Outside of the Pittsburgh area, Squirrel Hill is bigger accepted as Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood. The admired children’s-television personality lived on leafy, ample Beechwood Boulevard. For architectonics buffs, however, the neighborhood’s arch absorption lies further west on a clandestine artery active through a forested haven in Pittsburgh’s East End. The alley conceals a abundance of adventuresome and architecturally cogent homes, from Andrew Mellon’s redbrick Tudor abode (landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers) to modernist houses by Walter Gropius and Richard Meier to a postmodern absurdity by Robert Venturi.
For a affluent adolescent ancestors gluttonous to reconnect with their abysmal Pittsburgh roots afterwards years spent abroad from the city, this artery acquainted like the absolute landing pad. Yet the five-bedroom Tudor Revival abode they bought on the southern end of the artery in 2016, while steeped in the city’s history, did not absolutely clothing the needs of a avant-garde family. Built by the architects Vrydaugh and Wolfe in 1902 for an advocate and styled like a bandit baron’s abstraction of a medieval hunting lodge, the abode reeked of aged books and benumbed boots. The claiming of showcasing the house’s ancestry while abatement its edges fell to the New York City–based artist Janine Carendi MacMurray.
© Simon Upton In the kids’ playroom, the best benches were begin in a abbey in Maine; the table, chairs, and rug are from Pottery Barn, and the bank is covered in a Rebel Walls wallpaper.
The affair of her architectonics was “coming home.” The audience capital the abode to feel sophisticated, light, and abreast while anniversary the family’s history. “In every room, we approved to absorb pieces from the couple’s corresponding families—many of which had been anesthetized bottomward for generations,” MacMurray says. She additionally strived to bottle what was absolutely Pittsburgh about the house: advertisement aboriginal walnut beams in the entryway, sourcing bounded bean for the kitchen countertops, and apropos elements that batten to the city’s automated history—even if they weren’t the best applied things. “On the additional floor, there is this aces linen closet with tiny doors from attic to ceiling,” says MacMurray. “This is breadth the white linens were kept so they wouldn’t be covered in atramentous dust” from adjacent factories in the aboriginal 20th century.
In added respects, MacMurray was chargeless to play, bond midcentury ablaze fixtures, 17th-century English furniture, and accepted ’60s rugs. She additionally drew from the family’s enviable accumulating of heirlooms and antiquities.
In the dining room, a 19th-century English amber table anchors the space; the Gracie wallpaper alludes to the boats traveling bottomward the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. At the arch of the table is a John Singer Sargent account of a ancestors ancestor. A Jean-Boris Lacroix ablaze accoutrement gives the amplitude a balmy Deco glow, and clear dejected bandy pillows bang in a hasty way with the Delft and Chinese ceramics on display.
While a allowance such as this feels abundantly layered, others, like the kitchen, are starkly elegant. A best checkerboard arrangement lends a graphic, avant-garde affection to the floor. Working with the artist Liza Cruze, MacMurray sketched a pot arbor and awning over the stove that elongates the space. The acerbity of the kitchen is assorted by a ablaze breakfast nook, with a miniature buttery daybed fit for the kids.
Designing for accouchement is a affection for MacMurray, as apparent by the top-floor atelier she created. The room’s best arresting affection was a slanted wall. Rather than blank that odd angle, MacMurray leaned into it—blowing up the calibration of a wallpaper arrangement from the Swedish aggregation Rebel Walls and alignment it so it took on a three-dimensional quality.
The ancestors allowance airish the better claiming in the home, and as such, it is the breadth of which MacMurray is the proudest. Originally a covered balustrade with a ample bean hearth, the amplitude was angry into a conservatory with windows in the 1940s and again weatherized by antecedent owners, who fabricated the arguable best of installing a massive television over the fireplace. MacMurray advised custom bookshelves on the adverse end of the allowance to carefully abode the TV. A brace of “mirror-image” chaises acquiesce for both abode lounging and cine watching.
As a final curl for the room, MacMurray appropriate a Robert Indiana painting from the client’s art collection, which they had struggled to acquisition a home for. It was too loud for the dining room, too big for the entry, too ablaze for the bedroom. Not alone did it fit altogether over the fireplace, the arrangement reflected the geometries of the aboriginal architecture, the gridded metal windows, and the aphotic copse beams. Here and throughout the home, an abrupt burst of the new dynamizes the old, while the old lends the new a deepened faculty of place.
© Hearst Owned november 2020 elle adornment cover
This adventure originally appeared in the November 2020 affair of ELLE Decor. SUBSCRIBE
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