Pittsburgh is a city full of old homes dating back to the early 20th century. These homes fill the city with history, a few quirky details, and a lot of love from families over the years. Many design companies today are helping to ensure that old homes that have fallen by the wayside over the years become beautiful again. While these renovations may be phasing out certain quirks like the strange “Pittsburgh toilet” found in many basement corners, they are giving way to a new found appreciation for features and finishes original to the homes.
Those who want to restore Pittsburgh’s older homes to their original beauty are salvaging intricately constructed ceiling medallions, color-rich stained glass, and other design elements popular in the early 20th century. However, with the strain that time puts on homes, it is sometimes difficult to save these small details. With this in mind, major design elements like original hardwood floors and crown molding are easier to salvage and are being paired with new elements like exposed brick walls to give older Pittsburgh area homes a much needed face-lift while keeping in mind their originality.
A big trend as of late is the exposure of brick inside the home. Traditionally, brick is a material thought to be only for the outside of the house. Its durability is great for a low maintenance, long-lasting exterior. However, designers are finding original brick behind weathered and worn plaster or drywall and are using it to their advantage. Exposed brick walls are becoming a conversation piece, an ode to the age of the home, a unique feature, and a downright beautiful wall in any home.
Older homes also carry with them beautiful molding that has been lost in new construction. The thickly framed windows and doors are beautifully stained and give each home a classic yet stunning uniqueness. Many newer homes have simple, thin molding that carries no character through the house. A frequently overlooked feature, molding is often times something that is a simple update, needing some paint at most, when renovating older homes. The beautiful molding of the past will continue to fit the home no matter what era you are updating for.
It is no doubt that hardwood is back and in high demand. The days of wall-to-wall carpeting are gone and the people and companies fixing old houses are very pleased. Earlier 20th century homes were built with hardwood floors that were beautifully aged. Today, much of the hardwood used in homes does not have that aging simply because of the demand for lumber and inability to let the trees grow as long as they once did. As a result, many renovators are extremely careful to refinish the floors and make them a new-again focal point of the home.
Older homes in Pittsburgh carry with them qualities that can no longer be built. Pittsburgh is lucky to have such wonderfully restored homes all around the area. With their thoughtful renovations, it is certain these homes will continue to be a part of the Pittsburgh landscape for decades more to come.