Best of Design 2022: Best Overall Space
Blue & Blanc designer Meghan McDermott created a luxury pool house that an Upper St. Clair family can use throughout the year.
When Blue & Blanc Design’s Meghan McDermott was approached to design a pool house in Upper St. Clair, she took it a step further, creating a luxurious retreat perfect for all seasons.
“We knew from the start that it was going to be an enclosed structure with plenty of natural light and nature-inspired decor to bring the outdoors in,” McDermott says.
Praising the neutral, green-and-black-and-white color palette and many thoughtful details, Best of Design judges named the all-weather pool house their Best Space for 2022.
“The furniture selection is fantastic,” says judge Crystal DeCastro Knapik, a senior project designer at Cleveland-based architecture firm Vocon. “Those chairs and armchairs are so fun.”
Working alongside builder Rolling Lambert Building Co. and JMAC Architects, McDermott and her clients selected glass retractable doors that span the entire front and sides of the pool house.
“We wanted it to feel airy, like we could be outside all year long,” says the homeowner, who asked to remain anonymous. “We can cozy up by the fireplace with the doors closed in the winter or watch the kids swim in the pool with the doors open in the summer.”
Giving a nod to the outdoors are chairs wrapped in rattan that sit atop a jute rug on Bambusa tile floors — a type of tile made to look like bamboo.
“The flooring is a key element of the design for me,” McDermott says. “It’s natural with a bit of a pattern to it. We were so happy with it.”
One of the standout features is the kitchen, which makes a striking statement with its black matte foil cabinets, gold hardware, quartz countertops and an emerald green True Residential refrigerator, one of the homeowners’ favorite aspects of the design.
“When we learned that the refrigerator came in green, it was too good to be true,” the homeowner says. “I remember saying to Meghan, ‘Is this too much?’ and she said, ‘Oh no. It’s perfect.’ And she was right.”
Knowing the homeowners have three kids and wanted a year-round space, McDermott selected Perennials Fabrics, an outdoor-grade fabric line, for the couches, chairs and window seat.
“I always design for real life,” McDermott says. “Working with clients to match their desire for beautiful spaces with furniture that stands the test of time is my favorite challenge, and as a busy mother of four, one I completely understand.”
The front bar includes a window that opens to the outside, with countertops and seating on both sides — making it a lovely entertainment spot regardless of the season or weather. Seagrass bar stools add to the nature-inspired decor. There’s also a gorgeous full bathroom with black penny-tiled floors that makes hosting get-togethers and swim parties a breeze.
Another standout is the iron staircase leading to the pool house’s upstairs loft — also known as the kids’ favorite hangout spot. McDermott commissioned Red Star Ironworks to custom build the staircase as a functional, and artistic, addition to the space.
“The kids love having sleepovers in the loft area,” the homeowner says.
Interior Designer: Blue & Blanc Design LLC
Builder: Rolling Lambert Building Co.
Architect: JMAC Architects
Cabinetry: Dura Supreme
Appliances: True Residential
Countertops: Primo Marble & Granite
Staircase: Red Star Ironworks
Fabrics: Perennials Fabric.