In the heart of Pittsburgh lies the historic town of Squirrel Hill, known for its deep roots that date back nearly 100 years before the civil war occurred. Squirrel Hill's past is well preserved in the visual appearance of the town today, as most of its houses are older and traditionally styled. When taking on a remodeling job in the area, we were tasked with injecting a modern design into a house and town that have forever been about maintaining a historic aura. The need to preserve that “older feel” in the midst of a modern kitchen presented the perfect opportunity to incorporate an industrial kitchen design.
The key features of a good industrial design are all of the raw textures used in detailing the space. These details and the simplicity of the design become emphasized when used in open spaces. The original kitchen had a large wall bisecting the room, which compromised the functionality and overall flow of the kitchen. When it was time to start designing the new space, the inept wall was the first thing to go. After removing the wall, the space instantly felt larger and more open. We took advantage of the openness by incorporating the principles of Beaux Arts design, which typically leads to minimal wall storage; however, the kitchen itself maintained a lot of storage as a result of interior cabinet accessories. The layout represents a galley style kitchen, which usually only has two walls of cabinetry and a walkway in between, but the architecture of the space allowed us to incorporate an island as well.
Along with the custom painted inset-style cabinetry, we selected a complete stainless steel lineup of appliances that included a Thermador Pro-Grand Range. The range features a grill, steam oven, warming drawer, electric convention oven, and gas burners. Now topping the feature-packed range is a beautiful scagliola hood fabricated by Marezzo, Ltd. The kitchen's sinks are Blanco Silgranit, which is an easily maintained Quartz product.
The black under mount sinks were selected to complement the soap stone countertops. Like the countertops, many natural products and earth tones were used throughout the entirety of the kitchen. The island, constructed with reclaimed oak, has custom legs with copper inlays to give them a strong, rusted look. Additionally, the porcelain tile floor was made to appear more metallic, and thus emanate the industrial feel. The addition of smaller design details began to add up, which lead to an industrial space worth admiring.
Missing from the newly designed space, was an exceptional dining area, but bringing a large table into the kitchen would have severely restricted the intended flow of the room. To jump this hurdle, we collaborated with the architect and decided to create a single-story addition for the dining room that extended out onto the driveway and was supported by posts. The addition was strategically wrapped with windows on all three sides to flood the adjacent kitchen with natural light, creating a truly remarkable atmosphere.
Even after the addition and complete remodeling of the space, we managed to stay true to our goal of preserving the historic aura of the kitchen by keeping pocket doors and adding stained glass to the windows for additional privacy and aesthetic purposes.
Although this was a relatively small space, it was incredible to see just how much man-power was put into the job. It was a full team effort and the remodeling could not have been accomplished without the many tradesmen and artisans that were involved. As evident through the "in-progress" images, the whole space came a very long way and turned out to be perfect upon completion.
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