Home of the Year 2012

Our editors selected this Victorian-inspired home, with traditional design and green innovation, for the 2012 Home of the Year honor.



(page 1 of 4)


Photography by Kristina Helen Schmidt

Jonathan and Shelly Iams spent more than three years creating their 8,500-square-foot dream home in the Lake MacLeod neighborhood of Gibsonia, which they share with their 4-year old son, Benjamin; 2-year-old daughter, Emily; and their Airedale Terrier, Arthur.

“One of the goals of our project was to develop a home that would have all of the character and style of a traditional older house with the infusion of highly sustainable green design concepts,” says Jonathan, owner of Iams Consulting, LLC in South Side. “We both liked the style of older Victorian houses with the wrap-around porches and distinct architectural features.”

“We wanted something that looked different from all of the other new-construction homes in our area. There are very few Victorian-style homes in the suburbs. I couldn’t see our family in a very ornate Victorian home but I love the big wrap-around porch, the turret on the front and the fact that we could put some color on the outside of the home,” says Shelly, a physician assistant.

While looking at hundreds of blueprints online, the Iams found a custom plan by Seattle-based CornerStone Designs, which has a niche for designing Victorian-style homes.

“The plan had many of the features that we were interested in — such as the wrap-around porch, turret and center rotunda — so we decided to use the plans as a starting point,” says Jonathan.

Hot Reads

From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Review: Cafe Zinho

Review: Cafe Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.
6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

PittGirl's at it again — this time with a list of a half-dozen fun facts you'll want to mention at your next cocktail party.
'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

We pick the perfect neighborhood for six breeds of ’Burgher.