits on the crest of a hill, with sweeping views both directly below and far into the distance. A vintage 1950s mansion, as they were called back then and meant to be, it boasts classic …

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California Dreaming

Back when his parents built the Fox Chapel home he now owns, it was called modern. And modern it was in 1955, when architects Derek Martin and Grant Curry designed the sprawling, boxy residence. “My parents were devotees of Frank Lloyd Wright. They loved his style and wanted to do something different. At the time …

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Sewickley Idyll

In a neighborhood known for its quiet streets, this one is especially peaceful, just a few leafy blocks of lovely homes with landscaped lawns and mature trees. That it’s just minutes from Sewickley’s village center was one reason the owners chose to live there. They had originally moved to a gracious old home in Sewickley …

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A Pittsburgh Treasure

At 90, Francis Nowalk has a sparkle that rivals the magnificent crystal chandeliers hanging over his head in room after room. And that’s just downstairs. Upstairs in his Bloomfield showroom are the “bigger” things, including a Sicilian donkey cart. “I don’t know why I have that,” he says with a shrug. One suspects there are …

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A Period Piece

Perched on a hill in Oakland is a classic 1920s apartment building with spectacular views and a roster of illustrious residents. Many of them have undertaken renovations to bring their co-ops into this century, and the results are as varied as the inhabitants. But one particular resident split the difference by hundreds of years—she updated …

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Green Acres

We used to have 20 chickens. Now we have two!” laments the lady of the house, citing coyotes and foxes as the culprits. “We did have two mini attack donkeys that were supposed to keep the predators away from the chickens, and they did a good job. But when they were out to pasture the …

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Some Enchanted Cottage

Tucked into a hidden corner of Squirrel Hill is a house that looks as if Cary Grant should step out of the front door, the star of a romantic comedy set in the Cotswolds. It oozes charm from every leaded window, and every window box. Built in 1925, it has a come hither look that …

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Modern Family

A traditional English Tudor in Mt. Lebanon may not seem to be the perfect choice for a young family with progressive taste. The classic bones and signature Tudor elements, such as the use of wrought iron and stone, might have deterred less courageous buyers. But the 1931 residence had many of the qualities the couple …

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