When interior designer Mary Laipple built 455 Wyola St. in the Sweetbriar Village development on Mount Washington in 2013, she created a space that definitely was ahead of its time.
HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” was dominating the airwaves, and kitchens with white shaker cabinets and 50 shades of gray throughout the home were all the rage. Instead of following the trend, Laipple, working closely with Sweetbriar developer Jeff Paul (owner of Pomo Development), designed a lived-in, welcoming vibe that was anything but farmhouse.
“This space is industrial modern,” she says. “I wanted it to feel like, when you came in, it wasn’t new.”
To accomplish that, she chose wide-plank, oak flooring with black veins for the three-bedroom, 2 ½-bathroom home. Complemented by oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, the kitchen has black soapstone countertops and taupe cabinets.
Now that the home’s timeless style is everywhere on social media, Laipple is ready to find her next project. She has listed the home for $599,900 (MLS# 1537071, Lynne Bingham, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com). It is open by appointment.
The special design details start with the front porch, where the Craftsman-style front door has a teal frame. Inside, high ceilings give the home an expansive feel. A walk up three steps brings the main living space into full view.
The kitchen’s custom cabinets are by Decora; a center island with a waterfall edge seats four. The professional-grade appliances, including wall ovens and a six-burner gas range, are by Jenn-Air.
“Every single cabinet from Decora is handmade, even down to the painted finishes,” Laipple says. “I knew I wanted to do soapstone [countertops]. It is so beautiful and is antimicrobial.”
The cabinets are hung on a wall of neutral-hued, handmade subway tiles. The bronze-rubbed statement hood is accented by a basket-weave backsplash.
Lantern pendants hang over the island as well as the nearby dining table. A custom wall bar features seeded-glass front doors, wine storage, a sink and a mini-refrigerator. It is perfectly situated to serve guests both indoors and out, thanks to the proximity of the patio.
“We have a roof-covered deck, a grill and a settee,” Laipple says. “It is great and we use it all the time.”
Back inside, the stacked stone gas fireplace has a smart — and beautiful — accent of vertical soapstone on the left side only.
“I ordered a mantle [and] brought the stacked stone and the soapstone accent panel,” Laipple recalls. “Behind it is where all of the media and technology is hidden for the house.”
Upstairs, the custom primary bedroom suite features a tray ceiling, ceiling fan and a continuation of the wide-plank flooring. A pair of doors swing open to reveal a spectacular bathroom with a double-bowl vanity, porcelain-and-glass tile walls, a soaking tub and a large, glass-walled shower with a seat. Dramatic and roomy, it makes an impressive design statement. There’s also a walk-in closet with custom cabinet drawers, hanging space and shoe storage.
The two other bedrooms measure 11-by-11 square feet and 11-by-10 square feet, respectively. One is used as a guest bedroom and is decorated in a soft shade of green-gray. Painted a soft heather pink, the second room is staged as an office.
In the hallway is a bathroom that could easily be connected to the guest bedroom as a second ensuite. The upper level also features an ultra-convenient laundry space. There is attic storage with pull-down access as well.
The finished basement includes a gorgeous yoga studio and workout space. There also is a half bathroom that can be transformed into a full bathroom, plus three large closets.
“Some owners have made that a guest suite by converting the bathroom and attaching it to the main room. It is very flexible,” Laipple adds.
The home also has a two-car integral garage. The community itself features a large common area and sidewalks, perfect for dog walking and for meeting new people.
“The location is so convenient. Mount Washington definitely has its own personality,” Laipple says. “There is an eclectic group of people living here and it makes everything interesting.”
Hot Property, an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property gives an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking housing prices and sales and detailing where the hot properties can be found. Writer Rosa Colucci can be reached at [email protected].
About: Mount Washington
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 20-minute commute to the airport. Daily transport via Port Authority, including two historic inclines. Street parking.
Schools: City of Pittsburgh. Extensive magnet programming is available, including CAPA in the heart of Downtown. (pghschools.org)
Neighborhood: Perched 367 feet above where Pittsburgh’s three rivers meet, Mount Washington has been named in the top three city views worldwide. Overlooks, inclines and a panorama that takes in the apex of Downtown and the head of the Ohio River is a big tourist attraction. Grandview Avenue is filled with cliffside restaurants, including Altius and LeMont, while St. Mary on the Mount Church keeps a watchful eye on the city below.