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Best New Home

A mountain-modern home built into the hillside of a reclaimed mining site has become the dream home for a family of five.

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The Heart of the Home. 
In the kitchen, it was important to maintain the view, so above-counter cabinets were out. Storage space is provided under the kitchen island and inside a walk-in pantry in the corner. 

“There’s nothing hanging in your view anywhere, which is really nice,” Kaetlin says.

The room is centered around a large, granite island with a waterfall edge. A farmhouse sink has a luxurious touch in the form of mother-of-pearl tiles; they match the tile in the powder room, located just off of the front entryway. The 48-inch gas range has six burners and a griddle.


An eight-seat custom wood table and recessed ceiling designate the dining room space — no walls separate it from the kitchen, giving the home even more of a sense of flow. 
Within the decor, the lighting fixtures hanging from the high ceilings are striking; five pendant lights are suspended above the kitchen island, the gathering spot when the family entertains. Up and down lighting is contained in small boxes on the main wall of the first floor, more pendant lights hang above the bar and filament lights hang in the upstairs hallway leading to the children’s bedrooms. 

Steel cable rails stretch across the balcony overlooking the main floor in the hallway leading to the kids’ rooms and upstairs laundry room. There’s another washer and dryer in the mud room.

“I want the kids to be able to play in the woods and get dirty, so that’s for dirty stuff,” Kaetlin says.


Each of the children’s rooms has its own distinct touch: blue walls for the oldest girl, pink for the younger and green with adhesive LEGO tape on the walls for their son. Each room has a walk-in closet and an en suite bath because the home was designed to accommodate out-of-town family when they come to stay.

The loft feel of the home, as well as several other elements, continues into the master bedroom suite. The walls of the his and her walk-in closets don’t go all the way up to the ceiling, allowing for lots of natural light to flow through the entire space from the corner window in the master bath, which Kaetlin says is one of her favorite places in the home.

A soaker tub sits just inside that corner window on a bed of stone, an idea Kaetlin got from Pinterest. The expansive double shower has floor-to-ceiling River Marble polished tile. The grey concrete countertop on the vanity has two single slope sinks recessed into it.

Another area in the bedroom suite mirrors the Rustica Hardware aluminum found downstairs: sliding doors cover a shelving unit on one side and a sink, mini fridge and coffee maker on the other. 

“I think we wanted to build a house that fit into our family’s lifestyle, and I think the layout of the house was exactly what we envisioned,” Brendan says. “The end result was exactly what we were looking for.”


Location: Peters Township
Design: Luca Construction and Design, Inc. 
Contractor: Nello Construction 
Surveying: Gateway Engineers
HVAC: Romea & Son Heating & Air Conditioning
Electric: Dohanich Electric
Plumbing: Bufalini’s Plumbing Solutions, LLC 
Roofing: R.A.M.E., Inc.
Flooring: Rockerz, Inc.; Rusmur Floors
Doors and Windows: Kawneer; Allegheny Wood Works
Exterior Front Door and Master Bedroom: Modern Steel Doors
Window Installer: American Glass & Mirror Co.
Specified Supply Installer: Clopay
Kitchen Cabinets: Greenfield Cabinetry, SPLASH Kitchen Bath Home
Kitchen Faucets: Hansgrohe, SPLASH Kitchen Bath Home 
Bar Countertop: Armina Stone
Master Bath Concrete Countertop: Outlaw Studios
Master Bath Vanities, Tub and Faucets: SPLASH Kitchen Bath Home
Lighting: Contrast Lighting; WAC Lighting Co.; Tech Lighting; Hinkley Lighting; Hubbardton Forge; EGLO Lights International

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2018 Best of Design Winners

Best New Home

A mountain-modern home built into the hillside of a reclaimed mining site has become the dream home for a family of five.

Best Renovation

Cory Cope and Jennifer Owen spent 10 years renovating a former power station on the North Side into their dream home.

Best Bathroom Renovation

Interior designer Lauren Levant turned a dated master bathroom into a sleek sanctuary.

Best New Kitchen

Inspired by a sweeping view of the Allegheny River, Cyd Stackhouse and Bob Bergren incorporated water into every design choice of their modern, ethereal kitchen.

Best Kitchen Renovation

With help from HGTV star Leanne Ford, former NFL player Gus Frerotte and his wife, Ann, created a cozy, timeless kitchen in their century-old Oakmont home.

Best Outdoor Space

Wanting to extend their living space, a Mt. Lebanon couple added an inviting porch to their 1920s-era home.

Meet Our Judges

To ensure fairness and neutrality, a panel of Cleveland-based professionals in the design and architecture industries handled this year’s judging process.
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