Shadyside home takes step up as staircase goes out
Eliminating a staircase was a giant step in a new direction for the owners of a Shadyside home.
The move allowed Terri and Denise DeSimone to open up the first floor of the house without taking away its 1902 look.
It led them to a redesign project they enjoyed.
“We want to do it again,” Terri DeSimone said.
They haven't found a new target for their work, but the house that inspired their interest in design is on the market for $1.85 million.
The house, which once was a spillover residence for the Inn on Negley across the street, has become a single-family home. It has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and an area in the basement that could be an office, another residence or both.
The rooms all feature modern colors, design and furniture, but there's still early 20th-century charm in the woodwork.
The master in the front of the house has a large shuttered area behind a bay window.
The entrance and the rest of the first floor are perhaps the most striking part of the home.
Originally, a staircase traveled from the center of the foyer to the second floor. To the right was a small room that had once been a bedroom. Behind that room was a kitchen DeSimone said was small enough to be considered a galley.
The whole walled off area was unattractive.
There was a second set of stairs farther down the center hall, so the DeSimones decided to kick off the redesign by removing the front stairs.
“We thought we really didn't need them,” she said of the staircase. “The ones in the back take you right to the middle of the second floor.”
The front stairs came down along with the walls around the former bedroom. That allowed them to expand both rooms. The room in the front now is a sitting room and the kitchen spills into it.
The enlarged kitchen features an island topped by a thick, 9-by-6 of granite that is so heavy DeSimone said it took 12 men to bring it into the house.
It has an British AGA cast-iron range with three ovens and two cookplates that are always hot at preset temperatures. Although the range always is on, DeSimone said there is little difference in their gas bill.
The other side of the home has a family room with a piano in the front, a formal dining room opposite the kitchen and a room that has become a play area for their three children.
That room opens to the backyard, which was part of the renovation. It was a gravel-coated, nondescript area when the DeSimones bought the house in 2010.
They added a small, in-ground pool and a sports area with a basketball hoop. The sports area provides parking space for the property, which doesn't have a garage.
The second and third floors feature the six bedrooms, as well as a wood-walled, Victorian-style den area. Like the bedrooms, it is decorated to match that era but features designs and furniture that give it a modern look.
The location of the eliminated front staircase is easy to determine logically, but its removal did not leave a strange space in the second-floor hallway.
Bob Karlovits is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7852.