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A Tale of Two Kitchens

The Youngs and the Deatons both knew they wanted to overhaul their neighboring 1930s-era stone homes in Mt. Lebanon, but their contrasting tastes resulted in two distinct design styles.

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Function Meets Fun


Next door, Mary and Scott Deaton wrapped up work on their own addition more than a year prior. The couple, who moved from Washington, D.C. 13 years ago and are parents to daughter Nevada, 13, considered selling when the limitations of their sectioned-off home started interfering with their ability to spend time together as a family. 

The biggest problem was the galley kitchen, a room completely cut off from the rest of the house and that left anyone working in it isolated. Its design was far from ideal for a couple who loves to cook — and a daughter who enjoys baking.

“You couldn’t open the oven and the dishwasher at the same time,” says Scott Deaton with a laugh.

When the Deatons opted instead for a redesign, bringing the kitchen into the heart of the home was the main goal. They worked with C W Carlson Construction of Bethel Park to add a 20-foot by 20-foot space onto the existing living room, creating a combined kitchen, dining and living area. 

Mary Deaton says she knew she wanted the space to be fun, with timeless rustic touches.

“In terms of the style and design, I wanted symmetry,” she says. “I wanted it to be simple and functional. I wanted to make sure it fit with the character of the home.”

A bay window on the back wall with views of the backyard and woods beyond became the focal point of the renovation. Mixed metals and varying finishes add to the cozy, lived-in ambiance. The copper, cream and black granite atop the island offers depth, while the black matte leathered granite of the expansive countertops appears purposefully weathered beneath a beveled tile backsplash.

Pops of color present themselves behind glass cabinetry displaying decorative glassware and ceramic. Exposed wooden beams draw the eye up to the cathedral ceilings, where petaled pendant light fixtures of downward-facing brass flowers topped with clear-paned cloches from Anthropologie add the perfect punch of whimsy.

A farmhouse-style dining table — nearly the same one the Youngs have in their own dining room — provides additional seating.

To ensure the addition fit with the existing character, archways with a similar shape to others throughout the home lead to the living area, which is separated from the dining space by a half-wall. 

To connect to the rest of the house, the couple added a walkway between the kitchen and the room that now serves as Nevada’s den. The former kitchen was converted into a utility/laundry room.

Outside, the expansion resulted in an extended deck above a carport. Below the main floor addition is an unfinished room that will become a walkout bedroom with full bath.

Upstairs, the renovation allowed the Deatons to expand the master bath space and add a walk-in closet. 

While the finished product couldn’t be more different from their neighbors’, the work did result in a similar outcome. Much like the Youngs, the Deatons have gained a deep appreciation for how their redesign has affected the way they are able to live in their home.

“It’s really transformed the way we all interact with each other,” says Mary Deaton.  

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