Best Kitchen Renovation

This kitchen in a historical Lawrenceville home situated on three lots received a major facelift.

Renovations were in order for a 150-year old home in Lawrenceville — and its owners had a vision — but Josh Koshar and Chris Kosin knew they wouldn’t be able to make their ideas come to life on their own.

“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t have the chops to do the full renovation’,” says Koshar, who works in real estate.

The couple purchased the home in November 2017 and wanted to start remodeling it right away. A former colleague connected the couple with Katy Popple, an interior designer and owner of Pittsburgh-based Katy Popple Design LLC in Garfield.

When Popple came to their home, she talked a lot with Koshar and Kosin, a nurse administrator, about the kitchen. The detailed planning paid off; Pittsburgh Magazine’s panel of judges named it the Best Kitchen Renovation for 2019.

With its quartz countertops, sparkling white subway tile, industrial-style pendant lighting over the island and stainless steel appliances (including two dishwashers), the kitchen looks and feels like something from a showroom. But Koshar and Kosin say a budget-friendly renovation was important to them. Their cabinets are from IKEA, and many of the other products came from Home Depot and Amazon. The couple also purchased live edge wood online and finished it themselves to turn it into shelving.

Popple and the owners worked with contractor Brandon Mattei of JBK Properties/Residential Creations, and the couple also took a DIY approach where they could, including building the cabinets and putting up wallpaper. “We kind of inserted ourselves wherever was convenient,” Kosin says. The renovation process even inspired Koshar to start his own design company, Bear Brick Designs.

The kitchen is long and open, yet split into two distinct sections; the first features a refrigerator, an island painted a striking shade of cobalt blue and open shelving where Koshar and Kosin store their bulk goods and homemade kombucha. The stove and range were built into the brick of an original fireplace.

The second section, covered in forest-themed wallpaper, includes a breakfast nook, a prep station and a built-in wine shelf. There also is walk-out access to the back porch and garden, where the couple enjoys growing and harvesting their own food on their three lots worth of land — an amount of space almost unheard of in Lawrenceville.

The couple was able to move into the home in October — and the kitchen is now one of their favorite spots.

“We pretty much exist on this floor and kind of forget about the rest of it,” says Kosin.

“It’s still not without its quirks … but we love it,” Koshar adds.


Interior Design: Katy Popple Design LLC
General Contractor: Brandon Mattei, JBK Properties / Residential Creations
Interior Framing: Joe Artzberger, A&M Construction Solutions LLC
Masonry: Scott Domenick, Handyman
Countertops: MSI Quartz from Kitchenrama LLC
Cabinets: IKEA with semi-handmade fronts
Plumbing: Mays Plumbing
Electric: Werner Electrical
Windows: Pella
Custom Carpentry (wine rack, corner bench): Valentine Carpentry
Post Construction Cleaning: Flipping Clean

Categories: Best of Design