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Lofty Aspirations

When you have access to just about everything in the world of style and interior design, falling in love can be difficult. The sheer volume of merchandise, coupled with the insatiable hunger for the newest trends that drives the home furnishings market, could easily overwhelm an ordinary person. But Stacy Weiss is hardly ordinary. As …

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A Peaceable Kingdom

A flock of picturesque suffolk sheep graze in the verdant pastures, and a bit farther down the long, empty road, a herd of Red Angus cattle stands lazily in the hot sun. Miles of split-rail fencing continues once you turn onto a drive that meanders uphill. Here there are horses, as if placed by a …

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New Country Classic

Half of the charm of a new home in Sarver is getting there—it’s a 25-minute drive north from Fox Chapel, where the owners used to live. This stretch of Route 28 is downright bucolic, with hilly vistas, pretty pastures and none of the traffic that has given other parts of the highway a bad reputation. …

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A Southern Patina

The homes on this leafy street are quintessentially Shadyside, which means an eclectic mix of periods and styles. Though all are grand, one stands apart from the rest with quiet dignity. Painted white from top to bottom, the pristine exterior accentuates the symmetrical lines of its columned entrance, the three sets of French doors, and …

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Painting with Light

What price beauty? When one lives in a house designed by Richard Meier, the costs are as monumental as the Pritzker-Prize-winning architect’s international reputation. They aren’t measured in terms of dollars, but rather in a commitment to the ideals and vision that have driven Meier to create stark, modern structures of every size for more …

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City Chic

Like many diamonds, the house that sits discreetly back on one of the most beautiful streets in the city was in the rough when the owner first saw it. “I walked through the front door and immediately loved the home, but envisioned five or six changes I would make,” she recalls. Standing in the entrance …

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Beachy Keen

Waiting at the drawbridge for the fishing boats to pass, a bag of fresh crabs in the back seat and a lazy Gulf breeze ruffling the palms, it’s easy to see why a family from Pittsburgh would want to linger in Boca Grande. Located on tiny Gasparilla Island on the west coast of Florida, it …

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La Petite Maison

Unlike most of the homes designed by architect Brandon Smith, the stucco, brick and limestone residence in Squirrel Hill isn’t large or imposing. It was built in 1948 for a retired couple who were downsizing, but who wanted an elegant and formal town house. The result is something rare—a small home that boasts the structure …

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The Frank House: A Bauhaus Beauty

At a glance, the buff-colored residence nestled among the more traditional homes on Woodland Road seems an oddity, an almost institutional-looking structure resplendent in its obscurity. The mature trees that soften its façade testify to the fact that the home has stood on its spot for many years—70, to be exact—yet few have noticed. Until …

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A Comfortable Classic

This is my dream house” says the owner of a classic limestone mansion in Squirrel Hill. “I used to drive by with my agent and say that’s the house I want to buy.” But it wasn’t on the market, until one day the call came. “We’re listing it tomorrow, but if they want to come …

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Grand Spaces

From the outside, the Tudor home looks as if it’s always been comfortably nestled on the leafy street in Sewickley. That was important to architect Douglas Devlin, whose challenge was to fit a new residence into an established neighborhood without disturbing the aesthetic. “We weren’t technically in the historic district, but we were on the …

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Minimalist Majesty

“We’ve actually had guests who couldn’t find the front door,” laughs the owner of this magnificent residence hidden on seven secluded acres in Fox Chapel. Indeed, the curved walls that soar from 18 to 28 feet in height present a series of undulating planes that gently disguise the entrance. The effect is one of total …

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Art & Aluminum

I want to make a comfortable environment, not change the way people live,” architect Edward Grenzbach told John Loring when he was interviewed for a 1977 article in Architectural Digest on the house he had just designed for Alfred Hunt. “I’m an environmentalist, not a psychiatrist. I put giraffes among tall trees and polar bears …

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Heights of Glamour

Dean Martin slept here. OK, not really, but he was very much the inspiration for the approach interior designer Neill Stouffer took with a historic Sewickley Heights residence. Formerly two carriage houses joined by a nine-car garage, the home has a charming English country exterior. A classic cobblestone courtyard, rolling hills, and white buck fencing …

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An Artful Existence

A life well traveled, well collected, well lived. The evidence fills the spectacular city residence of a prominent couple who recently moved into an historic building. Their apartment occupies most of an upper floor, with views on three sides that provide a breathtaking panorama. That is, of course, if one can look away from the …

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A Touch of Tuscany

The house sits majestically on the crest of a hill, with sweeping vistas of other hills and the wooded valleys that connect them. There is little evidence of civilization even beyond the 33-acre site, which makes the home seem private and remote. That it’s on the outskirts of Pittsburgh and not in the Tuscan countryside …

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Ranch Redux

“I was desperate,” explains interior designer Jeffrey Graciano as he stands, looking anything but, in his Louis Vuitton loafers, gray slacks and crisp, white shirt. The Churchill native was recalling how he ended up buying a nondescript, 1960s faux-colonial ranch on a cul-de-sac in Fox Chapel. “I had been looking for a house for three …

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A River Runs By It

This is the story of a thoroughly modern dilemma that was solved by a building erected in 1901 along the banks of the Allegheny River. More than a full century later, the Armstrong Cork Factory in the Strip District is bustling with life and assorted pursuits of happiness. The massive structure designed by Frederick John …

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Jewel in the Crown

A casual inventory of the materials Philip Elias used for the interior of his 1920 home sounds like an exhibit in the hall of minerals. Semi-precious stones including tiger’s eye, lapis, charoite and sodalite mingle with Paridisio, Empress Green and Rojo marble as accents amid pale squares of Portugese limestone. Such visual imagination comes naturally …

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Into the Woods

One of the many paths through Frick Park wanders past the house, which sits on the crest of a hill overlooking acres of woodland. Each time he passed it, the current owner would tell his wife that if it ever came on the market, he would buy it. In fact, it was on the market …

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Updating a Brandon Smith

Following in the footsteps of Brandon Smith would be a daunting task for most architects. He left his imprint throughout the region, designing in his lifetime (1889-1962) many Western Pennsylvania landmarks. While best known for institutions such as the Edgeworth Club, Fox Chapel Golf Club and Shady Side Academy, Smith was the architect of choice …

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A Cottage Charmer

The before pictures of the house in Fox Chapel would send a chill through the heart of even the most accomplished renovator. An 1870s cottage married to a 1950s ranch created a charmless union, to say the least. “I walked in, saw the living room and said, ‘We’ll take it,’” Betsy Deiseroth recalls with a …

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