Spring HOME

HOME Editor Jessica Sinichak reflects on this year's Best of Design issue.


I’ve got the itch for a home-improvement project — again.

It happens every year around this time as I sift through entries for our annual Best of Design contest. The projects — many submitted by local interior designers and architects — range from small powder room remodels to sprawling new builds in categories that range from Best New Home to Best Outdoor Space.

I draw inspiration from many of them, including this year’s winners. For example, I loved the dazzling crystal chandelier paired with a dramatic wood ceiling that added warmth and texture to a modern mountain home in West Virginia, winner of Best New Interior. The mixture of playful color and patterns that interior designer Betsy Wentz added to a one-time barn in Sewickley Heights (winner of Best Renovated Home) also made me want to break out of my comfort zone of neutral decor.

But perhaps the project that most resonated with me was that of Best Renovated Kitchen. This was the personal project of interior designer Laura Kostanich at her Mt. Lebanon home. Like me, Kostanich is the mother of two young children. Also like me, she was the owner of a dated kitchen that didn’t work particularly well for her family.

In solving the room’s awkward layout and adding storage space, Kostanich created a natural gathering spot for family and friends. It’s what I hope to do with my kitchen.


Elsewhere in this issue, Mark Houser delves into the history of Squirrel Hill’s Mushroom House, which earned its nickname thanks to its unusual rounded roofline. Our other regular features include Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property roundup and Things We Love, which showcases some very cute cats doing very Pittsburgh things.Sinichak Jessica

If you’re building or renovating a home in 2022, this is your annual reminder to keep us in mind. Best of Design is a lengthy process, and I spend all year collecting entries (and getting inspired by them). You can send me your projects by email, or by visiting pittsburghmagazine.com for our submission form.

HOME Editor Jessica Sinichak can be reached ad jsinichak@pittsburghmagazine.com

Categories: HOME Editor