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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Let’s face it — HGTV, Instagram and Pinterest have changed the game. People see the beautiful homes, the amazing kitchen transformations and the decadent bathrooms on television and social media and they want it — but they probably need help achieving it.
After all, who among us knows the most advantageous kitchen layout, or where that new bathroom sink should really go? Is that risque large-scale floral wallpaper for the powder room going to be a hit or miss? And are you really willing to try that trendy dark hue on the living room wall without a second, professional opinion?
That’s where these designers come in.
For the first time, Pittsburgh Magazine HOME is rounding up some of the area’s most influential residential interior designers, whose hard work — and talent — are making the Pittsburgh area a more beautiful place, one room at a time.
Black Cherry Design
Say Black Cherry a few times out loud. It’s fun, right? Lauren Piasecki thought so. It rolls off the tongue a lot easier than her or design partner Stan Adamik’s Polish last names, and the black cherry tree is native to Pennsylvania.
“I thought, what a great name for a design company, but I also thought it was a great name for a store,” Piasecki says. “I think it’s very memorable.”
Adamik agreed, and in 2014 they launched Black Cherry Design in Lawrenceville. Although the company was their first official business together, it wasn’t their first collaboration. Piasecki, who has a Bachelor of Science in interior design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and Adamik, who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design from Georgia State University, had known each other for years, starting when Adamik hired Piasecki during his years at Weisshouse furniture and design in Shadyside.
“She was my intern and that’s how we became friends,” Adamik, 53, says.
They also had other things in common. Both lived for a time in Atlanta, both are parents (Piasecki has a 13-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter; Adamik has a 2-year-old daughter) and, of course, great style.
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When working with clients, they often play off of each other’s skill sets. Stan has a passion for line and scale paired with beautiful fabric while Piasecki brings a certain edginess to her design.
“I’m more like the foundations of designs — and she comes in and zhooshes it up,” Adamik explains. “It always helps to have a fresh set of eyes. When we bounce things off of one another, it allows us to see things we may not have recognized or visualized.”
“I think both of us have a good push and pull of masculine and feminine,” Piasecki, 37, adds. “Neither of us is super masculine or feminine in our design, but I think we bring both of those elements into each design we do.”
When Black Cherry started it also included an online store, which the duo phased out as they began to take on more and more design work. Within two years, they outgrew the space they rented at Blackbird Artist Studios in Lawrenceville.
Near the end of May 2017, they opened their brick-and-mortar Black Cherry Design and retail store at the former Shining Light Prenatal Education center along Butler Street.
Although they carry a curated selection of pieces — including upholstery, lighting, rugs and artwork — the space, with its high ceilings and abundance of natural light, mainly functions as the duo’s design space.
“We get retail traffic, but this really helps to showcase us as designers,” Adamik says. “It’s more of a showroom.”
While they do some corporate jobs — their portfolio includes Southern Tier Brewing Company on the North Side — their passion is residential design. As far as style goes, Adamik and Piasecki agree their focus is on deciphering what their clients like — and building a beautiful room around it.
“We do everything from very contemporary to very traditional to period stuff,” Adamik says. “People say, ‘What’s your specialty?’ and it’s just good design.”
3701 Butler St., Lawrenceville; blackcherrypgh.com