Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Best Room

Once a catchall for toys and exercise equipment, the basement of this Sewickley home is now a sophisticated entertainment space.




 

Looking around Jennifer and Paul Palguta’s basement, you might think you were inside a luxury apartment Downtown. 

The large sectional sofa in a neutral light grey faces a modern focal wall with metallic tile in multiple textures, a linear LED fireplace and a wall-mounted TV. The fireplace is accented on either side by gold geometric vases and sleek media storage cabinets of handmade blackened steel. Near the lounge area is a spacious bar with leathered Sequoia Brown granite countertops and a waterfall edge, a full-size wine cooler and refrigerator, plus a romantic dining booth. Upscale Hubbardton Forge light fixtures hang above the bar and dining area.
 


 

But walk outside and you’d find a back yard, patio and the rolling hills of Sewickley, not a concrete jungle

Once a catchall for toys, exercise equipment and miscellaneous items, the Palguta family’s basement renovation by Lauren Levant Interior was the judges’ pick for the 2019 Best Room. 
 


 

After explaining to Levant — who also took honors for the 2019 Best Bathroom Renovation — that they wanted a sophisticated room where they could entertain, as well as hang out with their children, Jennifer and Paul say they still can’t believe what the space was able to become. 

“My favorite [part of the renovation] overall is the island and the whole bar area,” Jennifer says. “It’s easy to entertain and welcoming for our guests.”

The soft and warm colors of the paint and textiles, including iridescent wallpaper on the ceiling above the wine bar, give a feeling of coziness to the room that definitely was not there before. Angular furnishings provide just the right amount of contrast to the warmth.
 


 

After contractor D’Augostine Construction unexpectedly discovered a bump in the foundation that previously had been closed off,  Levant and the Palgutas decided to use it as an opportunity to change the entire design plan in the middle of the project — for the better. 

Levant says the location of a powder room was moved to the small area freed up by the discovery, which in turn allowed for more space in the main entertaining area. 
 


 

“Once we discovered that, everything got a little bigger and better,” she says. “My floor plan number two then featured a bar that was probably 30 percent bigger at least and an overall flow that was much improved by reshuffling some of the main areas.”

One of the challenges with the basement before the renovation was the lack of flow in the space, according to Paul. Now, it’s one of the best parts of the room. The couple says they’re making plans with Levant to renovate the rest of their home in the same vein as the basement.

“We love our basement that much,” says Jennifer. “I still walk in and think ‘Oh my God, this is so cool down here.’”
 


 

VENDORS

Designer: Lauren Levant
Contractor: D’Augostine Construction
Appliances: Wolf, Sub-Zero, U-Line, Bosch
Lighting: Hubbardton Forge
Tile: Lunada Bay
Countertops: Sequoia Brown Leathered Granite, Crema Marfil 
Cabinets: Crystal Cabinets
Plumbing: Franke
Hardware: Berenson
Furnishings (Bar/Banquette Area): Grothouse Lumber, Palecek, Kravet, DL Couch, Lorts, Pindler
Furnishings (Living Room/Fireplace Area): Precedent, Century, Kravet, Uttermost, Bernhardt, Combine 9, Pindler, Pittsburgh Rug Company, Dimplex

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

PM on KD: Sean Collier Guest Hosts for the Day

PM associate editor Sean Collier appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live as a guest host to fill in for Heather Abraham. He shared some details about our latest special edition: City Guide.

Book a Band for a Different Kind of Wedding Sound

For many couples, family and tradition means everything. Having a band that helps reflect those can be a great way to pay tribute to your heritage, while getting your guests on the dance floor.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 4 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein says corned beef inside an import business, Sichuan smashed eggplants, smoked chicken wings and a cornbread dessert have his attention.

How to Celebrate the Moon Landing Anniversary in Pittsburgh

To celebrate Apollo 11’s golden anniversary, several local events are set to take place, from film screenings to new exhibits and more.

5 Pittsburgh Vintage Homes Stores You'll Want to Explore

PM Editoral Intern Ellie Pesetsky shares some of her favorite up-cycled furniture and home decor stores in and around Pittsburgh.

Eleven Couples to be Married after Love at First Bite

Wedding bells will be chiming for multiple couples this weekend … and it’s taking place at Primanti Bros. in the Strip District.

Pop Culture Pop Up Bars Are Here to Stay

Nintendo-themed Level Up is in Market Square for another week, but if you miss it, you can catch the Pokémon-themed bar coming this fall.

How Scary is the New Steel Curtain Coaster at Kennywood?

The ride claims records for the world’s tallest looping coaster and tallest inversion; it also has more inversions than any coaster in North America. We rode it this morning. Here's what we have to say.

The 400-Word Review: Point Blank

Netflix's action thriller is forgettable, but serves well as a quick throwback.

Pittsburgh Marks the First Stop of the New Whiskey Rebellion Trail

Think the story of American whiskey begins in Kentucky? Think again.

Pirates’ Possibilities Include Contention in Surprising Season’s Second Half

It hasn’t gone according to the original script, but the Pirates have found a way to stay relevant — and may yet be capable of finishing what they started.

The 400-Word Review: Stuber

There are laughs in the new buddy comedy, but they're dragged down by bad decisions.

Cornbread, A New Soul Food Restaurant, Opens in an Unexpected Location

Adenah Bayoh and Elzadie “Zadie” Smith bring their fast-casual concept to the West Mifflin Walmart.

The Park After Dark

Kennywood’s “Night Rider” tickets may be the best bet for many visitors.

The Best Tips for Finding a Wedding Photographer

There’s no need to stress about finding the best photographer thanks to these helpful tips from local professionals.