2011 Home of the Year Editor's Choice: Highland Park Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and this kitchen, found in a Highland Park Victorian, is no exception. Although the owners purchased the home several years ago, the kitchen just wasn’t working for the busy family, explains designer Sarah Drake.



Stunning Volga Blue granite tops the kitchen island that stretches to the banquette seating area.

In a year when the down-turned economy has taken a toll on the architecture and design professions, we have found something to celebrate: the winners of Pittsburgh magazine´s second-annual Home of the Year contest.

Our friends at AIA Columbus, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, graciously provided their expertise to judge our competition. The panel consisted of Jonathan Barnes, AIA, of Jonathan Barnes Architecture + Design; and Michael Bongiorno, AIA, of Design Group. Judging was coordinated by Gwen Berlekamp, executive director of AIA Columbus.
 

Editor's Choice

Winner: Highland Park Kitchen Renovation
Best Kitchen Design: Drake Studio, Sarah Drake
Architect: Drake Studio
Builder: Fisher Renovation
Interior Design: Drake Studio

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and this kitchen, found in a Highland Park Victorian, is no exception. Although the owners purchased the home several years ago, the kitchen just wasn’t working for the busy family, explains designer Sarah Drake.

In its former state, the space was a mix of kitchen “innovation” over the past century; that included the remnants of a butler’s pantry with too-tall, awkward cabinets and a 30-year-old “modernization” project that left behind plastic-laminate cabinets, skylights and too much equipment. It lacked adequate storage, organization and family space.

The family needed an updated workhorse of a kitchen where they could come together to cook, eat, get organized, do homework and more. They also wanted a space that could accommodate more than one cook at a time.

“The palate was very much the owner’s, so we kept it,” Drake explains of the vibrant red walls. Bright white cabinetry enhances the clean and open feel. Hanging glass pendant lights, found by the homeowner, bring a high-end look at a reasonable price.

An old butler’s pantry and back stairway were re-purposed to make way for more family space. The entryway now houses cubbies for coats and shoes, and a banquette with comfy pillows provides ample seating in the skylight area—perfect for homework as well as dining. The back maid’s staircase was eliminated to house double ovens and a pullout baking station. A ladder on a rail that can travel around the room makes even the tallest cabinets accessible.

A striking Volga Blue granite, blue-black counter spotted with fluorescent blue “wings” that resemble butterflies takes center stage atop the kitchen island, a place for gathering and for food preparation. The counters around the perimeter of the kitchen, where most of the equipment is housed, are made of Absolute Black granite.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

The latest restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group brings Texas-style smoked meats and more to Downtown.
Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Go subterranean at Laurel Caverns, the largest cave in Pennsylvania.
For Pirates' Jameson Taillon: Pressure is a Privilege

For Pirates' Jameson Taillon: Pressure is a Privilege

As Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon enters his first full season with the big leagues, the weight of anticipation has given way to a need to deliver.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Meg Cheever To Step Down

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Meg Cheever To Step Down

The nonprofit's founding President and CEO will leave her position early next year.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Kamayan Feast Coming To Kaya in the Strip District

Kamayan Feast Coming To Kaya in the Strip District

Executive Chef Ben Sloan will offer a festive, eat-with-your-hands spread on Tuesday nights.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

Voodoo Brewery is an enticing alternative to the many chains in and around the Waterfront.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Even as they entertained Dont’a Hightower for nearly seven hours during a free-agent recruiting trip to the South Side, the Steelers never lost sight of who they are or what they’re all about.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

The miniature bath- and shower-oil collection from Aromatherapy Associates makes every shower a luxury experience.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

Reviews of two films appearing at the 2017 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: "I, Daniel Blake," and "The Eagle Huntress." Plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
#Wedding: What’s Trending in the Wedding World

#Wedding: What’s Trending in the Wedding World

Married couples talk hashtags — and why they used them at their weddings.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos

Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos

The Carnegie Museum of Art’s new exhibit features the works of architect Arthur Lubetz and Front Studio, including the vibrant Glass Lofts Building in Garfield.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

The Outdoor Recreation Club becomes the newest student organization at the college.

Comments