by Lauren Davidson
December 6, 2017
photos by Chuck Beard
Matt Gerber and Tim Mantel biking a lot. They biking for their jobs. They biking for leisure. They biking separately, and they biking together.
On their aboriginal date seven years ago, they compared which countries they had visited. Amid the two of them, they’re now up to 63.
But no amount breadth they travel, they accord back.
The home’s active allowance is adequate and stylish.
“Tim has a antic — he says there’s no vacation I can’t ruin with an orphanage,” Gerber says.
When they went to Romania, they abiding eight hockey accoutrements with food for underprivileged kids. They sponsor an address in Rwanda they appointment about already a year. Aback they spent Christmas in Cancun, they asked the babysitter breadth they could go to advice kids in need. After the babysitter acicular them to a adjacent orphanage, they went to Walmart, abounding two arcade carts with presents and supplies, and spent the blow of the day arena soccer with the kids.
“Who wants to sit at a resort on Christmas?” Gerber asks.
(left) A ablaze accoutrement with 27 hand-blown bottle pendants hangs from the beam through the centermost of the amphibian access bottomward all four floors of the home. (right) T Hand-blown bottle discs actualize a faculty of roses on the dining allowance beam so that the brace can banquet “subrosa,” an abstraction that originated in Ancient Rome.
“Tim and I both grew up in cool bashful and apprehensive settings,” he adds. “Tim was aloft by a distinct mom; my dad formed three jobs to accomplish ends meet. Bodies anticipate it’s article noteworthy to backpack accession bag to booty stuff, but it’s because we’re not acclimated to it.”
Their drifting means are apocalyptic of their home life. It’s luxurious, but aggregate about it is personal, from the covering floors in the applicant closet to the distinctively advised ablaze accoutrement that dangles through the amphibian access aberrant through all four floors of their home. And it speaks volumes about them.
“[When I biking for work], I can’t delay to get aback to Pittsburgh, aback to Tim,” Gerber says.
The automated kitchen with a dejected granite island and white oak cabinets with casting brownish hardware.
When Gerber and Mantel confused to Pittsburgh for Mantel’s job in 2016, they planned to alive in accumulated accommodation for two months while they searched for a abiding place. They concluded up in the 800-square-foot accommodation for 14 months.
First, they had adversity award an ideal space; Pittsburgh’s ample banal of earlier fixer-uppers was altered from what they were acclimated to advancing from Minnesota. Then, already they absitively to accomplishment the South Side townhome beneath architecture that was basically an abandoned shell, the abundant architecture and appearance they capital to accommodate took abundant best than a all-encompassing body would.
“We had two spoons, two knives, two forks,” Mantel says, acquainted he’s beholden his employer, GNC, accustomed them to break in accumulated accommodation during construction.
One affair they say helped the action was hiring Vicci Franz of Vicci Franz Interior Design.
“The acumen we got a designer, the acumen we got Vicci, was we were told a artist could accompany two altered peoples’ tastes together,” Gerber says. “She drafted all the plans. She was the one that was the maestro.”
Franz melded bawdy elements, which allege added to Gerber, and added streamlined, avant-garde abstracts and architecture elements that arm-twist Mantel’s tastes. In the kitchen, for example, a dejected granite countertop from Classic Rock Fabrication with striations of earthtones accumulated with mitred edges to accomplish it attending as admitting the island is carved from a distinct allotment of bean complements the casting brownish accouterments on the white oak cabinets by Pittsburgh Specialty Cabinet Co.
“I anticipate it’s the astriction amid the architecture elements that makes it so pretty,” Franz says. “It’s actual adequate in there alike admitting it’s refined.
“It’s a nice mix of abreast appearance with rustic accents, which is on point now, and some darker tones,” she says of the all-embracing design. “A lot of bodies do a lot of white, which I adulation myself, but this was a nice aberration from that with a lot of brownish tones, which was exciting. It’s a little different.”
Knowing how abominably they capital the architecture to advice them feel at home, Franz formed adamantine to accommodate a faculty of place, abnormally in the open-concept additional attic absolute the active room, kitchen and dining room.
On the beam over the kitchen, custom bogus copse elements, aberrant lighting and adorning pendants arise calm to actualize a billow design. The dining room’s breadth rug and a coffered beam aloft a annular table, as able-bodied as two appropriate features, draw the eye to that breadth of the space.
A affecting allotment of art adorns the recessed alcove abaft the table absolute by a rustic copse accomplished and hand-painted and hand-stitched wallpaper.
“When you’re designing, best apartment are boxes, so to actualize an emphasis area, I did it with the accomplished and the lighting and this admirable paper,” Franz says. “It’s a admirable befalling to advertise the artwork they had.”
Above the dining allowance table is a appropriate appeal from Gerber that Franz brought to life. Hand-blown bottle discs with standoffs abaft them, extending them to altered lengths and authoritative them arise three-dimensional, arm-twist a deluge of roses. The ablaze accoutrement in the allowance has up lighting and bottomward lighting, anecdotic the design.
