Warm Minimalism at Pittsburgh

For Julia Reynolds and first-time homeowners Chuck, decorating their home was really a lesson in editing. Chuck, an electronic strategy consultant, and Julia, the owner of a home decor boutique, desired a clean, minimalist and mostly monochromatic look for their Pittsburgh home. They admit to some meticulous design procedure — which occasionally led to lengthy email exchanges about a single purchase — but the outcome is a carefully curated and stylishly customized residence.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Chuck and Julia Reynolds and their dog, Jake
Location: East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh
Size: 2,150 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 11/2 bathrooms
Year constructed: 2009

Jason Snyder

The couple’s foreclosed home is just one of six in their neighborhood constructed in 2009 by East Liberty Development and designed by Pfaffmann + Associates.

The homeowners installed a modern slatted wood screen to enclose their courtyard and guarantee a modicum of solitude from the street.

Jason Snyder

The large and inviting front porch is a nod to the type of the older homes in the neighborhood, but is rendered here in concrete rather than wood.

Parts of the outside are clad in a composite siding made from recycled wood.

Jason Snyder

The couple’s living room is kept minimalist, with accessories and pillows from Julia’s store, The Shop in East Liberty. The doors behind the sectional connect to the central courtyard and the kitchen outside that.

Flanking the doors are framed photographs taken by Chuck’s brother. Chuck grew up with a darkroom in his family’s basement, so that he shares an appreciation for photography with his sibling.

Sectional: Double Pebble, CB2; java table: Origami, West Elm

Jason Snyder

The black and white art in the entrance sets the tone for the couple’s minimalist aesthetic. Julia made the “Liberty” printing.

Artwork: Stephen Tuomala (left), “Tribe” by Gregory Beauchamp (correct)

Jason Snyder

Julia made this accent wall in the guest bathroom, which has been inspired by a Marimekko wallpaper pattern. She first produced a grid of sponge-applied paint, then used a brush to paint around every world to blur the edges. The DIY job took about a week to finish.

Towel: Hammam, West Elm

Jason Snyder

For Chuck and Julia, one of the numerous selling points of this house was all of the natural light, especially in the spacious dining room and kitchen. Contractor Chris Rhodes made the black-stained concrete countertop in kitchen.

Dining table: CB2; seats, bar stools, pendant lights: Ikea

Jason Snyder

The smallest of these 3 bedrooms serves as a shared residence office. The sleeper sofa comes in handy when family and friends trip from Washington, D.C., the couple’s hometown. The picture throw pillow was made by Nell & Mary — one of Julia’s favourite designers from her shop.

Sofa: Kivik, Ikea; wall sconces: Aläng, Ikea

Jason Snyder

The couple worked with local craftsman Colin Carrier of London Pattern to design and make this steel bookshelf. The bookends are magnetic and can be reconfigured in any arrangement.

Jason Snyder

The Reynoldses designed and made this headboard in the guest bedroom. The knotty pine was sourced from a local hardware store and has been bolted to the wall. The little built-in side table is encouraged by L-brackets.

Jason Snyder

Julia and Chuck hang in their courtyard with their mixed-breed dog, Jake. The couple enjoys fun in this area, and Julia wanted to make sure it was nicely lit irrespective of the time of day. She strategically hung outside string lights in a zigzag pattern to make an intimate gathering room at nighttime.

Outdoor sectional: CB2; exterior lights: Amazon

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