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Pine home features Craftsman’s classic elements with open design |

Pine home features Craftsman’s classic elements with open design

Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
This Lake McLeod residence at 558 Macleod Drive in Gibsonia is an example of a nouveau craftsman style home.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
This Lake McLeod residence at 558 Macleod Drive in Gibsonia is an example of a nouveau craftsman style home.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
This Lake McLeod residence at 558 Macleod Drive in Gibsonia features a super-equipped kitchen.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
This Lake McLeod residence at 558 Macleod Drive in Gibsonia features a lower level theater room and second kitchen for entertaining.
Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media
This Lake McLeod residence at 558 Macleod Drive in Gibsonia features over 20' high ceilings in the family room.
Craftman-style details highlight this Pine house on Lake MacLeod

Sitting atop a hillside in Pine’s Lake MacLeod development, the large house is almost more significant for what it’s missing than for what it has.

The 7,000-square-foot home has nothing that resembles a dining room. Instead, entertainment and social get-togethers are centered in an open kitchen-living space that spreads over 950 square feet.

Besides being a showpiece for open design, the house displays the current interest in Craftsman architecture.

“The wood, the windows all make it Craftsman on the top,” said Joe Counihan, builder and owner of Masterpiece Homes. “The basement is more contemporary modern.”

Tony Soper, project manager of Architects Northwest/CornerStone Homes near Seattle, said the home was designed around 2000 as a custom home. It then made its way into the firm’s collection of plans, where Counihan found it.

“That’s the nice thing about that design,” Soper said. “It works well with the interest in the East.”

The house on 1.25 acres is for sale for $1.45 million. An open house is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 30.

Kevin Mihm of Coldwell Banker’s said the Craftsman design is the most striking part of the house. But he and Counihan agree that the house includes all of the trendy construction items.

The open design that spans the living and kitchen areas is one of the most in-demand aspects in homes these days, he said. It removes all of the boxy rooms that used to fill homes.

Besides the open first floor, the basement has an open design, even though it has a built-in theater room with a projector-lighted screen.

The theater room — with a seven-channel sound system — opens into another family room with a five-channel system. Counihan said both systems could play the same event or program at the same time if that were the focus of a party.

The basement has its own kitchen and space for a bedroom, so it could be used as a guest suite or residence.

“The original design didn’t have a basement,” Counihan said. “I had to add one. You have to have a basement in Western PA.”

The other hot design element in the home is a first-floor master bedroom with an en suite.

But, Mihm said, it goes one step further and has a matching master and en suite on the second floor. It is joined by two other bedrooms there that share a bathroom.

Besides adding the basement, Counihan said, the only other major change he made to the house was adding two garage spaces to the duo in the original plans.

That addition in the front of the house created a little space inside, which Counihan has made into the home’s office.

But Mihm said the space design is rivaled by the Craftsman style as the outstanding feature of the house.

The house is filled with stylistic points such as dominance of wood and stone, overhanging eaves and exposed beams and rafters.

It reflects the ideas of England’s William Morris (1834-96), one of the early thinkers of the Arts and Crafts movement, which advances making the craft of building a home more artistic through a use of natural materials.

Furniture maker Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) became a disciple of the movement in the United States.

Bruce Johnson, founder of the annual National Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville, N.C., said the Craftsman design never goes out of style because its use of wood and stone tends to create buildings with a great deal of quality.

“Whenever a Realtor gets the chance to apply the term ‘Craftsman’ to a house built after 1900, he does,” he said.

That quality led to a surge in Craftsman bungalows during the rise of the middle class after World War II, he said.

Bruce Goodman, editor of, said Craftsman design sometimes is linked to the smaller bungalows, but it is used in some bigger examples as well.

The Gamble House in Pasadena, Calif., is one of those, he said. It was designed in 1908 by Henry M. and Charles S. Greene for David Gamble from The Procter & Gamble Co.

Goodman’s California-based website looks at Craftsman work from an artistic and historic sense, featuring the paintings of his wife, Leisa Collins.

“The housing market seems to be showing some interest in the Craftsman niche,” he said.

Bob Karlovits is staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 412-320-7852.

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