A Vacation Home in Pittsburgh

April 17, 2019

Photo By: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Vacation Vibes

When homeowners John and Leslie decided to leave the city with their 2-year-old, they purchased a Spanish villa-style home in the suburbs. Leanne and Steve were both excited about this project since it’s not every day they get to work on a Spanish villa in Pittsburgh! Leslie wanted the home to feel very vacation-like and Leanne was absolutely on board. With an $80,000 budget and eight weeks, Leanne and Steve lightened, brightened, and modernized the home with touches of vacation vibes throughout.

Home Exterior

John and Leslie purchased thier Spanish villa a month before bringing Leanne and Steve in to renovate the majority of the first floor.

Stairway, Before

The original entryway featured a really unique staircase. As cool as it was, it definitely didn’t fit the modern vacation home vibe.

Stairway, After

After a bit of a back and forth about what to do with the stairs, Leanne’s original vision of wrapping them with steel came to life. Steve created the stairs much like you would a car’s frame and then painted them white. You’ll also notice in this photo that the front door is different. Leanne and Steve sanded it down to bring it back to its original beauty.

Entryway, Before

John and Leslie said that when they first looked at this house, they were almost immediately sold. It's easy to see why with all of the unique design features going on in this home.

Entryway, After

Because the stairs and the front door are attached to the platform, the platform absolutely had to stay. To give it a bit of vacation flair, Leanne covered it with a black and white tile. As far as the rest of the floors, Leanne and Steve removed the carpeting to reveal concrete underneath. After smoothing out the concrete, they applied a glossy, white epoxy.

Living Room, Before

Besides the carpeting, two other things that had to go were the wall color and those curtains.

Living Room, After

With white walls and white floors, Leanne had a blank slate to work with as far as furniture went. To warm it up a bit, she brought it lots of wood and neutrals. In the corner by the window, Steve built a custom planter.

Family Room, Before

The original family room featured a gorgeous — though dark — fireplace and beams along the ceiling and walls.

Eat-in Kitchen, After

Leanne said goodbye to the family room and hello to this kitchen dining space. One of the biggest changes here was covering the fireplace wall with a concrete skim coat. They also sanded down the ceiling beams to lighten things up. Cabinetry was extended into this space as well to make it one large kitchen area.

Kitchen, Before

The original kitchen was seriously dark and boxed in by a peninsula with overhead cabinetry.

Kitchen, After

For the kitchen, Leanne used beautiful white cabinetry and quartz counters with slight marbling to match.

Kitchen, After

As with other rooms in the house, Leanne used gorgeous, neutral-colored rugs to warm up the space.

Kitchen, After

Leanne had Steve create shutters for either side of the kitchen window — but not functional shutters, “fashion shutters.” This was key to making the kitchen feel like it belonged in a different country.

Dining Room, After

Originally, there was a pocket door separating the kitchen from the dining room. By removing it, the entryway was opened up. In this room, Leanne used wood elements and rugs for warmth. The fishnet basket light over the table is a great addition to the overall vacation theme.

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