A League of Their Own: 5 Buzzworthy Interior Designers
With an artistic bent and an eye for details, these MVPs of the residential interior designer scene are transforming Pittsburgh.
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Lauren Levant Interior
Lauren Levant knows what it’s like to be a transplant to Pittsburgh. The designer, who grew up in Connecticut, spent time in New York City and Washington, D.C., before marriage brought her to Pittsburgh, a city she had never even visited.
“Moving to Pittsburgh was really an unplanned circumstance,” Levant says. “I said, ‘I don’t know what kind of design appetite Pittsburgh has, but we’re going to find out.’”
That was in 2014 and, after starting her own design firm, she quickly discovered what it’s like to fall in love with the city. Levant’s design work, which she describe as artistic and eclectic, continually strives to highlight local artisans.
“A big part of what my mission is as a designer is to give my client a unique experience of creativity and also to be able to support really talented local artisans and craftsman that are here in Pittsburgh,” she says.
Acting as general contractor, Levant’s first project in Pittsburgh was to overhaul her century-old row house in Lawrenceville. The innovative gut-and-remodel job — which included adding a 3-D wall-panel system in the first-floor hallway that’s made from vegetative fiber — was named Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2016 Home of the Year winner in the Renovation category.
Among her many honors, Levant was named one of HGTV’s Top 10 Under 35 Fresh Faces of Design in 2014. The following year, she was honored as the Viking brand’s Designer of Distinction and Designer of the Year.
The clients began to pile up, as did local and national accolades — particularly for Levant’s high-end kitchen designs.
More recently, a kitchen she designed was deemed Best New Kitchen winner in Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2018 Best of Design contest; she also won Best Bathroom Renovation. Earlier in 2018, she beat other, larger, firms across the nation to win the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s Remodeler of the Year award. Levant calls it a huge honor.
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“Because I’m a trained interior designer, and not a kitchen person necessarily in a traditional sense, I think our kitchens tend to be more artistic and more creative looking than conventional kitchen design might call for,” she says. “When people hire us to do a kitchen, it’s because they’ve seen our designs and want that kind of approach.”
A graduate of Arizona State University’s rigorous interior design program, Levant, 36, moved her business out of her home studio and into a three-story Victorian building on Ellsworth Avenue last spring. The building is a work in progress. While the third floor is an open-concept library of materials, and also features eight workstations, the second level functions as a conference space with cutting-edge telecommunication abilities. A showroom, which Levant hopes to have open by the end of the year, is in the works for the first floor.
“It will be completely dedicated to showing, in tangible terms, what we can do with luxury kitchen and luxury bath,” she says. “It’s something I will be proud for Pittsburgh to see, as well as designers from all over the world.”
In addition to her signature line of custom cabinetry, Levant says her studio will continue to design and produce small batch, artisan-crafted products lines for the kitchen, bath and home. The first collection, a seating line, is scheduled for release this spring.
“This initial collection will have a very eclectic and elegant modern vibe,” Levant says.
5888 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside; laurenlevant.com