My Favorite Room with Tyler and Brandi Kennedy
Each issue, HOME goes inside the room of one of our favorite Pittsburghers.
photos by laura petrilla
After stints with the San Jose Sharks, the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils, Tyler Kennedy and his wife, Brandi, knew they wanted to return to Pittsburgh, where Brandi grew up — and where Tyler won a Stanley Cup in 2009 as a Pittsburgh Penguin.
They got their opportunity two years ago after Tyler’s retirement from professional hockey. Following months of browsing Zillow (the couple says it helped pass the time in hotel rooms while Tyler was playing), they viewed a brick provincial-style home in Nevillewood. Upon entering it for the first time, they fell in love with the grand dining room.
“The whole back of the house is windows,” Brandi says. “It’s just so open, and it gives you a nice feeling.”
The floor-to-ceiling window in the dramatic two-story dining room overlooks the golf-course community’s lake, as well as the 18th hole. Nearly always on the go, Tyler, who these days trains youth hockey players, says the open room, with its views of nature, gives him a feeling of peace.
“It reminds me of being on vacation,” he says. “When I’m home, I like to relax and this is such a great place to do that. It has such a great view. It’s what caught my eye when we were looking at houses.”
“I really don’t feel like we’re in Pittsburgh,” says Brandi, who jokingly adds Tyler’s dream is to turn the open pond into an ice rink. “Even on the dreariest days, in typical Pittsburgh weather, it’s still beautiful in the rain or snow. It always puts you in a good mood.”
The room also is the centerpiece of their family life, which is good because the Kennedys recently expanded their brood. In addition to 3-year-old Cookie — who inspired Brandi’s edgy online kids clothing store, Cookie Couture — the couple welcomed son TK in December.
While attending a Las Vegas Market furnishings show with Brandi’s parents, who founded the Mattress World chain of retail stores in Pittsburgh (locals may remember Brandi starring in the company’s commercials), the couple picked up a sizeable, yet sleek, dining room table.
To keep the room kid-friendly, the Kennedys had Rex Glass & Mirror install a fitted glass tabletop to prevent nicks. Instead of side chairs, there are two oversized benches in a soft, quilted material.
“You can fit a lot of people on them, and they’re fun for kids — they can lay down on them,” Brandi says, noting the couple’s family gathered in the room to celebrate Christmas Eve.
Although Brandi describes her style as minimalist and clean, and Tyler as liking more “stuff,” they both agreed on an oversized palm tree they found at Restoration Hardware at Ross Park Mall that sits in the corner of the dining room. On the opposite wall, a giant framed mirror reflects the view outside.
“I love mirrors in houses. I think it makes everything look more open,” Brandi says.
To Cookie’s delight, the large dining room windows give an up-close view of wildlife, think ducks, deer and geese — and occasionally Penguins. The golfers hitting the greens on the 18th hole sometimes include Tyler’s former teammates. In that case, Tyler will call out to them — usually with a comment on their swing.