Winter 2019: Things We Love

Here are the local gems worth obsessing over.

photo courtesy von walter & funk

Balloons for Grownups

These aren’t your typical kiddie balloons, although they’d look great at a birthday party — a sophisticated one. Over the summer, Von Walter & Funk, a decor and lifestyle boutique in Lawrenceville, began experimenting with organic balloon art. Shawn Aversa, who owns Von Walter & Funk with husband Jamie McAdams, says he became fascinated by high-quality, natural balloons after seeing them at various gift shows and through his searches for exciting event and general decor. He began playing around with displays at the shop, including using “double stuffing” to create unusual hues such as mint or periwinkle, and soon landed his first gig, creating a bespoke balloon installation for Animal Friends’ Black Tie & Tails event in September. “This isn’t traditional balloons you see at bank openings or 5Ks, it really is artwork,” says Aversa. The boutique now has a “balloon bar” for grab-and-go balloon bouquets. funk/BALLOON, the event decor arm of Von Walter & Funk, also is available to create and install balloon displays for corporate and private events. Pricing for installations start at $600.

Von Walter & Funk, 5210 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/784-0800,

photo courtesy splurge

A Vase for All Occasions

The versatile Lavoisier flower vases, available at Splurge, are an easy, stylish way to change up your decor. Inspired by classic laboratory equipment — and named for Antoine Lavoisier, the French nobleman widely known as the “father of modern chemistry” — the vase is hinged, meaning it can be rotated and arranged into different positions. Stuff them with flowers in the spring for a cheerful burst of color. Or, once the holidays roll around, experiment with evergreen boughs or add branches spray painted a metallic gold or white for a winter wonderland. $179.95

Splurge, 1109 Freeport Road, Fox Chapel; 412/252-2242,

photo courtesy RH, Restoration Hardware

Out of This World Lighting

How would you like to see the full moon rising — from above your dining room table. When I first saw the Hand-Carved Alabaster Globe Pendant from RH, Restoration Hardware, I was reminded of celestial bodies. But for all its cosmic appeal, there’s an earthy component to the globes as well. Each pendant is hand-carved from a solid piece of translucent stone that, when lit from within, illuminates its natural veining. It’s a standout piece that surely will be a conversation starter in any home — as long as you’re not affected by any wolf-like full-moon tendencies. $1,796

RH Pittsburgh, The Gallery at Ross Park, 1000 Ross Park Mall Drive, Ross Township; 412/563-5909,

photo courtesy black cherry

Pop of Pink

Ladies and gentlemen, pink is not just for a little kiddo’s room. When used right, it can add soft sophistication and whimsy to any room, as evidenced by this blush chair available at Black Cherry Design in Lawrenceville. I love the chair’s traditional wooden legs, and its elegant shape. This is grown-up glamour. $1,390 as shown

Black Cherry Design, 3701 Butler St., Lawrenceville; 412/586-5539,

photo courtesy house15143

Pittsburgh Pride

Hey, we’re all proud to be from Pittsburgh — and we want to show it off — but that doesn’t always have to mean outfitting your gameroom in floor-to-ceiling black and gold, accented by Steelers emblems. The new Pittsburgh pillow, a design exclusive from House15143 in Sewickley, lets you display your love for the city in an understated, chic manner. Finally, a pillow that will look good sitting on your chair throughout different seasons, both the elemental and the sports kind. $68  

House15143, 436 Beaver St., Sewickley; 412/259-8953,


Categories: HOME + Design