Our renovation edition.

At this time next year I hope to get through an issue without mention of the “P” word — you know, pandemic. But with the effects of COVID-19 still affecting so many aspects of our everyday lives, including aftershocks in the home and design industry, it seems impossible to avoid it — at least for the remainder of 2021.

But for this issue, it has particular relevance.

July HOME traditionally is our renovation edition. So in a year where many, cloistered within their own four walls, turned their attention to giving those spaces a makeover, it was especially inspiring (and escapist) to see what local homeowners and designers took a hammer to.

The renovations kick off here. Contributor April Johnston captured the boho-chic spirit behind designer Esther Dormer’s transformation of a row house on the South Side. Filled with bold floral prints, ornate fixtures and pops of gold, the playful, maximalist design is a breath of fresh air after a somber year.

In Poland, Ohio, Pittsburgh designer Alisha Gwen — known for her colorful aesthetic — helped a baseball-loving family create their dream outdoor area. There’s a pool of course, but what makes the space really stand out is the bold black, white and teal color scheme, plus a smart indoor/outdoor kitchen space that’s as stylish as it is functional.

What’s more, these spaces were clearly meant to host gatherings, something that seemed so out of reach last summer and now is within sight. If that’s not a positive sign of the future, I don’t know what is.

Elsewhere in the issue, Mark Houser’s This Old Pittsburgh House explores the explosive history behind a handsome stone Victorian in Highland Park once owned by dry-cleaning magnate Oswald Werner.

Rosa Colucci examines what’s selling, and what sold, in Pittsburgh’s red-hot housing market. She also takes a look at a growing neighborhood, The River’s Edge, along the Allegheny River in Oakmont — which was a real trip for me. I grew up in the area and can remember when the pristine development was an empty steel mill, then a field. When I drive by it now on my way to visit my parents, the change — which could be a theme for this year, as well as this issue — always amazes me.

Jessica Sinichak, HOME Editor

Categories: HOME Editor