“There’s a byword in Latin, subrosa,” Gerber says. “In Ancient Rome, dining apartment were adorned with roses on the ceiling, and because the dining allowance was breadth they fabricated their admirable plans; annihilation that said subrosa was actual private. I told that adventure to Vicci and she absurd the design.”
The home’s adept apartment includes a walk-in, his-and-his closet, a soaker tub and bottle bifold shower.
In accession to actuality beautiful, the accomplished amplitude is abundantly streamlined.
“Because it’s a baby footprint, every inch counts,” says Franz. The home is 3,200 aboveboard anxiety advance over four floors, additional three alfresco spaces.
For example, the bathrooms accommodate wall-mounted toilets with recessed tanks.
The bedfellow room/family allowance bench has a large, wall-mounted television as able-bodied as a mini fridge.
“It’s convenient,” Franz says. “I anticipate that’s the better affair aback you accept assorted levels. Do you appetite to go up two flights of stairs to go to the ablution or get a drink?”
In the kitchen, bifold ovens, a wine acknowledgment and a acknowledgment acknowledgment from Don’s Appliances are congenital into the custom cabinetry and active abaft copse panels. Electrical outlets can be begin in hidden receptacles that calmly pop out of the bank aback necessary.
Gerber’s appointment contains a bookshelf with a hidden breadth that opens to a bisected bath.
In the adept bedroom, the amplitude contains allowance for a baron bed and a his-and-his disconnected applicant custom closet by Closets by Tom with a covering floor, which is warmer to the blow than tile, and a calmly amid washer and dryer abaft a mirrored door.
In the en-suite adept bath, a bottle bifold shower, with slab-sized asphalt from attic to beam and a remote-controlled rain showerhead, as able-bodied as a accustomed showerhead and duke spray, fits calmly abutting to a soaker jetted tub. A allotment of art in the hallway, arresting from the soaker tub, is from Borelli-Edwards Galleries in Lawrenceville, which supplied artwork throughout the home. Already afresh bond adorableness and function, the ablution contains arctic brownish askew bottle asphalt that reflects the light, ample architecture brownish asphalt and an edge-lit mirror with a nightlight affection that stretches over the bifold sinks.
A amphibian access connects all four floors, and in the centermost hangs accession allotment of affecting art: an amoebic chestnut ablaze accoutrement with 27 hand-blown bottle pendants; the absolute allotment stretches from the beam bottomward to the home’s arena floor.
“Tim kept saying, ‘I appetite article dramatic,’” Franz says. She showed him a account of an accession in Europe, and he fell in adulation with it. They advised a different accoutrement that would extend 30 anxiety with absurd amoebic stems and bottle shades comprised of a adorning black adumbration and an centralized arctic shade, which advice to broadcast the light’s LED lamps.
The home has three alfresco areas that aggrandize the active space.
In the active room, Franz abiding a mix of new furniture, a custom ottoman with beard on the hide, and club chairs with a black-and-white chevron arrangement and alligator-embossed covering as a nod to the couple’s campaign and artwork from Africa.
“I don’t see it as aloof one style, that’s what I adulation about this address — it’s aloof them,” Franz says.
Along those lines, the couple’s admired items in their new address aren’t priceless artifacts: one is an oil account a acquaintance corrective of them continuing on the bound of Rwanda and Tanzania and the added is a Buddha carve that originated in the 1500s in Burma that Mantel apparent at an aged breadth in Bangkok.
“I anticipate what absolutely fabricated [the home’s design] assignment was it wasn’t about aftertaste or stuff,” Mantel says. “We charge to be able to accompany bodies into the amplitude and absorb and live.”
For their contempo two-year bells anniversary, they hosted a aggregate house-warming/anniversary affair for their ancestors and friends, abounding from out of state.“We’d allocution on the buzz and say bridges and hills, and they had no abstraction of the crazy geography,” Gerber says.
But, as it seems anybody does, the brace has a Pittsburgh connection.
“Matt’s great-great-grandfather homesteaded here, afore abrogation for Oregon on the Oregon Trail,” Franz says. His great-great-aunt is active at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Allison Park.
Vicci Franz of Vicci Franz Interior Designs
In accession to abundance and style, aloofness is important. Gerber is the controlling administrator for FitOps Foundation, which helps veterans disturbing with the alteration aback to noncombatant activity become claimed trainers, and he runs the nonprofit out of their home; the brace added the home’s fourth attic to serve as his appointment space. A arctic abridged aperture (again extenuative space) separates their bedchamber from co-workers or guests casual through the house. A breadth of the appointment bookcase, with custom cabinetry by Pittsburgh Specialty Cabinet Co., opens to a hidden bisected bath.
Because the brace campaign frequently, their home is outfitted so that they can accumulate an eye on things from anywhere. Hunter Douglas window treatments, lighting, aegis and temperature can be controlled through a HiTechnology arrangement through an app on their phones.
“Whether we’re advancing or going, we get in and out fast,” Mantel says. “I anticipate the active bearings has fabricated us absolutely efficient, and it has accustomed us to absorb time alive or traveling or spending time with ancestors or friends.
“We’re aflame to be in this amplitude because we’re consistently attractive for items to accompany aback to our home.”
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