January 24, 2022

Modernizing the kitchen of a 1920s Craftsman house in Mount Lebanon, Pa. to fit a family of five might be considered a fairly straight-forward job. But as Lindsay Ossler of Marvista Design + Build in Pittsburgh, Pa. discovered, there were several aspects of the project that kept the design team on their toes. For one, the renovation started without the family ever having lived in the house.

“Trying to understand a space without your client ever using it was challenging,” said Ossler. “Especially given how the Covid pandemic has really changed the way we live. Our design for the kitchen not only had to accommodate a cook’s needs but also create spaces for family gatherings and working and learning at home.”

Cleaning up the outdated floor plan was the first step. Short counter runs (frequently interrupted by squeezed-in fixtures and appliances), a space-eating peninsula and interior walls that blocked the flow of light into the home all combined to choke circulation in the already-small room. Space constraints forced the refrigerator to be installed outside the kitchen proper.

Relocating an existing powder room was key to opening up the kitchen. That, along with taking out the partial walls, gave the designers an open area in which to create an organized, spacious room, complete with a 10-ft. island.

Scope Creep

“Initially, the project started out as a kitchen remodel, and the budget was based on this scope of work,” said Ossler. During the design phase, however, the clients realized that in order to accomplish their goals, other areas of the home – the dining and living rooms, the entryway and powder room – would need to be incorporated into the project in small but crucial ways. Marvista responded by maximizing the impact of the design while keeping a careful eye on the costs.

A disciplined use of color was one of the main ways this was achieved. The design brings the dark green found on the exterior of the home indoors. The kitchen island and window frames, dining room and new boot-drop space all share the same shade of paint, unifying the interior in a budget-friendly way.

“The client really trusted us with the color choices, and we went big,” said Ossler. “Using the dark green color on the ceiling of the dining area, along with choosing very interesting light fixtures for the room, just brought the space to life.”


Source List

Designer: Marvista Design + Build, Lindsay Ossler

Photographer: Dave Bryce Photography

Backsplash: Best Tile

Cabinets: Dura Supreme

Countertops: Cambria

Dishwasher, Oven, Range: Thermador

Faucets: Hansgrohe

Hardware: Top Knobs

Microwave Drawer: Sharp

Paint: Sherwin Williams

Pendants: Pottery Barn

Refrigerator: Frigidaire

Refrigerator Drawer: KitchenAid

Sinks: Kraus & Transolid


Vent: Vent-A-Hood

More Projects