Who lives here: Bob Moore, Scott Wise and their 19-year-old cat, Candy Lipkind
Location: Swisshelm Park neighborhood of Pittsburgh
Size: 1,000 square feet (about 93 square meters); 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Year built: 1954
The couple, who had previously lived in a condo in Pittsburgh’s East End, didn’t need to purchase much furniture for their new home because of the many original built-ins, including the sofa, shelving and storage units.
The sofa is covered in original yellow Naugahyde vinyl upholstery in impeccable condition. Moore and Wise found the semicircular coffee table with matching end tables online. The Danish modern chair is a curbside find that the couple restored with new upholstery and a coat of polyurethane.
“Our style of decorating is directly related to the style of the house,” says Moore. “We work hard to match the furnishings to the architecture without distracting from the peaceful and minimal design. Our philosophy of decorating could be described as simple and clean, as we believe our house provides both the structure and the decor. We keep our accessories simple so that we can appreciate the design as it was intended.”
The siting of the house means that there is no need for window coverings. “Although the original wooden floor-to-ceiling Temlite shades are in place, only houseguests seem to use them,” says Moore. “We allow the woods to be our natural screening. The architects’ foresight and creativity in design make living here effortless.”
The vanity is made from wood reclaimed from the renovation and matches the original cabinetry in the rest of the house. The Pennsylvania black slate on the vanity and the lower ledge of the shower repeats the slate in the kitchen. The couple chose the sink, with its unique shape, to reflect the general shape of the room.
The all-glass shower was designed to maximize light and expand on the 1950s version of a glass shower, which included glass bifold doors and a single glass panel on a mostly wooden enclosure. The chrome fixtures were recommended in the original instructions to the home’s builder.
“The proud moments of owning the house include the first house tour that was arranged by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation just one month after we moved in,” says Moore. “We quickly learned that we were fortunate to own such a unique home that others wanted to see as well. Other visitors to the house, which made us incredibly proud, included Lynda Waggoner (director of Fallingwater) and Australian architect Peter Stutchbury.”
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