Best of Design 2023: Unique Doesn’t Begin to Describe This Renovated Bathroom
Interior designer Lauren Levant brought high-end hotel vibes to an outdated '80s glam primary suite in Squirrel Hill.
When Glen Feinberg bought his ranch-style home along Beechwood Boulevard in Squirrel Hill more than a decade ago, he swore the first things to go as he began renovations would be the gold-plated, duck-shaped faucets in the primary bathroom.
Fast forward 11 years and Feinberg had gutted and renovated most of the 1940s-era, four-bedroom home — with the exception of the primary bedroom and attached bathroom. As for the gold-plated ducks? They were still there.
“It was hanging around as my last project to do on this house for a long time,” Feinberg says.
Wanting to connect the bedroom’s interior to the outside, Feinberg first replaced the back wall with a folding glass wall system that leads to an elevated patio designed by Cheswick-based landscaping company Eichenlaub Inc. Topping the outdoor space is a louvered roof with a rain sensor — it automatically closes during wet weather — and automated shades.
For the rest of the primary suite, Feinberg turned to Pittsburgh-based interior designer Lauren Levant, who created a sophisticated, masculine space reminiscent of a high-end hotel. Hampton-based Century Interiors was responsible for the construction.
“It used to have a really outdated design; everything about it was very chopped up,” says Levant, who called the original space ’80s glam.
The suite’s total reconfiguration impressed this year’s Best of Design judges, who named it their Best Renovated Bathroom for 2023. Judge Stephanie Schill Hayden, an architect at Schill Architecture in Cleveland, called the bathroom “moody and sexy,” while judge Katie Savakis, a project designer with Vocon’s Cleveland office, praised the thoughtful design choices, including large, built-in wall niches that hold towels.
“It’s a really strong design,” she says.
Levant began the renovation by ripping out the bathroom’s oversized jacuzzi tub and small shower and replacing it with a triple wetroom that hosts two shower heads and a freestanding soaking tub — a favorite of Feinberg’s grandson.
“My grandson uses it, but not me,” he jokes. “He loves it, so that’s all that matters.”
Although the bathroom floors and walls appear to be marble, Levant says she actually used porcelain, which is more scratch- and stain-resistant — not to mention more sustainable and affordable — than marble.
“This is practically maintenance free,” she says.
The high-end hotel vibe extends to the bedroom, where Levant installed an open-corridor dressing room and closet at the entrance. The wardrobe cabinets act as a room divider; on the other side is a custom, pebbled leather headboard wall. To the left and right of the bed are floating nightstands, freeing up even more room in the design. Using marine-grade upholstery and seating, Levant also furnished the patio so that it resembles a contemporary outdoor lounge.
To the delight of Feinberg, who had been camping out in the guest room during construction, the primary suite renovation finished up in spring of 2022 — and there’s not one gold-plated duck in sight.
“I’m very happy — and I am done,” he says.
Interior Design: Lauren Levant Interior
General Contractor: Century Interiors
Mechanical: Bolster DeHart Inc.
HVAC: Century Interiors
Electric: Pittsburgh Heating and Electrical Service Inc.
Plumbing: Brolley & Schmitt Plumbing
Flooring Service: Nova Flooring
Cabinetry: Lauren Levant Interior, Crystal Cabinetry
Hardware: Lauren Levant Interior, Hafele
Plumbing Fixtures: Lauren Levant Interior, Jaclo, Brizo, Victoria & Albert
Lighting: Lauren Levant Interior, Lightology
Flooring Materials: Lauren Levant Interior, Surya
Tile Setting: Giuntini Tile & Marble
Countertops: Lauren Levant Interior, Silestone, Ultimate Granite Surfaces
Furnishings: Lauren Levant Interior
Tile: Lauren Levant Interior; porcelains through Tile & Design